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We’re delighted to bring Schaghajegh Nosrati back to our series after her wonderful performance of The Goldberg Variations at the Playhouse in 2018. She has a burgeoning career in Europe and will be making a Carnegie Hall debut on this trip to North America, just ahead of her Vancouver performance.

HAYDN: Sonata in E minor, Hob. XVI/34
J.S. BACH: Partita No. 6 in E minor, BWV 830
CHARLES-VALENTIN ALKAN: Concerto for Piano Solo, Op. 39 Nos. 8-10


“At her most inspired, Nosrati is a captivating Bachian; rhythmically infectious, supremely intelligent” — Paul Riley, Classical-Music


Learn more about each afternoon’s recital program at our pre-concert talks. Each talk takes place at 2.15pm in Salon A


Concert Sponsor: Maryke Gilmore

Supported by:



Zlatomir Fung is the first American in four decades, and youngest musician ever to win First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Cello Division. We first discovered this remarkable young cellist in New York, where he won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions a year before he won the Tchaikovsky Competition. Prepare to be impressed!


FAURÉ: Cello Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 117
BERGER: Duo for Cello and Piano
BEETHOVEN: Cello Sonata No. 3 in A major Op. 69


“The cellist showed a mastery of his instrument that was truly a thing to behold” — Benicia Herald


Learn more about the musicians when they return to the stage to answer your questions following their performance


Series sponsor: The Estate of Edwina and Paul Heller

Concert Sponsor: Elizabeth Arnold-Bailey and Robert Bailey

Supported by:




South African cellist Abel Selaocoe is redefining the parameters of the cello. He moves seamlessly across a plethora of genres and styles, from collaborations with world musicians and beatboxers, to concerto performances and solo classical recitals. Heavily influenced by South Africa and with a deep rooting in classical music, Abel combines virtuosic performance with improvisation and singing. He has a special interest in curating recital programmes that highlight the links between Western and non-Western musical traditions, with a view to helping classical music reach a more diverse audience.

We’re delighted to bring this unique artist to Vancouver in partnership with the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Abel will perform a program titled “Coast to Coast” on our series at the Vancouver Playhouse, and “Songs of the Liberation of South Africa” on the Chan Centre’s Beyond Words series at the Telus Studio Theatre on Wednesday, October 21 at 7.30pm*. You won’t want to miss EITHER performance!


During his time living in the UK coastal town of Aldeburgh, Abel discovered the music of Benjamin Britten, in particular the first solo cello suite, the beauty of which had a monumental effect on him.

To create a collaboration between this piece of music and his culture, Abel began improvising in an African style through voice and cello in between the movements and drawing on similar strands in the piece.

The first movement of Britten’s Cello Suite No. 1 imitates the swing of the sea in a deep, brash and lethargic manner which lends itself to the deep tradition of umqokola throat singing in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Britten also has fascinating rhythms, as seen in the last presto movement, which easily transitions into an African groove. The main theme that returns from the first movement will be coupled with umqokola, which creates a rich, sonorous sound.



Concert Sponsor: Peter and Hilde Colenbrander

Supported by:





*Tickets for Abel’s Chan Centre performance at the Telus Studio Theatre can be purchased at or by calling 604-822-2697 (subscription packages available April 18, single tickets available June 10)




October 1 – 8, 2020


All performances take place at the Telus Studio Theatre, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

Over the course of his life, Beethoven wrote 16 String Quartets in three fairly distinct blocks: the “early” quartets (Nos. 1-6) composed when he was 27 to 30 years of age, the “middle” quartets (Nos. 7-11) when he was 35 to 40 years old, and the “late” quartets (Nos. 12-16) composed in the last three years of his life.

In celebration of this milestone achievement in the history of western classical music, and the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth, we’re excited and honoured to bring the Jerusalem Quartet to the intimate setting of the Telus Studio Theatre to perform all of Beethoven’s String Quartets in five performances.

In addition, David Gordon Duke, musicologist, educator, and writer will give a free public lecture on Beethoven’s String Quartets in the Alice MacKay Room at the VPL Central Library (350 West Georgia Street), on Tuesday, September 29 at 7.30pm. He’ll also present a pre-concert talk at each of the five performances.

“As near to perfect as one can possibly find” — BBC Music Magazine



Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 7.30pm
Pre-concert talk at 6.45pm

Quartet in D major, Op. 18, No. 3
Quartet in F major, Op. 59, No. 1
Quartet in E flat major, Op. 127


Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 3pm
Pre-concert talk at 2.15pm

Quartet in G major, Op. 18, No. 2
Quartet in E minor, Op. 59, No. 2
Quartet in B flat major, Op. 130
Quartet in B flat major, Op. 133


Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 3pm
Pre-concert talk at 2.15pm

Quartet in F major, Op. 18, No. 1
Quartet in C major, Op. 59, No. 3
Quartet in C sharp minor, Op. 131


Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 7.30pm
Pre-concert talk at 6.45pm

Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Quartet in E flat major, Op. 74
Quartet in A minor, Op. 132


Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7.30pm
Pre-concert talk at 6.45pm

Quartet in A major, Op. 18, No. 5
Quartet in B flat major, Op. 18, No. 6
Quartet in F minor, Op. 95
Quartet in F major, Op. 135


Concert sponsors:  The Estate of the late Denise Mara, Allison Hart, Ric and Lynda Spratley

Supported by:


The Chan Endowme
nt Fund
at the University of British Columbia



Twenty-year-old Israeli pianist Tom Borrow was featured in a two-page article in a 2019 edition of International Piano magazine. Charting his sudden rise to prominence and giving insight into this exciting new pianist, the article asserts: “Tom Borrow is the very definition of one to watch”. Performances take him from Israel to South Korea, and from Verbier to London. He currently studies at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel Aviv University, and is mentored by Murray Perahia through the Jerusalem Music Centre’s program for outstanding young musicians.


SCHUBERT: Sonata in A major, D. 664
FRANCK: Prelude, Chorale and Fugue
RACHMANINOV: Selected preludes from Op. 23 and Op. 32
SCRIABIN: Sonata No. 2 (1897) and Sonata No. 5 (1907)


“Tom is a truly special young pianist. Technically brilliant and with the soul of a poet”
Günter Hänssler, Head of Hänssler Classics, one of Germany’s major independent record labels, who recently signed Tom for his first recording

For more information about Tom, visit his website.


Learn more about the musicians when they return to the stage to answer your questions following their performance


Series sponsor: The Estate of Edwina and Paul Heller

Concert Sponsor: John C. Kerr Family Foundation

Supported by:



This exciting young Russian pianist gained international recognition through his outstanding appearance at the 8th International Tchaikovsky Competition for young musicians, where he won First Prize. At the time he was just 13. Since then, Alexander has appeared with major orchestras and conductors across Europe, and we’re delighted to welcome him in his Canadian debut with an all-Russian program.


MEDTNER:  2 Skazki, Op. 48
MEDTNER: Forgotten Melodies 1, Op. 38
PROKOFIEV: Piano Sonata No. 9 in C major, Op. 103
RACHMANINOV: Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor, Op. 28


“The latest phenomenon of the Russian piano school” — Corriere della Sera, Milan


Learn more about the musicians when they return to the stage to answer your questions following their performance


Series sponsor: The Estate of Edwina and Paul Heller

Concert Sponsor: Joyce and Tony

Supported by:




Yes, we dare to present a trombone and piano recital… and we dare you to attend! Peter Moore was only 12 years old when he won the BBC Young Musician Competition, becoming the youngest winner ever. At 18, he became Co-Principal Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra. There’s so much more we could share about the accolades and achievements of this young musician, but we’ll save that for the program booklet. He is, quite simply, an extraordinary musician and we’re delighted that he’s making his Canadian debut on our stage. James Baillieu, a renowned chamber musician and collaborative pianist, is no stranger to the VRS having performed with soprano Tara Erraught in 2018.


BEETHOVEN: Cello Sonata in G minor, Op. 5, No. 2
SCHUBERT: Ständchen (Schwanengesang, D. 957)
JONGEN: Aria and Polonaise, Op. 128
ARTHUR PRYOR: Love’s Enchantment
FAURÉ: Après un rêve
FAURÉ: Les roses d’Ispahan
DUPARC: La vie antérieure
BIZET: Tarantelle
GERSHWIN: 3 Songs (arranged by Paul Cott) Embraceable You, Fascinating Rhythm, and Bess, You is My Woman Now


“Moore displayed an eloquence and nobility that one might have thought impossible except by the human voice” — BBC Music Magazine


Learn more about the musicians when they return to the stage to answer your questions following their performance


Series sponsor: The Estate of Edwina and Paul Heller

Concert Sponsor: Rick Carswell and Alison Kirkley

Supported by:


Jerusalem Quartet performs Beethoven’s Quartet in A minor, Op. 132

Tickets: $20 (General Admission)
Available only by phone: call Vancouver Recital Society at 604-602-0363 or Congregation Beth Israel at 604-731-4161
“Passion, precision, warmth, a gold blend: these are the trademarks of this excellent Israeli string quartet.” — The Times (London)
With generous support from:


When Connie met Steven! (And the VRS played matchmaker). These dynamic artists were first introduced at the VRS’s 1993 Chamber Music Festival, and, as they say, “the rest is history!” How wonderful to have brought about such a rich musical collaboration which has lasted over the years, and which we trust will endure well into the future.

CHOPIN: Introduction et Polonaise brillante in C major, Op. 3
CLARA SCHUMANN: Romances, Op. 22 (arr. Steven Isserlis)
ROBERT SCHUMANN: Violin Sonata No. 3 in A minor, Wo02 (arr. Steven Isserlis)
MENDELSSOHN: Assai tranquillo in B minor, for Cello and Piano
MENDELSSOHN: Lied ohne Worte, Op. 109
BRAHMS: Sonata in F major, Op. 99 for Cello and Piano


“Vancouver has always been a place of magic for me. My late wife Pauline came from there, so I’d been hearing about it for years, when an invitation came (in 1988?) from Leila Getz to take part in her summer chamber music festival. From the day I arrived, I fell in love with the city; and the chamber music festival was very much part of that love affair, a wonderful experience, different from any other. And it was all such fun! I made so many friends there, and had so many memorable musical experiences (one of which was sitting with Joshua Bell, listening to a very young pianist of whom I’d never heard play a trio by Saint-Saens. ‘Wasn’t that rather incredible?’ we asked each other at the end. The pianist was Connie Shih, with whom I now play most of my recitals.) And of course the spirit of the long-gone chamber music festival lives on in its parent organisation, the wonderful Recital Series. The energy and enthusiasm of the organisation and of the audiences; the feeling as one goes onstage that this is a special event, into which one must pour everything one has. I feel so privileged to have played so often for the VRS; those concerts have formed an important part of my musical life. I hope and trust that the organization will continue to flourish for many, many more years, bringing spectacular music to a spectacular city with dedication, élan and imagination. Long live the VRS!” — Steven Isserlis

“My relationship with the VRS and Leila began way back in 1993 when Leila invited me both to her chamber music festival which was terrific and then to perform on her recital series. It was a truly wonderful experience and opportunity for me, she gave great support and valuable career advice on top of that, which I remember and am grateful for. Thank you Leila and VRS!” — Connie Shih


Learn more about each afternoon’s recital program at our pre-concert talks. Each talk takes place at 2.15pm in Salon A.


Series Sponsor:






Concert Sponsor: The Estate of the Late Miss Denise Mara

Supported by:


One of the world’s most revered violists, Tabea Zimmermann, whom we are proud to have presented in past seasons, returns with one of our favourite pianists, Javier Perianes, for a wonderful program of Schubert, Brahms, and delightful bonbons from Spain and South America.

SCHUBERT: Arpeggione Sonata D. 821
BRAHMS: Sonata No. 2 in E-flat major for Viola and Piano, Op. 120 No. 2
MANUEL DE FALLA: Seven Popular Songs
VILLA-LOBOS: Cantilena (Aria)
PIAZZOLLA: Le Grand Tango


“I am super happy to come back to Vancouver together with my Spanish colleague and friend Javier Perianes, for a two-part recital at the end of an extended recital tour in the States. Looking forward to your wonderful audiences. Great memories…”
— Tabea Zimmermann

“I will always have Vancouver Recital Society close to my heart. Since the first time I played in Vancouver in 2008, I have been coming back through the years and I feel deeply honoured to be part of Van Recital’s family.” — Javier Perianes


Learn more about each afternoon’s recital program at our pre-concert talks. Each talk takes place at 2.15pm in Salon A.


Series Sponsor:






Concert Sponsor: Richard & Lynda Spratley

Supported by: