Are you planning to be a classical music tourist this summer? To pack your shades, shorts and flip-flops and hit the road in search of fresh air, sunshine and great music? CBC Music is all over this idea. To get you better acquainted with some of the classical music festivals happening in Canada this summer, we’re running SPF ’12, our summer preview of festivals. In today’s instalment, we visit the Banff Summer Arts Festival.
Hiking boots, not flip-flops, are the more appropriate footwear for a trip to the Banff Summer Arts Festival located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Canada’s first national park. View the image gallery above to see photos of the site.
The festival is presented by The Banff Centre, a place where artists from all disciplines come to create, learn and perform year round. From June 21 to Aug. 25, The Banff Centre throws open the doors for dozens of concerts, art exhibitions, dance shows, readings, films and theatre performances.
Classical music is a big part of the Summer Arts Festival. Talented musicians and faculty from around the world come to The Banff Centre to take part in summer programs in chamber music, orchestral performance, piano master classes, music theatre and opera. These participants perform throughout the summer at the Rolston Recital Hall and the Eric Harvie Theatre.
Don’t worry about your wardrobe. It’s fine to come straight from your campsite – in fact, it’s a great idea on a rainy night. Bring a sweater or jacket, though. Summer evenings can be very chilly in the Rockies.
Arrive early for a good parking spot and make the short hike to the top of Tunnel Mountain. The Banff Centre is already halfway to the summit, where you’ll find stunning views of the Banff Springs Hotel, Lake Minnewanka and surrounding peaks.
Consider staying right on the campus of the Banff Centre. Your room rate includes access to the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre with a pool, climbing wall, gym and drop-in fitness classes.
From downtown Banff, ask for directions to the Old Banff Cemetery where you’ll find the beginning of the Ken Madsen Path, a steep shortcut to The Banff Centre. Take the elevator to the top of the Sally Borden building and reward yourself with a pre-show glass of wine at the Three Ravens Wine Bar.
Top 3 Banff picks
Music for a summer evening: Beethoven
June 21, Rolston Recital Hall
The festival kicks off with a homecoming concert of sorts for the Cecilia String Quartet, winners of the Banff International String Quartet Competition in 2010. They’ll be performing Beethoven’s Rasumovsky Quartet no 2. This video, recorded in 2010, shows the quartet performing at the Rolston Recital Hall. It’s an intimate wood-paneled performing space with mountain views for the audience.
Music for a summer evening: Baroque
July 7, Rolston Recital Hall
Violinist Elizabeth Wallfisch leads a program of baroque music featuring Bach’s Concerto for Violin and Oboe. Wallfisch is a specialist in 17th- and 18th-century music. She’s led some of the world’s best period ensembles, including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Hanover Band and Tafelmusik.
Stay over and hear Blue Rodeo at The Banff Centre’s new Shaw amphitheatre on July 8.
Festival Opera - The Secret Garden
August 11 and 12, Margaret Greenham Theatre
Based on the novel that tells the story of the orphan Marry Lennox and the locked garden,The Secret Garden was commissioned by the Banff Centre and co-produced with the Trinity College of Music in the UK. The music is by Stephen McNeff and the libretto by Joan MacLeod.
Visit the Indian Trading Post at the end of Banff Avenue and say hello to the Merman, Banff's oddest and mummified resident.
Agassiz Chamber Music Festival celebrates Debussy's 150th birthday
Indian River Festival: opera, oysters and perfect accoustics
CBC Music's 2012 festival guide
Domaine Forget International Festival begins 35th season
SPF '12: Summer preview of festivals
on Jun 12, 2012