The Festival of the Sound (FOTS) is an annual classical music festival in its 38th season. Running from July 21st to August 13th, this summer features 50 concerts, 60 performers and 20 ensembles. The festival includes concerts at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts, St. James Church, St. Andrew’s Church, Sequin Valley Golf Club, Parry Sound’s North Shored Rugged Hiking Trail, Festival Station Gallery, and 3 cruises on the Island Queen cruise ship. Although the primary focus of the festival is chamber music a selection of concerts feature jazz, folk and celtic music. Additionally, there are four film screenings at the Stockey Centre this season.
As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday, this season’s programme includes a variety of tribute concerts to Canadian icons including Glenn Gould, Leonard Cohen, Oscar Peterson, Phil Nimmons, Guy Lombardo and Mart Kenney as well as our opening gala Our Paradise: Canada at 150 featuring a repertoire of Canadian composers.
Hundreds of Canadian and international musicians have performed at the Festival over the past 37 seasons. Among them: string quartets of the stature of the Tokyo, St. Lawrence, New Zealand and Penderecki; the Gryphon and Beaux Arts Trios; singers Jean Stilwell, Russell Braun, Mark DuBois and Kevin McMillan; pianists André Laplante, Jane Coop, Menahem Pressler and Angela Hewitt; violinists Pinchas Zukerman, Corey Cerovsek, Martin Beaver and James Ehnes; cellists Janos Starker, Yo-Yo Ma, Denis Brott, Shauna Rolston and Denise Djokic; choirs such as Christ Church Cathedral Choir, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and The Elmer Iseler Singers. Orchestras appearing at the FOTS have included the Toronto Symphony and the World and National Youth Orchestras. Composers-in-residence such as Srul Irving Glick and Robert Rosen have written works on site during the Festival and several premieres of works by Canadian composers are featured each year.
The FOTS has an education mandate, offering master classes for developing musicians, open rehearsals, workshops for local children and lectures by musicians and composers, all designed to improve the musical understanding and appreciation of audience members. This element of the Festival was taken to a new level in 2001 with the Music From the Inside Out series. Family concerts on Saturdays introduce young audience members to the joys of making and hearing music.