Victoria Baroque, an early music ensemble, presents dynamic, engaging performances from the Baroque and Classical periods.
“We play mostly baroque music, and we play chamber music and orchestral music, and we use instruments from the Baroque period,” said Soile Stratkauskas, artistic director for the orchestra.
On the day of CHEK’s visit, Victoria Baroque had a special guest mentor from the United Kingdom, an historically informed violinist, Kati Debretzeni.
“An historically informed violinist is someone who chooses to play an instrument, and the bow, that was known to the composer when they wrote the music” says Debretzeni. “So, for Bach and Vivaldi, we have a Baroque setup, with a Baroque bow, which looks slightly different.”
“Kati is a very special guest for us,” said Stratkauskas.
“This is her fifth time working with us, and she’s just an amazing, radiant performer. We all learn so much from her.”
Debretzeni also mentored a group of University of Victoria music students.
“It’s been an incredible experience,” said Jeanel Liang, a fourth-year music student.
“At UVic, we don’t really get the experience to play on these Baroque instruments, or even be mentored by these baroque specialists. So it’s a really good opportunity, and it’s been really eye-opening and inspiring to see such a high profile artist come and do a master class.”
Debretzeni is just as enthusiastic about working with the students.
“It’s a privilege to be able to work with such talented youngsters as you have here,” said Debretzeni.
Now in its ninth season, Victoria Baroque is grateful for the support of the Victoria Foundation.
“We received a couple of community grants, and we also now have an endowment fund through them, so we are very lucky,” said Stratkauskas.
“We can’t cover all our costs with ticket prices alone, so it’s been very wonderful having the Victoria Foundation being so supportive” Stratkauskas added.
Victoria Baroque is now one of more than 150 charities to have a hosted organization fund with the Victoria Foundation.