Ten years ago, it all started with a dream to bring Saskatoon together to celebrate diversity in classical music.
Co-founders Jacqueline Woods and Carissa Klopoushak set out to grow opportunities for local classical musicians and to collaborate with some of the country’s best. A decade later the pair say the Saskatoon Ritornello Music Festival has really found its groove.
The festival, unlike many others allows audiences a chance to expand their musical horizons and get up close and personal to the music makers.
“We explore the spectrum of chamber music,” says Klopoushak. “This three-day festival has found a great balance and each day is packed with excitement that can only be found in the festival atmosphere. It’s not what people are expecting when they imagine a classical chamber music performance.”
“It’s not what people are expecting when they imagine a classical chamber music performance.”
Sharing his take on the unexpected is violinist Mark Fewer. His resume is as extensive and varied as the music he creates with everything from traditional orchestras to jazz bands; he has performed all over the world. His music has been used on the T.V. hit American Horror Story – Freak Show. Fewer was also a member of Stevie Wonder’s band during his 2016 tour. On Friday night, Fewer will prove he’s a jack of all trades, performing everything from the early music of Pandolfi and Bach (with harpsichord) to an avant-garde solo work for violin.
On Saturday night, the diversity of the festival shines bright through the talents of Duane Andrews. The Newfoundland guitarist’s music fuses the traditional East Coast folk tunes with gypsy jazz inspired by legends like Django Reinhardt. Andrews is bringing a few friends along for the party when Mark Fewer, Carissa Klopoushak and Kim de Laforest join in. In addition to the music, this evening will include poetry by Saskatoon’s Kevin Wesaquate of the Indigenous Poets’ Society.
On Sunday afternoon it’s all about a milestone. The festival will wrap in the beautiful Remai Modern River View Room with an all-star lineup of musicians from near and far including Margaret Wilson, Katherine Dowling, Amy Hillis and Sam Milner. Performers will delight audiences with a Duane Andrews piece commissioned just for the 10th Anniversary.
For Klopoushak, this is the culmination of 10 years of hard work and a promise for more groundbreaking music in years to come. “I’m so pleased, proud and fulfilled when people come to see what we’re all about.” She continues, “To listen to artists play their hearts out, it’s just so thrilling!”
For all the details and ticket information click on this link.