Message from the President

We are continuing to make special offers for our subscribers. For Bavouzet’s concert, we are offering two for one tickets. Please call us 604.871.4450 or send us an email with your phone number, and we will return your call as soon as possible. Bring your friends and family members to enjoy music performed by a multi award-winning French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet who was named ‘Artist of the Year’ at the 2012 International Classical Music Awards, and nominated by Deutsche Grammophon as one of their Artists of the Year in 2012. The artist will be available after his concert to autograph CDs (available for purchase during the concert). The reception for all will follow the concert.

The Annual General Meeting of the Vancouver Chopin Society will be held on Thursday, November 28th at 7:00 pm in room 35A at the Vancouver Academy of Music, 1270 Chestnut Street, Vancouver.

Please remember that you can buy ticket online through a Tickets Tonight secure server:

If you are interested in my trip to Europe please read the feature article.

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My trip to Europe

I just came back from a long trip to Europe that included five days in Paris. Once I found out about the incredible music events that were taking place in Paris in the scope of four days, I couldn’t resist. First, fifteen pianists in two days played nine of the fourteen J. S. Bach concertos. Martha Argerich, Stephen Kovacevich, Nicholas Angelich and Nelson Goerner, just to name a few, would be enough to fill up every venue but all pianists performing were falling in the ‘big-name’ category. These concerts were all recorded and posted to a web site to which I provided links in the News section. You will be able to see the names of all pianists performing. The most important part for me was the incredible opportunity to meet and speak to so many pianists in one place as I was allowed to go backstage after the concert. We had already been trying to bring some of them to Vancouver for the past few years so this direct communication was a once in a life time opportunity.

That was not the end of the music journey as after Monday and Tuesday, Daniil Trifonov was performing on Wednesday in the Louvre Auditorium. I was in the Louvre in the early afternoon visiting my friend working in the museum when I coincidentally ran into Daniil who had just come to rehearse before an evening concert. He was shocked when he saw me but pleased to find out that I was coming for the concert in the evening. He played all of Chopin’s Preludes and Etudes Symphonique by Schumann. His concert was very good, got a standing ovation and played three encores. Martha Argerich was attending this concert and she came backstage to congratulate Daniil on his performance. Other people that I met there were Lukas Geniusas as well as Daniel Levenstein who is running a concert series in San Francisco and with whom we collaborate with from time to time. Lukas came to Paris to play Chopin’s 24 Etudes the next day on Thursday in Salle Gaveau. As you remember he cancelled his concert in Vancouver in April 2012 and once again he deeply apologized for this. At Geniusas’ concert I met Steven Lagerberg, who is the founder of the NW Council of the Chopin Foundation in Seattle. He is dividing his time between Paris and Seattle and he currently assists talented young pianists as they aspire to a professional career. He also wrote a book about Chopin that I recommend regularly in newsletters. We chatted a lot about many talents emerging in Europe in recent years.

I really enjoyed Paris, the weather was perfect so I was walking a lot and visiting many famous places. Including of course those where Chopin used to stay.

From Paris I went to Warsaw visiting the Chopin Institute where the International Federation of Chopin Societies is. There I met Elizabeth Artysz, the General Secretary and her Assistant Jakub Dmenski and I hope I made them happy when I paid our membership fee of 300 euro. We spoke about the upcoming Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 2015 and I told them that some people from Vancouver expressed a desire to go to Warsaw at that time. If you are one of those people I will be calling you soon to give you more details.

I also met the owners of two local arts management agencies representing many good artists. One of them is in charge of artists performing at the Festival in Duszniki-Zdroj which takes place every year in August, famous for bringing the best talent from all over the world.

Another place in Poland that I visited was the Academy of Music in Katowice. Zbigniew Raubo and Wojciech Switala who played for us are teaching there alongside Zimermann’s famous teacher Andrzej Jasinski. They have great results in teaching and a lot of their students are doing well in competitions. Henryk Gorecki, who composed the famous piece Third Symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs was also teaching at this school.

The last fascinating story I want to say is a few words related to my brother who recently founded the Foundation of Polish Music. The goal is to digitize the scores of all forgotten composers of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. He combined a list of 850 composers and initially focused on 130 of them. This is a huge job as a lot of scores are gone in Poland however they may be available in other libraries in Europe. According to my brother there are a lot of true jewels among them that once discovered and published in digitized form may be play again by some pianists. We have to remember that at that time Poland was annexed by three neighboring powers: Russia, Prussia and Austria. Russia and Prussia imposed russification and germanization of Polish schools and had no respect for Polish culture and institutions. Every concert had to get permission and all pieces played at the concert plus encores had to be submitted to authorities for approval. One bad review could also destroy the reputation of the composer who quickly became forgotten. My brother played several pieces for me and I was stunned by the beauty of this music. I will certainly be monitoring the development of this project and posting any new in a newsletter.

I wonder if you know what the biggest world wide hit of the 19th century was? ‘A maiden’s prayer’ was the piece composed by Tekla Badarzewska-Baranowska (1834–1861), and was published in 1856 in Warsaw, and then as a supplement to the Revue et gazette musicale de Paris in 1859. It was released by 114 publishers in Europe, America, Australia and Asia in a number of million copies. Since it came to Japan in 1880, it is very popular to this date. The departure of the high speed Shinkansen train from Tokyo is accompanied by this melody. It is also played on certain garbage trucks in Taiwan. It was also a very popular melody in USA before a secession war. A crater on Venus is named after Badarzewska.

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Next Concerts


Nov 19, 2013 8:00 pm
Vancouver Playhouse



March 28, 2014 8:00 pm
Magee Theatre



April 30, 2014 at 8 pm
Vancouver Playhouse




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