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Nobody describes the Danish String Quartet better than they do themselves…

“We are three Danes and one Norwegian cellist, making this a truly Scandinavian endeavor. Being relatively bearded, we are often compared to the Vikings… Yes, playing string quartets is our job, and yes it is hard work, but we mostly do it for pleasure, like we always did. Music is a way to hang out with friends, and we hope we can continue to hang out for many, many years.”

J.S. BACH: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, Fugue No. 16 in G minor, BWV 861 (arr. Förster)
MENDELSSOHN: Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
BEETHOVEN: Quartet No. 15 in A minor, Op. 132

“When you tour and travel a lot, you realize that there are some places where you feel more at home than others. Maybe because of our Scandinavian background, we feel most comfortable when we are near the ocean. If we can smell the sea, we perform our best. If a city is surrounded by water, we feel we can navigate it – literally and musically. Things tend to get hard for us when we feel the cold wind of an air conditioner. Vancouver smells like home and we always feel comfortable performing and staying there. As a young ensemble, you need to work hard and practice and all, but you also need someone to reach out and give you a chance. You need someone to take a risk and invite you while your resume is still a blank sheet of paper. Leila and the VRS did just that when they invited a very young Danish String Quartet many years ago and we are forever grateful for being able to return to this place far away that feels so much like home.” — Danish String Quartet


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


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Concert sponsor: Robert & Denise

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What can we say? These brilliant Brits have become two of our very favourite people! They entered the VRS’s orbit in the years 2000 and 2001; since then, they have returned to our stage many times for both solo and chamber music recitals. To have both of them here performing at the same time (and on the same piano) will be sheer heaven!

FAURÉ: Dolly Suite, Op. 56
POULENC: Sonata for Piano Duet
DEBUSSY: Six Épigraphes antiques, L. 131
DEBUSSY: Petite Suite
STRAVINSKY: Trois pièces faciles
RAVEL: Mother Goose Suite


“Visiting the VRS is always a highlight of the season. There can be few music organisations with a more passionate and personable leader than Leila Getz. It has been one of the real pleasures of my career to get to know her over the years, and to have the chance to repeatedly visit such a wonderful part of the world to play for such an engaged audience has been a privilege.” — Steven Osborne

“Leila Getz was the first presenter in North America to invite me to cross the Atlantic, 20 years ago. Since then, every visit to the VRS has felt like dropping in on close friends, almost like coming home. I feel incredibly fortunate to be associated with the VRS and to have had the chance to get to know Leila over the years. Her knowledge, passion and determination are a huge source of inspiration, and have put the VRS where it stands today.” — Paul Lewis


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: Elaine Adair

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Not since the days of the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival have we had the privilege of bringing artists together for the first time to make music together. These musicians are well known to and loved by VRS audiences, and we look forward to the energy and synergy this will bring to their performance.

SIBELIUS: Quartet in D minor, “Voces Intimae”, Op. 56
HAMELIN: Piano Quintet
DVOŘÁK: Piano Quintet in A major, Op. 81


“Playing for the Vancouver Recital Society all these years has been a pleasure that has just gotten better and better, time after time! I just love the series, what Leila Getz has done with it, and the eagerness of her audiences to experience anything it has to offer. I especially like the fact that these concerts showcase seasoned artists as well as promising newcomers. The series is one of the jewels of the city’s musical life, and may it last for at least another 40 years!” — Marc-André Hamelin

“It is always a delight to perform for the VRS – it was one of our most important debut concerts and to feel the support of such an important and venerable series was a massive boost to us at an early stage in our career. They seem to have gotten something very right – a series that feels both iconic and glamorous, yet the audience retains an intimacy and warmth that is so wonderfully supportive! Many happy returns!” — Doric String Quartet


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: Anonymous

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Z.E.N. is an acronym of the first name initials of these three talented young artists. Pianist Zhang Zuo (also known as “Zee Zee”) and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan have both made appearances on our Next Generation Series. They were introduced to violinist Esther Yoo through the BBC’s New Generation Artists Scheme in 2015, and found that they loved performing together as a trio. ‘Zen’ also represents the philosophy with which they approach chamber music making — the forgoing of the self for total togetherness.

SCHUBERT: Notturno in E-flat major, Op. 148
SHOSTAKOVICH: Piano Trio No. 2
BRAHMS: Piano Trio No. 1 in B major, Op. 8

“I love playing for the VRS. Such warm audiences, great venue, great host — I’m always looking forward to going back!”
— Zhang Zuo

“All three of us are greatly looking forward to performing at the VRS.” — Esther Yoo & Narek Hakhnazaryan


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: The Board of Directors of the Vancouver Recital Society

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This quartet is very much a family affair, with three German brothers, Mark, Eric, and Ken Schumann, playing alongside Estonian-born violist Liisa Randalu. Those who experience the quartet in performance often remark on the strong connection between its members. The quartet has garnered rave reviews from critics and received the 2016 Newcomer Award at the BBC Music Magazine Awards in London for their recording “Mozart Ives Verdi”. The ensemble’s openness and curiosity may be partly the result of the formative influence exerted on them by teachers such as Eberhard Feltz, the Alban Berg Quartet, or partners such as Menahem Pressler.

Vancouver debut!

MOZART: Quartet in D major, K. 499 “Hoffmeister”
SHOSTAKOVICH: Quartet No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 117
MENDELSSOHN: Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2

“It is a great pleasure for us to congratulate the Vancouver Recital Society on its 40th Anniversary. We feel honoured to be part of this important season for the Society and are very much looking forward to sharing our music with the people of Vancouver on March 1st 2020, which will be also our Vancouver debut. Can’t wait to come and play! Many warm greetings from Germany and see you all at the concert!” — Schumann Quartet


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: Lynn Kagan

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Despite their tender ages (26 and 22 respectively), Dutch brothers Lucas and Arthur Jussen have been part of the international concert world for years, winning praise from critics and audiences alike. If you were in the audience for their stunning debut with the VSO last season, you’ll understand why there’s such a ‘buzz’ about this duo. A not-to-be missed performance!

BACH/KURTÁG: Selections from the chorale preludes
MENDELSSOHN: Andante & Allegro Brillante, Op. 92 in A major
SCHUBERT: Fantasie in F minor, D. 940
LEO SMIT: Divertimento
RAVEL: “Ma Mère l’Oye”, cinq pièces enfantines
FAZIL SAY: “Night”

“Since we made our debut in Vancouver with the VSO, we are really looking forward to returning to Vancouver. It’s an honour and big pleasure that we can play for the Vancouver Recital Society. Many great pianists have played for the VRS, pianists who we look up to, so we are excited to be part of it.”
 — Lucas and Arthur Jussen


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: Ann Harding

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When Leila discovered the enormously talented (then) 16 year-old George at the Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York in 2010, his even younger brother Andrew was in the audience. In chatting with the Li family, it became apparent that Andrew was following in his brother’s footsteps. And here we are, 10 years later, with an internationally acclaimed young pianist and a brother who’s set for a similar career path.

This lovely program is a mix of one piano four hands, piano solo, and two pianos. It offers a unique opportunity to see the artists’ hands… no matter where in the hall your seat is located!

MOZART: Sonata in D major, K. 381 piano four hands
RACHMANINOV: Fantaisie Tableaux for two pianos, Op. 5
LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 (George Li)
DEBUSSY: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune for two pianos
LISZT: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 6 (Andrew Li)
RAVEL: La Valse for 2 pianos

“It is both a thrill and privilege to appear in the Vancouver Recital Society’s 40th Season. The series has been an integral part of my career; it was Leila who heard me play at the YCA auditions when I was 16 and took the risk of inviting me to play in her prestigious series. I’ve also developed strong bonds and relationships with the audience here in Vancouver. Returning with my brother feels like a homecoming of sorts, and I’m very excited to be a part of this very special season.” — George Li


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: The John C. Kerr Family Foundation

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We can’t think of a more wonderful way to open our 40th Season than by bringing these three illustrious musicians back to our stage. Since the beginning of their careers, Nikki, Timmy, and Angela have been frequent visitors to the VRS and all have a deep connection to our organization. And speaking of “dreams come true”… in the early stages of putting this concert together, Leila had a dream that Marc-André Hamelin wrote a piece especially for the occasion. Enjoy its debut performance!

DEBUSSY: Sonata for Violin and Piano (1917)
SHOSTAKOVICH: 5 Pieces for Two Violins and Piano
HAMELIN: “Reverie” for Two Violins and Piano
CHAMINADE: Theme and Variations, Op. 89 for Piano
FRANCK: Sonata in A major for Violin and Piano

“Congratulations, Leila, for your dedication to the Vancouver Recital Society over the past four decades. You have been such an important force in bringing the best artists from around the world for the people in Vancouver. You have also helped cultivate new generations of talent along the way, from within Canada and abroad, introducing them to some of their first professional opportunities to the public. I am grateful to have met you early on in my career (as a teenager, in fact!) and that you have been a supportive voice throughout my many different adventures. I am ecstatic to return to the VRS, this time with my brother, Timothy, and the great pianist, Angela Cheng, to launch its 40th Anniversary Season. It will be a very special event for all of us!” — Nikki Chooi

“Congratulations on your 40th Anniversary, Leila and the VRS!!! I’m so thrilled that you have reached this important and impressive landmark, especially in today’s somewhat troubled times of our classical music world! It just proves that, under the leadership of someone who is passionate, inspiring and devoted, great music can flourish!! I guess what we need to do is to clone you, Leila, and place you everywhere in the world so that there is a bright and promising future for beautiful music. I’m so excited and honoured to not only be a part of your 40th Anniversary season, but to open your season! Thank you from the bottom of my heart and I can’t wait to come play for you!! Congratulations again!!!”
— Angela Cheng


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: The Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation

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The Danish String Quartet has established a reputation for their integrated sound, impeccable intonation, and judicious balance. With their technical and interpretive talents matched by an infectious joy for music-making and “rampaging energy” (The New Yorker), the quartet is in demand worldwide by concert and festival presenters alike. This is their third appearance for the VRS.

“They could be grounded in their tone or mystical. They allowed time to stand still, and they could assume the pose of excitingly aggressive rockers. They did it all.” — The Los Angeles Times

BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
BEETHOVEN: String Quartet in E flat major, Op. 74, No. 10 (“Harp”)

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Concert Sponsor: Joyce and Tony

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22 year-old pianist Filippo Gorini is praised for his rare intellect, temperament, and vivid imagination. In 2015, he received both the First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Telekom Beethoven Competition in Bonn. Upon hearing him perform Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, Alfred Brendel invited this gifted young Italian to study with him. In 2017, Filippo’s debut album — his recording of the Diabelli Variations — was released. It has already won a Diapason d’Or award.

In a 5-star review of his Diabelli Variations recording, The Guardian’s Kate Molleson wrote: “It is brave, original playing for a musician of any age.”

BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 31, Op. 110
BARTÓK: Sonata Sz. 80
STOCKHAUSEN: Klavierstück IX
BEETHOVEN: Sonata No. 32, Op. 111

Series sponsor: The Estate of Edwina and Paul Heller

Concert Sponsor: Judith and Poul Hansen

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