Music Niagara was set to launch a series of 30 concerts, including a program to recognize the 250th birthday of Beethoven, when the pandemic cancelled plans that included some new venues.
The festival’s Karen Lade says some of those venues will be included in its virtual At Home series for its 22nd season.
Music Niagara is known for bringing world-class, diverse music experiences to intimate settings in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and will continue to do so, delivering “great music to you, wherever you are.”
“Music Niagara is unique, in that it doesn’t have a home base,” says Lade. “We make music through partnerships with NOTL venues.”
Some of this season’s performances are being filmed by Niagara College’s Broadcasting team, in locations such as Château des Charmes, PondView Estate Winery, the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum and Queen’s Landing.
Others are being recorded virtually with performers who can’t get to NOTL this season, says Lade.
“We’re doing it differently for sure,” says Lade, but still bringing the “essence” of what was intended for the 2020 season.
Beethoven’s milestone birthday celebration will include Tom Allen’s production of the The Missing Pages — the story of the only Canadian who met Ludwig van Beethoven — and also Music Niagara artistic director Atis Bankas’ musical performance of Beethoven’s Hair, an homage to the book of the same name. It’s an “astonishing tale of one lock of hair and its amazing travels from 19th-century Vienna to 21st-century America,” says the announcement of the 2020 season.
It also includes “inspirational performances” by Bankas with one of Russia’s significant pianists, Victoria Kogan.
New this season is a Music and Laughter series, which this year will include Quartetto Gelato with NOTL’s stand-up comic, Joe Pillitteri.
There will be special performances from Emma Meinrenken on violin performing with members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, clarinetist James Campbell’s production of From Beethoven to Brazil: A Joyous Musical Journey, and the production of the Last Night of the Proms performed by members of the Niagara Proms Orchestra, conducted by maestro Sabatino Vacca, and hosted by British comedian David Green.
The At Home lineup also includes virtual performances by international festival musicians from New York, Amsterdam, and Lithuania, who were scheduled to perform in NOTL this summer.
The festival will feature an At Home Performance Academy, with a new online curriculum to help young musicians between the ages of eight and 18 become polished performers.
Music Niagara welcomes donations to support its At Home series, which begins July 26. For more information visit https://www.musicniagara.org.