After a two-year pandemic forced hiatus, the Scotia Festival of Music, a staple of the Halifax classical music scene for over forty years, is returning to its usual in-person format in 2022.
I love that our audience is ready for anything. We mix and match repertoire, performers, and styles. That way, we all make new discoveries. – managing and artistic director Simon Docking
“We programmed festivals in 2020 and 2021 but had to cancel both times, so this year we’re delighted to be bringing back some of the artists we had booked for those years,” says managing and artistic director Simon Docking.
Running May 30 through June 12 at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in the Dalhousie Arts Centre, the festival will present thirteen chamber music concerts, balancing well-known works from composers like Mozart and Beethoven with newer selections, including three world premieres.
“I love that our audience is ready for anything,” says Docking. “We mix and match repertoire, performers, and styles. That way, we all make new discoveries.”
Opening this year’s festival is Canadian violinist Kerson Leong. “Kerson opens our festival on May 30 with a solo violin version of Schubert’s Erlking, one of the most fiendishly difficult pieces for violin ever written – only a few people ever dare to play it,” says Docking.
Another new face this year is award-winning conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, who directs the festival’s first orchestral gala concert in three years. “Daniel has helped create a magnificent program for our gala, which will culminate with 65 musicians on stage for Sibelius’s glorious Second Symphony.”
The festival will also feature several returning performers in 2022, including pianists Andrew Armstrong and John Novacek, cellist and Halifax native Denise Djokic and clarinettist Dominic Desautels.
In addition to performances at the Dunn Theatre, the festival will present Being Lost, its first-ever concert at the iconic Halifax Citadel National Historic Site.
“Being Lost will be a unique performance,” says Docking. “It’s a special immersive show inspired by a story about the great American composer John Cage. He went looking for mushrooms in the woods while teaching at an artists’ retreat in Saskatchewan and ended up missing for a whole night. Being John Cage, he stayed totally calm.”
The 2022 Scotia Festival of Music runs from May 30 through June 12. Visit scotiafestival.com for the complete line-up and to purchase tickets.