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Welcome to the Vancouver Recital Society blog!

I have been persuaded by the powers that be, that if I, or the Vancouver Recital Society wishes to remain relevant and ‘hip’, cyber communication is the thing to do.  So, it seems that blogging is the starting point.  Why do I feel as though I’m jumping off a diving board?

Funny how things come full circle…and the story I’m about to tell you is so relevant to my dipping my toes in this water.  In 1978 the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver presented a series of three concerts with the assistance of one of New York’s most stellar concert managements, Young Concert Artists.  Young Concert Artists is a not for profit music management which holds auditions and signs young musicians to its roster and then helps to develop their careers, giving them counseling until they are ready to go on to the commercial managements.  Actually, it’s hard to think of any classical music management as being commercial these days!  Musicians like Murray Perahia, Richard Goode, Dawn Upshaw were all nurtured in their early years by Young Concert Artists and we at the Vancouver Recital Society have had a long time relationship with YCA, as they are fondly called.  In fact, we always wish that we had come up with their slogan before they did which is “Be among the first to hear the best”.

In any case, back to Vancouver, and the Jewish Community Centre.  I received notification about the three concerts which were to take place, and being extremely interested, I called the Centre and volunteered my services.  Little did I know that soon I would be running these concerts. It was obvious that after the first year there wasn’t the will nor the money to continue, and that’s when the seeds of the VRS were planted in my head.  The last musician of the three was a young violinist, Ida Kavafian who came with Anne Epperson at the piano.  Following the concert, we went back to the Getz house for some supper, and over dinner Ida and Anne said to me “you’re a natural at this. You should be presenting your own concert series”.  I smiled and said “yes, but…” My husband said “yes but what?”  So I said “well, what about the money”?  And he said “why don’t you worry about the artists and I’ll worry about the money. Just stop talking about it and do it”.

So, before he could change his mind, I booked myself on a trip to New York and set up the first season of the Vancouver Recital Society.  And here’s the amazing thing…recently I met with a young violinist from Victoria, who is a definite VRS prospect and who is studying at the Curtis Institute with none other than Ida Kavafian.

This husband of mine, without whom none of this would ever have happened, had cleared out some boxes in the garage two days before I met with the young violinist…and guess what he uncovered…..the program from Ida Kavafian’s concert at the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver.  I gave the program to the young violinist to take to Ida, and you can just imagine his amazement.  He said “wow, this was way before I was born!”

Why am I telling this whole long story?  Because central to this is my husband’s admonition “why don’t you stop talking about it and just do it?” Same thing can be said for this blog.

6 thoughts on “Welcome to the Vancouver Recital Society blog!

  1. Long may this blog continue! Think what a gift you gave to this city and community when you started all this! Thanks to you and thanks also to Leon . . .

  2. So glad you have a blog! This afternoon’s concert was fabulous. What an amazing tour de force by Murray Perahia! My question is this: after a performance like this, what does the performer do? Does he crash into bed and sleep for twelve hours? Does he go out to a good restaurant and eat a steak dinner? Does he walk for two hours all over town? I’m exhausted just by watching him do this; I can’t imagine how exhausted he must be!

    • Hi Deborah: I’m so happy that you really enjoyed the concert. Every single concert by Murray Perahia is a transporting experience. I love your question about what does a performer do after a concert. That’s probably a good subject for another blog. I promise you I’ll get to it!

  3. Congratulations on your blog, Leila. You have a true writer’s talent for evoking picturesque vignettes. I’ll be looking forward to reading more of them in the future.

    You are doing a superb job in all areas of your endeavours. We your audience are the beneficiaries.

    Thank you.

  4. i always enjoy your insights leila – full of creativity, wisdom and wit they are.
    thank you so very much for founding the VRS! the concerts that i’ve been to thus far have truly enriched my musical life! keep bringing the music to van city!

  5. Hi Leila,

    First of all, great THANK YOU from all music lovers in Vancouver for your great passion and great results. You are one of those very rare people who make a difference in lives of so many of us.

    Exactly because you are doing such a great job, we want more. 🙂 Some time ago i sent an e-mail to you suggestion inviting Tatiana Pikayzen. Here I’m coming again with one more suggestion.

    A few days ago we attended a concert of a great pianist, Dina Yoffe, who is a “granddaughter” of great Neuhaus (she stadied with Vera Gornostayeva who studied with Heinrich Neuhaus). The calibre of this pianist is unbelievable. Names like Sokolov, Zimmerman and Ashkenazy come to mind. This is the level, this is the class Dina Yoffe belongs to. I am sure you already heard about this concert.

    The problem is, very few people in Vancouver knew about this event, because it was not backed by powerful Vancouver Recital Society. I beg you to work on bringing Dina Yoffe to Orpheum or Chan. Our audience deserves to hear this pianist. This would easily be an event of the year.

    Thank you again,
    Eugene Nizker,

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