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Fresh off the announcement of an exciting fall season, Vancouver Recital Society is delighted to announce our recruitment drive for new members to the Board of Directors.
Are you passionate about classical music and looking for ways to give back to your community, build your network and become more engaged?
We are currently looking for individuals to bring diverse perspectives, support our governance and committee work, and potentially assume leadership roles within the Board.
“Being on the Vancouver Recital Society Board has been a wonderful way to give back to the community and help strengthen an organization that has, for many years, been exposing me and my friends to superb music and the best classical music performers in the world. It has been a pleasure to serve with a welcoming and knowledgeable group of Directors and a privilege to support a small staff who consistently punch above their weight in artistic discrimination, professionalism, and commitment.” Valerie Hunter
Applicants 18 years or older of all genders, racial origins, income levels and sexual orientations, and persons with mixed abilities, are encouraged to apply. We are alert and sensitive to the issue of fair and equitable treatment for all, and Vancouver Recital Society has a special concern with the participation and advancement of community members that have traditionally been under-represented in our sector. As a result, the Society reserves the right to give preference/priority to those applicants as part of our ongoing efforts to reflect the diversity of Vancouver.
Interested candidates should email email@example.com by the close of September 30, 2022. Please include your CV or bio and in no more than 300 words let us know why you are interested and think you’d be a good fit.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Vancouver Recital Society Governance Committee
To read about Vancouver Recital Society and our mission, vision, and values, click here.
To learn more about our past programming, browse our archives.
It has been a few days since we announced that we will not be presenting pianist Alexander Malofeev at this time. As Leila previously mentioned, this was a very, very difficult decision.
We saw the following statement made by Alexander on Facebook: “The truth is that every Russian will feel guilty for decades because of the terrible and bloody decision that none of us could influence and predict.” We are very grateful for his words. We appreciate the challenges Russians face in voicing an opinion on this war. However, the situation has evolved since our announcement, which was prepared and released before Alexander posted his statement.
We made our decision for a number of complex and nuanced reasons, here are just a couple…
A member of our team was born and raised in Ukraine and his family still lives there. The last couple of weeks have been a nightmare and we stand in solidarity with him.
We grapple with the notion that even one cent of the proceeds from a VRS concert would go back into the Russian economy — the very economy that is funding this horrific war.
In the days since our e-newsletter went out, the situation in Ukraine has worsened and Russian aggression against civilians has increased. Feelings are running high here in Vancouver. We have read about local Russian businesses being targeted and a Russian Orthodox Church in Victoria was vandalized. We have a duty of care to every artist who appears on our stage. There would likely be protests at Alexander’s concert if it were to go ahead. The VRS does not have the resources to shield him from that. We know of another organization that has chosen to proceed with presenting him. They will be hiring private security for his concert. Alexander is twenty years old and in the early stages of his career. A demonstration or heckling in the hall could be very impactful on a young artist.
Alexander exemplifies the kind of gifted young artist we get excited about. It saddens us greatly that we will not get to experience his artistry as we had planned. His engagement on our series was six years in the making, and we postponed his concert not once but twice due to the pandemic. We would absolutely present Alexander at some point in the future — when, hopefully, circumstances have changed — if he still wished to appear on our series. We would also understand if he didn’t want to. How can all this not feel personal to him?
We understand that people have strong feelings about this cancellation. We have strong feelings about it, too. More importantly though, we have heard directly from our audience — the people who know us and our history. They have overwhelmingly supported our decision and have told us so through phone calls and emails. The truth is that many in our city don’t have the appetite for this concert at this time.
This is the announcement we were hoping we wouldn’t have to make: we’re cancelling the balance of our 2020-21 Season. No doubt this news won’t come as a surprise, but it’s terribly disappointing nonetheless. When we announced the cancellation of our fall concerts back in July, we held on to the hope that we’d be in a position to resume concerts by January, 2021. It’s become increasingly clear that we’re still very much in the throes of this pandemic, and restrictions on large gatherings and travel will be the norm for the forseeable future.
To our valued subscribers and single ticket buyers affected by these cancellations: please note that we’ll automatically issue refunds to your credit cards this Friday, October 16. Please allow a couple of weeks for the credit to show up on your card, but do feel free to contact our box office at 604-602-0363 if you have any questions. If you paid for your subscription by cheque, we’ll issue a refund cheque to you and mail it by October 30.
The tally of VRS concerts cancelled between March, 2020 and May, 2021 is 29. It’s a grim number. The impact of these cancellations cannot be overstated; ticket sales account for a significant proportion of our annual revenue. In the absence of concerts, we’re now more reliant than ever upon philanthropic support. We’re so very grateful to The Peak Group of Companies, RBC Foundation, The Edwina and Paul Heller Fund at the Vancouver Foundation, The Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation, and a number of individual concert sponsors and very generous donors who have pledged to continue their support over the coming year. We hope that we can count on you to do so as well. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to the VRS, you can do so by clicking here, or you can mail your gift to our office (201 – 513 Main Street, Vancouver, BC, V6A 2V1). Donations over $20 are eligible for a charitable receipt.
We miss seeing you all and we can’t wait to reconnect with you once we’re back in the concert hall. Because we will be back… we’re determined to weather this storm. In the meantime, please stay engaged with us online via this website, our social media pages, and our weekly e-newsletter.
Stay well, stay healthy, and keep listening.
We’ve made the difficult decision to cancel all concerts scheduled to occur in the first half of the 2020-21 Season. The eleven cancelled concerts include, in chronological order: soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci, The Jerusalem Quartet playing all the Beethoven Quartets (five concerts), cellist Abel Selaocoe, trombonist Peter Moore, pianist Tamara Stefanovich, cellist Zlatomir Fung, and pianist Schaghajegh Nosrati. The Beethoven Celebration Lecture at the VPL Central Library is also cancelled.
For the past few months we’ve been working behind the scenes, considering various scenarios in which we could safely present these concerts. With the passage of time it has become increasingly clear that theatres are unlikely to re-open in the coming months. That reality, coupled with the ongoing uncertainty surrounding travel and quarantine, have necessitated that we make this difficult decision.
As of now, we’re still hanging on to the hope that we can re-start live performances in January 2021, or shortly thereafter, but that will depend upon many things, such as the ability to congregate in theatres, the international travel situation, and, of course, the readiness of music lovers and staff to return to the concert hall.
In the meantime, we’re working on trying to reschedule some of the concerts we lost from March – May of the 2019-20 Season, as well as those we’re going to lose in the first half of the 2020-21 Season. Success will depend as much upon the availability of the Playhouse as on the availability of the artists and their willingness to travel. It may take a season or two, but we’re determined.
Please know that we’re working on other initiatives that will help us to remain visible and audible over the coming months.
To those who purchased subscriptions, first and foremost, we extend our deepest gratitude for your enthusiastic support and willingness to take this journey with us. As promised when the pandemic first hit, we’ll automatically issue refunds for tickets that were purchased to concerts that are now cancelled. Credit card refunds will be issued on July 15. Please allow a couple of weeks for the credit to show up on your card. If you paid for your subscription by cheque, we’ll issue a refund cheque to you and mail it by July 31.
Thanks to the support of government, the Vancouver Foundation, and the remarkable support of our sponsors and donors, we’re stable and will continue work behind the scenes to ensure that when the concert hall is open, and you’re ready to venture out once more, we’ll be ready to receive you. We cannot express just how much we’re looking forward to that day.
In the meantime, we’ll continue to keep you updated via this website, our weekly e-newsletter, and on social media.
Stay well, stay healthy, and keep listening.
UDATE March 18, 2020
Given the precautionary measures being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and the projection that social distancing may continue for the next few months, we have decided to cancel the remaining concerts in our 2019-20 Season. The additional cancelled concerts include: Pablo and Sara Ferrández, Beatrice and Ludovica Rana, and Steven Isserlis and Connie Shih. We had previously cancelled all concerts for the month of March (Benjamin Grosvenor, Sir András Schiff’s two concerts, Jerusalem Quartet, and Tabea Zimmerman and Javier Perianes).
The impact of these cancellations will be significant; our staff and ongoing operations are reliant upon the income that we derive through ticket purchases. Without concerts we’ll be even more reliant upon philanthropic support, which is why we’re asking that you — if you can — consider donating the value of your tickets to the VRS rather than requesting a refund.
Normally at this time of year revenue is coming in with the purchase of subscriptions for the next season and through donations to our annual fund. Our upcoming 2020-21 Season, announced in early March, was met with a great deal of enthusiasm and subscriptions were selling well. In the last 10 days sales have understandably slowed. With that in mind, we have come up with another option for subscribers: apply the credit from this season’s cancellations to your subscription for next season. We have never presented this option before but it’s something we are happy to do for those who want to come back for great music once our concerts resume.
With a number of options, how do you proceed? What are the next steps?
Single ticket buyers:
On Friday, April 3, refunds will be automatically issued to anyone who purchased a single ticket to any of our cancelled concerts. There is no need to call the VRS. Please allow a month or two for the credit to show up on your statement, as there are additional strains on the banks and card processing systems at the moment. If you have not seen the credit appear on your statement by the end of May, please get in touch with us and we will investigate. If you decide that you would like to donate your ticket(s) in lieu of a refund, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before April 3. Charitable receipts will be sent in mid-April.
If you are a subscriber wishing to donate your tickets, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we will process your donation. Charitable receipts will be sent in mid-April. If your preference is for a refund, please contact us via the above email address before Friday, August 14.
If you wish to apply your credit to next season’s subscription order, please know that this option is available to you until Friday, August 14. If we have not heard from you regarding your subscription for next season, don’t worry, we won’t just keep your money! We will convert any remaining balance on your account into a charitable donation and forward a receipt to you before the end of August. Much though we would love to, we are not able to carry credits forward beyond August 14.
We have made the decision to close our physical office for the time being. We want to play our part in this all-encompassing effort to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19. Please know that we are not closing the door and walking away; VRS staff will be working from home and checking email and voicemail throughout the workday. Please bear with us as we work our way through each and every email — although we are a small team, we are committed to continuing our efforts to offer the best service we can, despite the current challenges. You can view our office contact list here.
Now more than ever we can appreciate just how small our world truly is and the importance of working together in an effort to protect each other. Staying connected is so important, so we’ll continue reaching out through our e-news and social media channels to try to put a smile on your face and remind you that we’ll all be back together for great performances in the future. In the meantime, I’m including a video of Sir András Schiff performing the Goldberg Variations at the Royal Albert Hall in London a couple of years ago (see the item further below). Just to give you a taste of what’s to come. Because we are still very much hoping to present this concert, depending upon András’s schedule and the availability of the hall.
We appreciate your support as we navigate these difficult times.
Stay safe and take care.
March 12, 2020
We’ve been closely monitoring the news and updates from government health agencies regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).
After a great deal of consideration and deliberation over the past couple of days, we’ve made the decision to take the precautionary measure of cancelling all upcoming concerts until the end of March.
The health and wellbeing of our patrons is paramount, and, given that seniors comprise a significant portion of our audience, we feel all the more obliged to be cautious. We’ve not made this decision lightly but we don’t want to wait until it’s too late to cancel, and we don’t want to be responsible for the ill health of our patrons, staff, colleagues and musicians. We’re disappointed, as I’m sure many of you will be, but we hope you’ll understand our position.
The affected concerts include:
Benjamin Grosvenor at the Vancouver Playhouse on March 15
Sir András Schiff at the Chan Centre on March 22
Sir András Schiff at the Vancouver Playhouse on March 24
Jerusalem Quartet at Congregation Beth Israel on March 26
Tabea Zimmerman and Javier Perianes at the Vancouver Playhouse on March 29
As March unfolds and we have a sense of the progression/containment of COVID-19, we’ll assess the status of the concerts scheduled for April and May.
If you have tickets for any of the cancelled performances, you have the following options:
Please contact our office by phone at 604-602-0363 or by email to discuss your preference with regard to your ticket(s) for any of the affected concerts. We ask for your patience as we work through processing each request on an individual basis.
Wishing you all good health.
NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF MEMBERS OF THE VANCOUVER RECITAL SOCIETY (the “Society”).
The Board of Directors of the Society hereby gives notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, (Salon A), British Columbia, on the 23rd day of February, 2020 at 1:15pm for the following purposes:
Dated: February 3, 2020.
By order of the Board of Directors
Stephen Schachter, President
Following the business of the meeting, Leila Getz, C.M., O.B.C., D.F.A., Founder & Artistic Director, will announce the artists appearing on the series as part of the 2020-2021 Season.
Materials for the meeting can be found using the links below:
NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF MEMBERS OF THE VANCOUVER RECITAL SOCIETY (the “Society”)
The Board of Directors of the Society hereby gives notice that the Annual General Meeting of the Society will be held on February 4, 2018 at 1pm at the Vancouver Playhouse (in Salon A), for the following purposes:
Dated: Monday, January 15, 2018
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Members wishing to make nominations of candidates for election should do so in writing, by the end of business on Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Nominations should be sent to:
Stephen Schachter, President
Vancouver Recital Society
301-601 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC V5B 2P1
The Simón Bolívar String Quartet’s scheduled performance at the Vancouver Playhouse on September 17 has been postponed to a future season. The current volatile and violent situation in Venezuela, which has heightened following last week’s election, has made it almost impossible for the quartet to navigate around Caracas to make arrangements for their North American tour. Both the USA and Canada have withdrawn most of their diplomatic staff from the city, and there are now very few airlines flying in and out of Venezuela. Given that the situation is expected to escalate before it is resolved, the sad decision was made to postpone the tour, which, in addition to the scheduled VRS engagement, had included planned performances at the Ravinia Festival and Cornell Concert Series.
Alejandro Carreño, 1st violinist with the quartet, said, “This is a regrettable moment for us as Venezuelans, and a dark process of our history. Artistically this tour was very important for the quartet, and that is why we want to let the presenters and public know how sorry we are about this situation, which is out of our control. We hope to reschedule these concert dates where possible, so that we can return soon to these important places. We are profoundly grateful for all the support we have received from our team and colleagues; their commitment and support is invaluable to us as artists. We very much hope to be able to perform internationally as a quartet again in the near future.”
We are obviously very disappointed that we won’t be able to hear the Simón Bolívar String Quartet this season, however our primary concern is for the safety and wellbeing of the members of the quartet and indeed the people of Venezuela in these difficult times. We’ll be keeping in touch with quartet, and we very much hope to present them in a future season. So stayed tuned for more on that…
In the meantime, I’ve spent the last few days on the phone with my contacts in Europe and North America trying to find an equally brilliant quartet to present on this date. And the good news is, I’ve found one! The Verona Quartet — hailed by The New York Times as an “outstanding ensemble of young musicians” — will be stepping in to replace the Simón Bolívar Quartet. The venue, date and time of the performance are unchanged.
The Verona Quartet has a wonderful program:
Haydn: String Quartet in B flat major, Op. 50, No. 1
Shostakovich: String Quartet No. 7 in F sharp minor, Op. 108
Ravel: String Quartet in F major.
In my 38 years as a concert presenter, I’ve dealt with cancellations before. But never due to political and civil unrest.
Our thoughts are very much with the Simón Bolívar Quartet.
Leila Getz, C.M., O.B.C., DFA
Founder & Artistic Director
When I was a boy my father would sing me to sleep every night. And when he went away on business trips, my mother sang to me at night instead.
Now, my mother, whom I love dearly (98 and going strong!) has many wonderful traits and abilities, including playing the piano. But singing perfectly in key isn’t one of them, and when she sang to me I cried instead of drifting off to sleep. We often laugh about it now, and thankfully, it convinced her I should take music lessons so there was a happy result.
And that beautiful memory of my father’s singing voice will always be with me.
When I moved back to Vancouver at the end of 2006 after twenty years away in New York, I went to the Chan Centre on March 23, 2007 to hear Alfred Brendel play. After so many years in the music business in New York, I had heard nearly every great artist in the world, and yet somehow had never heard Mr. Brendel perform. I confess I was a little burned out by the time we left Manhattan, and my youthful passion for music was a bit tarnished after years of managing and touring artists.
But I couldn’t miss the chance to hear one of the greatest artists of our time and an amazing thing happened as I sat listening to his awe-inspiring performance and extraordinary artistry – he called me back to myself! Mr. Brendel’s brilliance restored me, and rekindled the love of music that had been the animating force throughout my entire life. I can’t describe what a wonderful revelation that was for me.
It was an extraordinary gift. It is a VRS performance I’ll never forget, and one for which I will always be grateful to Leila Getz, the Founder and Artistic Director of this series. Leila has given each of us, and indeed this entire city, 35 years of inspirational memories.
What is your favourite VRS Memory? Please write and let me know your story.