The intimate music of friends

Photo: Justin Terwiel
Photo: Justin Terwiel

Goethe referred to chamber music, and specifically string quartets, as a conversation between four reasonable people. This conversation will be returning to Sun Peaks on Sunday, Jan. 5 for the ninth annual Serenade in the Snow.

As the name indicates, chamber music was created to be played in an intimate chamber, or salon. With most concerts now being performed in halls, these personal performances are falling out of reach for many. However, for a few hours on a snowy winter’s evening each year Cvetozar Vutev, the principal violinist for the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, and a small group of acclaimed chamber musicians perform in the Farrell residence at Sun Peaks — the setting for which chamber music was designed.

“We have world class musicians playing chamber music in the setting for which it was written and that’s a huge privilege,” explains Bijou Farrell, who hosts the event with her husband Jim. “I think that’s really what makes the concert so special. To sit in that lounge, and some years there’s buckets of snow falling outside the window, listening to this extraordinary music.”

The Farrells expect two violins, a viola, a harp and piano will perform this year’s concert. The repertoire will include Mozart, Brahms and perhaps a gypsy based piece performed by Bulgarian-born Vutev.

Food for the evening will be sponsored by Cahilty Creek Bar and Grill, Sun Peaks Lodge Steakhouse, and by Ines Popig and Petr Duda. The Howard family has always sponsored the event’s wine and beverages.

In keeping with past concerts, the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the community.

“For many years (Serenade) was a fundraiser for the health association, then once the school started we decided that that was a more appropriate tie in, so it’s been a fundraiser for the (Sun Peaks Education Society) ever since,” says Farrell. “This is about bringing art, culture and music to the valley and the school is bringing culture and education. The high school model (here) is very special and has a lot of potential for growth.”

The Farrells plan to continue this musical tradition on the mountain into the future, and are hoping to do something special for their tenth anniversary next year.

Click here for ticket and event information.

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