Ontario Summer season Music Festivals 2024

L-R (clockwise): Singer Julie Nesrallah (Photo courtesy of the Collingwood Festival); Echo Chamber (Photo courtesy of Stratford Summer Music); The Westben Festival (Photo courtesy of Westben)
L-R (clockwise): Singer Julie Nesrallah (Picture courtesy of the Collingwood Pageant); Echo Chamber (Picture courtesy of Stratford Summer season Music); The Westben Pageant (Picture courtesy of Westben)

With summer season proper across the nook, put together yourselves for an unforgettable season of vigorous music festivals throughout Ontario. With internationally acclaimed expertise, native legends, and a sequence of various programming, there’s a lot to take pleasure in within the subsequent few months.

The Monado State Choir (Photo courtesy of Music Niagara)
The Monado State Choir (Picture courtesy of Music Niagara)

Music Niagara

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
June 16 – August 26

Since 1998, the Music Niagara Pageant has established itself as a world-class cultural occasion. Surrounded by the luscious pure surroundings of Niagara-on-the-Lake, this competition goals to focus on performances from a large musical spectrum— from up to date, jazz, nation, folks, and extra. It additionally options the Younger Virtuosos sequence, a highlight on the nation’s foremost rising musicians.

What’s Sizzling: On July twenty eighth, you’ll be able to expertise an homage to the nice late Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, British composer and conductor as soon as known as the “African Mahler” when he toured the U.S. 3 times within the early 1900s. It’ll characteristic the experience of pianist Victoria Korchinskaya-Kogan, violist Atis Bankas, cellist Jonathan Tortolano, and two younger Ukrainian artists Roman Nykorovych and Liubomir Kliufinsky.

What’s Cool: The primary six live shows of this yr’s competition will characteristic model new acts, 5 of them being comprised of younger choral teams from Oakville, San Francisco, Indonesia, China, and Monaco within the Voices of Tomorrow and Younger Virtuosos sequence. In an interview with Niagara-On-The-Lake Native, founder and inventive director Aris Bankas mentioned, “In some methods, it’s a continuation of our choral competition that occurred in 2019, simply earlier than the pandemic. This time now we have nationwide and worldwide youth choirs. Will probably be an attention-grabbing expertise, and it’s a little bit of a brand new starting that we hope to construct on for future seasons.”

Why You Must Be There: Together with thrilling new artists, there will even be new venues added to the competition roster. With an emphasis on younger expertise and the rejuvenation of their viewers, this competition will provide the classics alongside one thing recent.

Tania Miller conducts the Brott Orchestra (Photo courtesy of the Brott Festival)
Tania Miller conducts the Brott Orchestra (Picture courtesy of the Brott Pageant)

Brott Music Pageant

Hamilton, Ontario
June 20 – August 15

Canada’s largest orchestral music competition is again for one more spherical of modern, refreshing programming. Largely praised for its emphasis on nontraditional performances, Brott is dwelling to the Nationwide Academy Orchestra of Canada and BrottOpera, a coaching program for rising opera singers within the nation. This yr marks the thirty seventh season, and it will likely be led by celebrated conductor Tania Miller for the primary time. “My objective for the entire competition is to revitalize the best way our audiences join with music, creating experiences which are sudden, emotionally shifting, and related to our tradition and group,” she states.

What’s Sizzling: On August fifteenth, embark on an emotional journey with Mahler’s legendary Symphony No. 5. Serving as this yr’s finale showcase, the Nationwide Academy Orchestra of Canada will workforce up with alumni and visitor artists from throughout North America in a efficiency devoted to late founder Boris Brott.

What’s Cool: The season opener on June twentieth is an immersive Beethoven expertise full with an afterparty. However wait, there’s extra! Fairly than the standard separation of viewers and stage, this efficiency may have musicians sitting alongside attendees. The repertoire contains Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 1 in G main, Ok. 313, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat main, Op. 55 Eroica.

Why You Must Be There: Brott’s dedication to the celebration of music alongside different artwork varieties makes for a singular, inspiring expertise. It’s a wonderful gateway to the world of classical music, as its mission stays to enthrall folks of all ages, gender, and ethnicity.

The Westben Festival (Photo courtesy of Westben)
The Westben Pageant (Picture courtesy of Westben)


Trent Hills, ON
June 30 – August 4

Celebrating 25 years of music in nature, Westben kicks off its annual summer season competition with an anniversary live performance on June thirtieth. That includes over 20 completely different acts, the schedule guarantees a various lineup of musical experiences from forest bathing to campfire serenades.

What’s Sizzling: The Cape Breton-based household group the Barra MacNeils is likely one of the most anticipated acts this competition season — the demand for his or her present was so overwhelming that Wesben added a second efficiency. Hailing from Nova Scotia, the musical household weaves their Celtic heritage by means of energetic performances of sturdy vocals, instrumentals, and dancing.

What’s Cool: Closing off the competition are Canadian jazz icons Jackie Richardson and Joe Sealy, with a musical storytelling session from Sealy’s Juno-award-winning Africville Suite. The efficiency will take listeners on a journey by means of Africville, Canada’s oldest Black group. Established in 1847 on the north finish of Halifax, Africville survived for greater than a century till its last constructing was demolished in 1970. The tales and musical accompaniment are certain to be illuminating.

Why You Must Be There: With three separate venues and a aware strategy to honouring the outside musical expertise, Westben guarantees one thing for everybody. Eat good meals, hear uplifting tales, and grow to be one with nature.

Singer Julie Nesrallah (Photo courtesy of the Collingwood Festival)
Singer Julie Nesrallah (Picture courtesy of the Collingwood Pageant)

Collingwood Music Pageant

Collingwood, Ontario
July 5 – 12

From intimate chamber music to epic orchestras, the Collingwood Music Pageant goals to make classical music and past accessible to the big summer season vacationer inhabitants within the Southern Georgian Bay space. There’s an array of free occasions for youth, particular promotions for many who would possibly face monetary boundaries in relation to celebrating the humanities, and a dedication to that includes various artists from a number of musical traditions.

What’s Sizzling: Be part of Montreal’s trailblazing duo Stick&Bow on July 7 for a day of electrical sounds. Canadian marimba participant Krystina Marcoux and Argentinian cellist Juan Sebastian Delgado are recognized for combining their classically skilled musical backgrounds with an array of musical stylings from rock to baroque. Count on to be shocked and delighted as they remodel acquainted works with their humor and storytelling.

What’s Cool: Thought-about one of the necessary playwrights and influential Indigenous writers in Canada, Tomson Freeway brings his cabaret present to Collingwood on July 11. Singer Patricia Cano and saxophonist Marcus Ali will accompany Freeway as he performs “Songs within the Key of Cree,” a compilation of 12 songs he’s written over the previous 30 years.

Why You Must Be There: There’s a number of thrilling free programming and a stellar lineup of performers. Paired with the attractive setting of Georgian Bay, the Collingwood Music Pageant is properly value per week of your summer season.

The Barn classical music venue (Photo courtesy of The Elora Festival)
The Barn (Picture courtesy of The Elora Pageant)

The Elora Pageant

Elora, Ontario
July 5 – 20

In its forty fifth season as Canada’s worldwide choral competition, this yr’s program in “Ontario’s Most Lovely Village” guarantees over 20 occasions introduced over three weekends in July. From candle-lit serenades to a morning hike scored by ensemble-in-residence The Elora Singers, there’s a lot to listen to and do.

What’s Sizzling: For over fifty years, The King’s Singers have been the head of a cappella singing internationally. On June seventh, audiences will get an opportunity to expertise their indomitable method and hovering vocals. Be ready to have an emotional awakening at this particular live performance.

What’s Cool: Juno-award-winning pianist, vocalist, and songwriter Laila Biali will grace the stage on July sixth with a efficiency that’s been lauded by the Washington Submit as masterfully combined, concise, and catchy. Come for the reimagining of pop and jazz classics, keep for Biali’s storytelling and originals.

Why You Must Be There: If you’re a fan of transcendent experiences, you’ll need to verify this out. There’s a pleasant choice of family-friendly programming together with a free “Music within the Village” sequence and a musical crossover with the Pageant of the Sound (Parry Sound), which can also be celebrating its forty fifth anniversary.

Photo courtesy of Toronto Summer Music
Picture courtesy of Toronto Summer season Music

Toronto Summer season Music

Toronto, Ontario
July 11 – August 3

Each a competition and an academy, the Toronto Summer season Music Pageant highlights internationally famend artists alongside rising expertise. This yr’s theme is “Voices Inside,” inviting artists to specific the world as they see it by means of their musical stylings.

What’s Sizzling: Opening evening will transport listeners to an enchanted forest with a brand new manufacturing of Purcell’s Fairy Queen. Choreographed by French multi-hyphenate Mourad Merzouki and performed by William Christie and Paul Agnew, the present will characteristic eight soloists from all around the world to convey this dreamy rating to life.

What’s Cool: Iranian musician Kiya Tabassian brings his musical ensemble Constantinople for a live performance celebrating the intimate connection between humanity and nature in Monday’s Breathings. This efficiency is especially particular because the group invited Mi’kmaq and Inuit artists Darlene Gijuminag and Celina Kalluk respectively to assist convey their imaginative and prescient to life.

Why You Must Be There: Situated within the coronary heart of the town, the Toronto Summer season Music Pageant is definitely accessible and punctiliously deliberate to supply an array of various artists. In a single place, you’ll be able to witness world-renowned musicians in collaboration with rising stars.

Echo Chamber (Photo courtesy of Stratford Summer Music)
Echo Chamber (Picture courtesy of Stratford Summer season Music)

Stratford Summer season Music

Stratford, Ontario
July 18 – August 11

Past elevating Justin Bieber, Stratford has cemented itself as a area wealthy in artwork thanks partially to the Stratford Summer season Music Pageant. Over 100 native, nationwide, and worldwide artists are set to carry out in indoor and outside venues all through downtown Stratford. “Behind the programming [this year] is the idea of legends, that means issues that may be legends each when it comes to performers or concepts,” mentioned inventive director Mark Fewer.

What’s Sizzling: Classical icon Angela Hewitt returns to the competition for the primary time in six years. Lauded internationally for her interpretations of Bach, the repertoire on July 21 contains Partita No. 6 in E minor, in addition to some Beethoven, Scarlatti, and Brahms.

What’s Cool: The Echo Chamber presents “A World Remodeled” on August 8. Combining dwell chamber music and dance, this night’s efficiency will inform the story of Matthew Shepard, a younger homosexual pupil on the College of Wyoming who was tortured and left to die on October 6, 1998. Information of his loss of life would finally result in President Barack Obama signing into regulation the “Matthew Shepard Act” for hate crime prevention.

Why You Must Be There: From the distinguished Viva Mexico Mariachi ensemble to the globe-trotting a capella duo Suba Sankaran and Dylan Bell to renditions of the classical icons we all know and love, this yr’s programming actually is sort of legendary in its various enchantment.

The Toronto Mass Choir (Photo courtesy of TMC)
The Toronto Mass Choir (Picture courtesy of TMC)

Pageant of the Sound

Parry Sound, Ontario
July 19 – August 3

A real pioneer, the Pageant of the Sound was Ontario’s first annual worldwide summer season classical music competition. With an training mandate at its centre, the competition isn’t only for consumption. It additionally provides grasp lessons, open rehearsals, and lectures delivered by musicians and composers. Now it’s celebrating 45 years — 40 of which have been below the tenure of inventive director James Campbell.
“The pleasant buzz within the foyer earlier than and after live shows, the gorgeous sunsets at intermission, and the satisfaction of experiencing the spontaneous music-making of artists who love what they do will all the time be central to our character. That is Our Sound,” mentioned Campbell.

What’s Sizzling: Be part of the Elmer Iseler Singers, Elora Pageant, and Pageant of the Sound for a once-in-a-generation efficiency of Carl Orff’s iconic Carmina Burana on July twenty first. The identical efficiency might be held on the Elora Pageant — additionally celebrating its forty fifth yr — the day earlier than. Lydia Adams, conductor of the Iseler Singers, will be a part of Mark Vuorinen, conductor of the Elora Singers, for an unforgettable night.

What’s Cool: For those who’ve by no means seen the Juno-winning Toronto Mass Choir, you’ll be able to rectify that quickly on August 1 at their Emancipation Day live performance. They’re a crowd favorite, and for good cause. You don’t have to be a very spiritual particular person to let the music transfer you to your toes. On y va.

Why You Must Be There: The competition solely will get higher every year. It’s been awarded a High 100 award from Pageant and Occasions Ontario for the previous 4 years, and it’s been acknowledged with a Lieutenant Governor’s Award for the Arts not as soon as — however twice.

Ottawa’s Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, one of the main venues for Ottawa Chamberfest
Ottawa’s Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre, one of many foremost venues for Ottawa Chamberfest

Ottawa Chamberfest

Ottawa, Ontario
July 25 – August 8

One other anniversary yr for a summer season competition — Chamberfest turns 30 and goes all out in celebration. “I’ve invited this yr’s artists to champion one thing they’re enthusiastic about, whether or not that be a youthful rising artist, an underperformed composer, or one thing else they suppose is the “actual deal” — and also you’ll see this present working all through the competition,” says inventive director Carissa Klopoushak.

What’s Sizzling: The closing ceremony on August eighth will characteristic a world premiere, fan favourites, and an introduction to the subsequent technology of chamber music. Ottawa-based composer Kevin Lau will carry out his piano quintet Track of the Quaking Aspens commissioned specifically for this night. Violist and composer Ryan Davis will make his debut to the Chamberfest viewers with a efficiency of Brahms’ two-viola Quintet in G Main alongside the Ironwood Quartet.

What’s Cool: Contemporary from her Carnegie Corridor debut, Cris Derksen returns to the Chamberfest stage with singer Rebecca Benson for a genre-defying efficiency. Derksen, who was nominated for a Juno in 2016 for her album Orchestral Powwow Undertaking, expertly weaves her Indigenous ancestry and classical coaching to provide an unparalleled sound. Catch her on August 2 at 9:30 p.m.

Why You Must Be There: Chamberfest solely turns 30 as soon as. With the nation’s capital because the backdrop to this monumental occasion, you don’t need to miss the occasion.

The Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio singers (Photo courtesy of BIGLAKE Festival)
The Canadian Opera Firm’s Ensemble Studio singers (Picture courtesy of BIGLAKE Pageant)


Prince Edward County, Ontario
August 23 – 31

Greek thinker Heraclitus as soon as mentioned that “change is the one fixed of life.” This yr’s BIGLAKE Pageant internalizes the sentiment in selecting evolution as its theme. Co-founder and inventive director Johannes Debus mentioned they purpose to “look at how profoundly interdependent numerous musical parts have all the time been, and the affect that altering even one single aspect has on one other.” The competition will kick off with the evolution of the piano, that includes keyboardist Illya Polateav transporting audiences by means of the historical past of the instrument.

What’s Sizzling: For those who’ve ever listened to Beethoven and thought, “I want this might by no means finish,” you’re in luck. On August twenty sixth, a marathon efficiency of all 10 Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano might be performed from 10 a.m. to six p.m. The three live shows will characteristic a star-studded lineup of pianists and violinists.

What’s Cool: The ultimate live performance of the competition invitations all attendees to decorate their finest for a particular night of operatic magic courtesy of the Canadian Opera Firm’s Ensemble Studio. Poised as one of many best coaching teams for Canada’s younger opera singers, this efficiency will showcase seven singers and two pianists from the COC.

Why You Must Be There: BIGLAKE is a thoughtfully curated competition honouring numerous musical traditions and cultural influences. Every live performance has been matched to the right county venue, making certain your entire expertise feels immersive. From candlelight performances to the favored musical and edible promenade, this week-long affair might be a deal with for all senses.

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Radiyah Chowdhury
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