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Treasuring Transformations

Responding to a request for your “most memorable cultural experience, anywhere, anytime,” it didn’t come as any surprise that our readers are cultural omnivores with wide-ranging interests and experiences.

It was no more surprising that many of the respondents recognized the near impossibility of reducing a lifetime of cultural experiences and interests into a short, pithy answer. As one described: “There are so many experiences, so many cultures, so many forms of culture, so many associations.”

Nevertheless, that challenge did not stop many from telling about their standout memories. From local performances to extravagant productions in far-flung cities, and from self-made creations to agriculture (think the gardens of Alhambra), the responses were varied and deeply personal.

Many cultural memories originate in our own city, including “the final Vancouver performance of Alicia de Larrocha and the performance of Mstislav Rostropovich where I picked up a broken cello string of his after his more than memorable performance of the Dvorak cello concerto”. Perhaps still a treasured souvenir.

Happily, other local memories were inspired by Vancouver Recital Society performances: “Hearing Gerald Finley at the Chan has to be right up there, as has Alfred Brendel’s playing of [Beethoven’s] Diabelli Variations at the same venue. Those were transformative moments.”

Still others wrote about experiences while on international travels, such as a multi-media presentation of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana in Mexico City, and a performance by Dame Janet Baker of Mahler in Edinburgh’s Usher Hall.

We are honoured that many of our readers took the time to share their varied and rich memories. Perhaps you will be inspired to share your treasured experiences…if you are up to the near-impossible challenge!

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