The Honens Festival to Return to Calgary in September

Running September 5-8.

By: Jun. 04, 2024
The Honens Festival to Return to Calgary in September
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The annual Honens Festival returns to Calgary for its 2024 edition from September 5 to 8 with four days of exciting music, featuring something for everyone. Curated with the piano at the centre, this year's concerts include a solo recital, a late-night cabaret, and free, accessible, and family-friendly concert experiences.

This year's Festival includes 2022 Honens Prize Laureate Illia Ovcharenko in a solo recital and together with Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker; Alberta's own pianists Carmen Morin from Morin Music Studio, and Zhenni Li-Cohen, Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Alberta; and performances by the versatile and vibrant wind quintet WindSync, a group who champions contemporary music with an alluring pop-rock-jazz sensibility.

"We're delighted to bring such talented musicians to share the love of classical music with Calgary communities again this September," says Jon Kimura Parker. "I've personally worked with each of the artists, and I can't wait for audiences to hear their incredible artistry."

Festival events include free, family-friendly concerts such as 176 Keys at CF Chinook Centre and on Stephen Avenue Walk; two adaptive concerts designed specifically to be inclusive and accessible for all, including neurodivergent audiences; a solo piano recital by Illia Ovcharenko, winner of the 2022 Honens International Piano Competition; a performance by WindSync with a Jazz Age focus at the late-night cabaret Bison Noir; and two performances of the ever-popular Open Air, the first in Central Memorial Park in Calgary and the other in George Lane Memorial Park in High River.

For the first time, the Festival will include performances by piano students from the University of Calgary's School of Performing and Creative Arts and the Mount Royal University Conservatory to open for 176 Keys and Open Air. Highlights of the 2024 Honens Festival programming include the Calgary premieres of works by Miguel del Aguila, Nicky Sohn, and an arrangement of Rhapsody in Blue for piano and wind quintet by Reinhard Gutschy in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Gershwin masterpiece. Throughout the Festival, audiences can also enjoy works by Beethoven, R. Schumann, and Corigliano, as well as salon pieces by Poulenc, and more. This multi-genre, audience-friendly Festival will enliven all music-lovers. For
more information and to get your tickets, please visit honens.com/2024.

ABOUT HONENS

Honens, home of Canada's international piano competition, fosters the art of piano performance, identifies and supports outstanding young artists, and sparks and enhances appreciation and understanding of the piano and piano music.

Esther Honens created a legacy of musical pre-eminence to be enjoyed for generations. In 1991, Mrs. Honens gave $5 million to endow an international piano competition in her hometown of Calgary, Canada. Today, the triennial Honens International Piano Competition is considered one of the world's most prestigious events of its kind. Honens prepares its Laureates, who embody the philosophy of the Complete Artist, for professional careers in music, through a comprehensive and customizable three-year artistic development and career accelerator program which creates opportunities for exposure and holistic growth. Driven by its commitment to responsibility to competitors, the community, and the art music ecosphere, Honens provides a runway for Laureates to set themselves apart from other artists as skilled performers who are also leaders, educators, advocates, and citizen artists.

The annual Honens Festival as well as community events and initiatives are intended to share Mrs. Honens' love of world- renowned music, and provide every Calgarian access to barrier free, enriching musical experiences. Her generosity, vision, and love of music continue to touch the lives of musicians and music-lovers at home and around the world.

Honens Legacy Partners support the ongoing growth and development of Esther Honens' vision by securing the organization's future. The Legacy Partners Endowment Fund enables Honens to provide wide-reaching programming through its annual festival and other enriching community education and outreach initiatives.

--2024 HONENS FESTIVAL SCHEDULE--

176 Keys @ Chinook Centre

Thursday, September 5

4:00 p.m.
Grand Court at CF Chinook Centre
6455 Macleod Trail

Join us to kick off the 2024 Honens Festival at 176 Keys! 2022 Honens Prize Laureate Illia Ovcharenko and Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker are joined by Alberta's own virtuoso pianists Carmen Morin and Zhenni Li-Cohen in this annual favourite, where you will hear some of some of the most fun, exciting, and upbeat repertoire classical piano has to offer. Get ready to see eight hands fly!

But that's not all... as a perfect prelude to the exciting afternoon, piano students from University of Calgary's School of Creative and Performing Arts and the Mount Royal University Conservatory will open the concert with party pieces of their own. Jon Kimura Parker will introduce you to these outstanding next gen artists studying in our community.

  • Illia Ovcharenko, piano
  • Jon Kimura Parker, piano
  • Carmen Morin, piano
  • Zhenni Li-Cohen, piano

FREE ADMISSION

176 Keys @ Stephen Ave

Friday, September 6
12:30 p.m.
Stephen Avenue Walk, 100 E Block
Rain venue: The CORE Shopping Centre

The 2022 Honens Prize Laureate Illia Ovcharenko and Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker are joined by Alberta's own virtuoso pianists Carmen Morin and Zhenni Li-Cohen in this annual favourite, where you will hear some of some of the most fun, exciting, and upbeat repertoire classical piano has to offer. Get ready to see eight hands fly!

But that's not all... as a perfect prelude to the exciting afternoon, piano students from University of Calgary's School of Creative and Performing Arts and the Mount Royal University Conservatory will open the concert with party pieces of their own. Jon Kimura Parker will introduce you to these outstanding next gen artists studying in our community.

  • Illia Ovcharenko, piano
  • Jon Kimura Parker, piano
  • Carmen Morin, piano
  • Zhenni Li-Cohen, piano

FREE ADMISSION

Illia Ovcharenko in Recital
Beethoven Three Ways

Friday, September 6
7:00 p.m.
St. Stephen's Anglican Church
1121 14 Avenue SW

Highlighting this year's Honens Festival is a solo recital by 2022 Honens Prize Laureate Illia Ovcharenko. Illia is taking the world by storm with a fast-growing list of accolades. Hailed as a "tremendous pianist," his performances are described as "technically flawless and impeccably musical" (International Piano). He was also recently named a 2024 / 2025 Classeek Ambassador.

Illia's program is centred on Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, particularly the second movement. The concert opens with Corigliano's Fantasia on an Ostinato, based on the relentless repetition of Beethoven's melody, followed by R. Schumann's Etudes in Variation Form on a Theme by Beethoven, which features virtuosic embellishments on the same tune. The recital concludes with Franz Liszt's astounding piano transcription of Beethoven's orchestral masterpiece, the entire Symphony No. 7. Join us in celebrating Beethoven, three ways!

  • Illia Ovcharenko, piano

$58 ADULT; $48 SENIOR; $25 A440 / STUDENT; $10 YOUTH

Bison Noir

Centenary in Blue with WindSync

Friday, September 6
9:00 p.m.
Royal Canadian Legion No. 1
116 7 Ave SE

Musicians who, "play many idioms authoritatively, elegantly, with adroit technique, and with great fun" (All About the Arts).

Put away classical music concert traditions, pull up a chair, and enjoy a beer and some nosh, while award-winning wind quintet WindSync and Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker take you out for a night in Birdland with a Jazz Age inspired program. In addition to works by Gershwin and the ever-sarcastic Poulenc, enjoy the Calgary premieres of three works-Miguel del Aguila's Sambeada, Nicky Sohn's A Night at Birdland, and Reinhard Gutschy's arrangement for piano and wind quintet of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in celebration of its 100th year.

Formed at Houston's Shepherd School of Music, WindSync is redefining the traditional wind quintet - flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, and horn - elevating the genre through a thoroughly modern and forward-thinking idiom. Now in its 15th season, WindSync champions contemporary music, crossing over to styles not commonly associated with the wind quintet.

With a mix of jazz, blues, and contemporary, all performed by Jackie Parker and the vibrant and versatile musicians of WindSync, this edition of Bison Noir is one you won't soon forget.

WindSync

  • Garrett Hudson, flute
  • Emily Tsai, oboe
  • Julian Hernandez, clarinet
  • Kara LaMoure, bassoon
  • Anni Hochhalter, horn

Jon Kimura Parker piano

$35 ADULT; $25 A440 / STUDENT

Classical Adaptations @ St. Stephen's
Adaptive Concert with WindSync

Saturday, September 7
10:30 a.m.
St. Stephen's Anglican Church
1121 14 Avenue SW

"Seeing my young son experience live music for the first time, in a setting where he was free to be himself, without expectations or restrictions, is something I will always remember."

Join WindSync for a family-friendly concert in a relaxed atmosphere. This event has been specially designed to be accessible and inclusive for young audiences, neurodivergent listeners, people with disabilities, and others who face social and systemic barriers to attending typical events. All ages and expressions are welcome!

Concert Features

  • All expressions welcome! Feel free to make noise, get up, or stim.
  • Wheelchair accessible venue, including washrooms
  • Venue guide (click here to download)
  • Sensory toys and noise canceling earmuffs available (please bring your own if you can)
  • Flexible seating and a separate area for breaks
  • Stretch breaks and freedom of movement during the concert
  • Visual schedule
  • Scent-free environment

WindSync

  • Garrett Hudson, flute
  • Emily Tsai, oboe
  • Julian Hernandez, clarinet
  • Kara LaMoure, bassoon
  • Anni Hochhalter, horn

$5 PER FAMILY, REFUNDED UPON ARRIVAL

Open Air Calgary @ Central MemorialPark
Saturday, September 7

2:30 p.m.
Central Memorial Park
1221 2 St SW

Join us for a sunny afternoon in the park... and be sure to bring the whole family! Pianists Jon Kimura Parker, Illia Ovcharenko, and Zhenni Li-Cohen, along with the members of WindSync, will blow you away with their harmonious sounds for families, children, couples, and music enthusiasts alike. Bring your picnic blanket and soak up the final days of the summer sun in this celebration of togetherness, arts and culture, and the simple joy of spending time outdoors. Open Air Calgary @ Central Memorial Park is a reminder of the magic that live music brings, enriching our lives and connecting us all.

Illia Ovcharenko, piano
Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Zhenni Li-Cohen, piano

WindSync

  • Garrett Hudson, flute
  • Emily Tsai, oboe
  • Julian Hernandez, clarinet
  • Kara LaMoure, bassoon
  • Anni Hochhalter, horn

FREE ADMISSION

Classical Adaptations @ YMCA Seton
Adaptive Concert with WindSync

Sunday, September 8
10:30 a.m.
Brookfield Residential YMCA at Seton
4995 Market St SE

"Seeing my young son experience live music for the first time, in a setting where he was free to be himself, without expectations or restrictions, is something I will always remember."

Join WindSync for a family-friendly concert in a relaxed atmosphere. This event has been specially designed to be accessible and inclusive for young audiences, neurodivergent listeners, people with disabilities, and others who face social and systemic barriers to attending typical events. All ages and expressions are welcome!

Concert Features

  • All expressions welcome! Feel free to make noise, get up, or stim.
  • Wheelchair accessible venue, including washrooms
  • Venue guide (click here to download)
  • Sensory toys and noise canceling earmuffs available (please bring your own if you can)
  • Flexible seating and a separate area for breaks
  • Stretch breaks and freedom of movement during the concert
  • Visual schedule
  • Scent-free environment

WindSync

  • Garrett Hudson, flute
  • Emily Tsai, oboe
  • Julian Hernandez, clarinet
  • Kara LaMoure, bassoon
  • Anni Hochhalter, horn

$5 PER FAMILY, REFUNDED UPON ARRIVAL

Open Air High River @ George Lane Memorial Park

Sunday, September 8
2:30 p.m.
George Lane Memorial Park
343 Macleod Trail SW, High River

Wrap up the 2024 Honens Festival with the whole family for an afternoon in the beautiful George Lane Memorial Park! Pianists Jon Kimura Parker, Illia Ovcharenko, and Zhenni Li-Cohen, along with the members of WindSync, will blow you away with their harmonious sounds for families, children, couples, and music enthusiasts alike. Bring your picnic blanket and soak up the final days of the summer sun in this celebration of togetherness, arts and culture, and the simple joy of spending time outdoors. Open Air @ George Lane Park is a reminder of the magic that live music brings, enriching our lives and connecting us all.
Illia Ovcharenko, piano
Jon Kimura Parker, piano
Zhenni Li-Cohen, piano
WindSync

  • Garrett Hudson, flute
  • Emily Tsai, oboe
  • Julian Hernandez, clarinet
  • Kara LaMoure, bassoon
  • Anni Hochhalter, horn

FREE ADMISSION




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