Festival Vancouver Comes to the Rescue When Visiting Ensemble Has to Leave Instruments Behind

Classic Arts News   Festival Vancouver Comes to the Rescue When Visiting Ensemble Has to Leave Instruments Behind
An Italian period-instrument ensemble was nearly forced to cancel an appearance at Festival Vancouver this week after stringent travel restrictions imposed after the recent terrorist threat in London prevented the group from traveling with their instruments. However, reports the Toronto Globe and Mail, festival organizers found the musicians substitute instruments to play in the August 14 concert.

George Laverock, Festival Vancouver program director, told The Globe and Mail that he advised the Academia Montis Regalis to fly out to the city without their instruments and that replacements would be provided. Laverock and his colleagues then scoured the area for Baroque instruments (rather less commonplace than their modern counterparts) and, on short notice, located enough for all of the musicians to play.

The paper reports that the instruments loaned to the performers included a $90,000 antique violin from Marc Destrub_, the leader of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and a rare viola d'amore, one of only a handful in Canada.

It's a challenge for performers to adapt to a new instrument so quickly. Conductor Alessandro de Marchi told The Globe and Mail, "If, for years, your C-sharp was in a specific position, and on the other instrument it's half a millimetre higher or lower, there are very, very picky things ... but it can be not so easy."

The annual two-week Festival Vancouver finishes Saturday, August 19. The Academia Montis Regalis will have another chance to test their loaned instruments tonight.

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