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Classical music star coming to Prince George

Angela Hewitt London 2016. Keith Saunders Photography +61

Trinity United Church and the Community Arts Council of Prince George & District are excited to announce the inaugural event of the newly renovated, 285-seat Knox Performance Centre (formerly Knox United Church). British-Canadian Angela Hewitt will be performing a full solo concert at the venue on March 9, and a masterclass for pre-selected local pianists on March 10 that will be open for public viewing.

The event will celebrate the opening of Prince George’s newest performance space, and will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, and champagne reception with the artist following the concert.

Angela Hewitt is one of the world’s most sought-after concert pianists, and appears in recital and as soloist with major orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. She is universally regarded as the world’s foremost performer of the music of J.S. Bach. The concert on March 9 will feature major works by Bach, Brahms and Scarlatti and will be performed on a Fazioli concert grand piano, one of the most prestigious piano brands in the world. Hewitt will deliver a Masterclass to a small group of selected piano students from Prince George on March 10. The Masterclass, which will be coordinated by the Prince George Conservatory of Music, will also offer a unique experience for the public to observe the teachings of this highly sought-after international artist.

“It is incredible that the first major event at the Knox Performance Centre will be with such a high-calibre international artist as Angela Hewitt,” said Reverend Bob Fillier of Trinity United Church. “This event is the culmination of several years of dedicated work in collaboration with the arts community and we are so pleased to have it launch a new chapter in performing arts for the region, and downtown Prince George in particular.”

“The CAC has long striven to have a dedicated space for us to present performing arts and live entertainment, in addition to our 55-year history as a leader in activating visual arts spaces in the community,” said Eli Klasner, CAC Executive Director. “Our vision has always been to lead the development of our community into a recognized centre of creativity, and the opening of the Knox Performance Centre is a major milestone in our efforts to help make this a reality.”

Itinerary:
Solo Concert and Reception, Thursday March 9, 7:30 p.m.
Masterclass, Friday March 10 – 10 a.m .to 1 p.m.

Tickets for the concert are $75 and $40, and all attendees can attend an elegant reception with the artist for an addition $25.  Public admission to the March 10 Masterclass is $25. Tickets for all events are available for purchase via studio2880.com and trinitypg.ca.

About Angela Hewitt:
 
Angela Hewitt occupies a unique position among today’s leading pianists. With a wide-ranging repertoire and frequent appearances in recital and with major orchestras throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia, she is also an award-winning recording artist whose performances of Bach have established her as one of the composer’s foremost interpreters. In 2020 she received the City of Leipzig Bach Medal: a huge honour that for the first time in its 17-year history was awarded to a woman.
 
In September 2016, Hewitt began her Bach Odyssey, performing the complete keyboard works of Bach in a series of 12 recitals. The cycle was presented in London’s Wigmore Hall, New York’s 92nd Street Y, and in Ottawa, Tokyo and Florence, concluding in 2022. After her performances of the complete Well-Tempered Clavier at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival, the critic of the London Times wrote, “…the freshness of Hewitt’s playing made it sound as though no one had played this music before.”
 
Hewitt’s award-winning cycle for Hyperion Records of all the major keyboard works of Bach has been described as “one of the record glories of our age” (The Sunday Times). Her discography also includes albums of Couperin, Rameau, Scarlatti, Mozart, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Fauré, Debussy, Chabrier, Ravel, Messiaen and Granados. The final CD in her complete cycle of Beethoven Sonatas (Op.106 and Op.111) was released in February 2022, and the first of three Mozart albums, dedicated to the composer’s complete sonatas, is released in November 2022. A regular in the USA Billboard chart, her album Love Songs hit the top of the specialist classical chart in the UK and stayed there for months after its release. In 2015 she was inducted into Gramophone Magazine’s ‘Hall of Fame’ thanks to her popularity with music lovers around the world.
 
Conducting from the piano, Hewitt has led the Toronto and Vancouver Symphony orchestras, the Hong Kong and the Copenhagen Philharmonic orchestras, the Lucerne Festival Strings, the Kammerorchester Basel, the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, the Britten Sinfonia, the Swedish and Zurich Chamber orchestras, the Salzburg Camerata, the orchestra of RAI Torino, the Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa in Japan, and in 2019 made her debut playing and conducting Bach with the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna’s Musikverein. The upcoming 2022/23 season sees her performing with orchestras in Finland, Denmark, Montreal, Ottawa, Victoria BC, Prague, Germany, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in New York. Recitals take her to, among others, Barcelona, San Francisco, Seattle, Vienna, Amsterdam, Cambridge, Leipzig, and the famous Teatro La Fenice in Venice. She is also an artist-in-residence at London’s Wig-more Hall.
 
Born into a musical family, Hewitt began her piano studies aged three, performing in public at four and a year later winning her first scholarship. She studied with Jean-Paul Sévilla at the University of Ottawa, and in 1985 won the Toronto International Bach Piano Competition which launched her career. In 2018 Angela received the Governor General’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2015 she received the highest hon-our from her native country – becoming a Companion of the Order of Canada (which is given to only 165 living Canadians at any one time). In 2006 she was awarded an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II. She is a member of the Royal Society of Canada, has seven honorary doctorates, and is a Visiting Fellow of Peterhouse College in Cambridge. In 2020 Angela was awarded the Wigmore Medal in recognition of her services to music and relationship with the hall over 35 years.
 
Angela lives in London but also has homes in Ottawa and Umbria, Italy where, 18 years ago, she founded the Trasimeno Music Festival – a week-long annual event which draws an audience from all over the world.

About the Knox Performance Centre:
 
The newly renovated Knox Performance Centre is a central component of the “Trinity United Downtown” campus, the oldest continuous church in Prince George.

The original church building facing Brunswick Street is part of the Prince George Heritage Building Registry. The performance centre is in the sanctuary that was constructed in 1955. After the Knox congregation merged with the former St. Andrew’s congregation in 2018, Trinity United began asking the question how it could live out its core values of inclusive fellowship, living faith, joyful service, being anti-racist, and affirming all through its various ministries and its two buildings.

Plans emerged to renovate and convert part of the space at Trinity Downtown into a full-time performance and live events venue. Several individuals and local performing arts organizations, including the Community Arts Council of Prince George, worked together with Trinity United Church to develop plans and strategies to understand how the new centre could best serve a wide range of user groups and individual artists, both local and visiting.

Current renovations are being undertaken in several phases with the first major performances happening in the Spring of 2023. The facility will have a seating capacity of 285 persons, a maximum capacity of 350 persons, and will have the most up-to-date performance lighting and sound system in Northern BC.  Funders in support of creating the performance centre to date include Northern Development Initiative Trust, Heritage Canada, the Prince George Community Foundation, Downtown Prince George, the BC Arts Council, Trinity United Church, and the United Church of Canada Foundation.

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