The Leith Summer Festival will present a five-concert series this summer. After surviving the cancellations and restrictions of COVID, the popular event is back to normal.
The concerts are held in the acoustically wonderful venue of the Historic Leith Church near Owen Sound. The red brick church was built in 1865 by Scottish pioneers and lovingly restored by the volunteers of the Friends of Leith Church. The church is surrounded by the pioneer cemetery in which Canada’s iconic artist Tom Thomson is buried.
On Saturday, June 24, at 7:30 p.m., the Festival welcomes Bridge & Wolak, a dynamic duo of Michael Bridge and Kornel Wolak, whose mastery of the accordion and clarinet respectively span multiple music genres. In their program, Bach to Benny Goodman, their “deft virtuosity and endless wit” will be on display – a stunning start to our festival season.
The Penderecki String Quartet performs on Saturday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. The quartet, a favourite with Leith audiences, is Waterloo’s own world-class chamber group. The quartet will present a sparkling program of Mozart, Brahms, and Schulhoff. Jeremy Bell (violin), Jerzy Kaplanek (violin), Christine Vlajk (viola), and Katie Schlaikjer (cello) form the Quartet-in-Residence at the Wilfrid Laurier Music Faculty, and tour widely, most recently in Mexico.
On Sunday, July 23, at 2:30 p.m., the Gryphon Trio returns to the Leith Summer Festival. Annnalee Patipatanakoon (violin), Roman Borys (cello), and Jamie Parker (piano) celebrate their 30th anniversary as a trio with a kaleidoscope of favourite musical moments featuring excerpts from works by old and new classical composers and finishing with Schubert’s Piano Trio No. 1 in B flat.
The Tango Payadora Ensemble, the versatile and multi-talented group, adds a vocalist this year for a mix of Argentine tango and folk music on Saturday, August 12 at 7:30 p.m. The members, Rebekah Wolkstein (violin, vocals), Drew Jurecka (bandoneon, violin, mandolin, saxophone, clarinet), Joseph Phillips (double bass, guitar), Robert Horwath (piano), and Elbio Fernandez (vocals), share a background in classical music, folk, tango, jazz, pop, Latin, and klezmer.
To finish the 2023 concert season, La Fiammata Piano Duo will perform on Sunday, August 27 at 2:30 p.m. Linda Ruan and Charissa Vandikas, who have been described as having “dizzying musicality”, have been a duo since they met at The Glenn Gould School as full scholarship students. They were the Second Prize Winners of the 2021 ARD Competition. Their program includes Beethoven, Alice Yee Pig Ho, Schubert, and John Corigliano.
The Historic Leith Church will also be the site of the Tom Thomson Ceilidh on Saturday, July 15 at 7 p.m., behind the church. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy music by the Shipyard Kitchen Party. The Country Market is on Saturday, August 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The 153rd Anniversary Service will be on Sunday, August 6 at 11 a.m. All are welcome.
Tickets for reserved seating for the concert series are $40 for adults, $15 for students or a season pass (five concerts) for $200. Tickets for the Ceilidh are $20. Tickets may be purchased at:
The Roxy Theatre Box Office
251-9th Street East, Owen Sound
Also at the church door before the performance
(cash or cheque only)