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The Venue

All concerts are at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford. 
Concerts start at 3:00pm:  Doors open at 2:30pm. 
Festival seating is in effect.
Parking is available off South Fraser Way and Trethewey Street.

Welcome to the 2022 - 2023 Concert Season

Sunday, November 20, 2022

  featuring Domagoj Ivanovic, Violin

Sibelius                    Violin Concerto
Sibelius                    Finlandia
Sibelius                    King Kristian ll Suite
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Domagoj Ivanovic moved to Canada in 2007, after graduating with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance at the University of Miami, where he held the post of  a Teaching Assistant, as well as served as an Assistant Concertmaster for the Miami Symphony Orchestra.

Since then, he has quickly established himself as a violinist and an educator in the greater Vancouver area. Currently he is the Co-Head of Violin Department at the Vancouver Academy of Music and Co-Director of Vancouver Chamber Players Chamber music series. As a performer he has shared the stage with some of the top ensembles in Vancouver, such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and Turning Point Ensemble.


He adjudicated a number of festivals and competitions, such as the North Shore Music Festival, Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Surrey Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, and University of British Columbia Concerto Competition, to name a few. His students have won numerous prizes in the Canadian Music Competition, Kiwanis and Richmond Music festivals, as well as RCM Gold medals.

Originally from Zagreb, Croatia, he began studying violin at the age of seven. During his studies he was the recipient of numerous prizes and awards in violin competitions at the national and international level, the most important being First Prize in the National Violin competition and First Prize in the National Chamber Music competition.

As a soloist he appeared with several orchestras, most notably with the Zagreb Philharmonic orchestra, and the Miami Symphony orchestra. Described as a player with “clear technique and great sensitivity” he has performed all over Europe and North America, as well as China, Taiwan and Singapore.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Beethoven                   Overture to Leonore No. 1

Boccherini                   Concerto in B-flat for Cello, mvt 1  

Bruch                           Concerto for Violin in G-minor, mvt 3

Lalo                              Symphonie Espagnole, mvt 1

Grieg                          Norwegian Dances, Op. 35


We are pleased to announce the winners of this season's FVS Young Artist Solo Competition - 

                    Kira Gill, Violin 

            Benjamin Koo, Violoncello 

               Alina Nicolenco, Violin  

and look forward to sharing these exciting performances with you in January!

Kira Gill, Violin - Bruch Violin Concerto No 1 in G minor, mvt 3


Kira Gill has been studying violin for the past 13 years. She began Suzuki violin at the age of three, under the tutelage of Luiza Nelepcu at the Langley Community Music School. In addition to her solo violin studies, Kira has been part of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, LCMS Senior Youth Orchestra, the Langley Fiddlers, a jazz ensemble with Brad Turner and a number of chamber music groups. When she’s not busy practicing, you can find Kira playing tennis and basketball, or at the local pool with her friends. Kira is currently in grade 11 at Brookswood Secondary School.

Benjamin Koo, Violincello - Boccherini Concerto in B-flat for Cello, mvt.1


Benjamin Koo has played the cello for 11 years. Born in South Korea, he picked up the cello at age six and started lessons under cellist Hyejin Lee. After moving to Canada, he started his cello studies under cellist Joel Stobbe at the Langley Community Music School. Over the last five years that Benjamin has entered the LCMS music festival, he has won top prizes every year. He has also been part of numerous ensembles, including the Surrey Senior Youth Orchestra, LCMS Senior Orchestra, and many other chamber music groups. He is the principal cellist of the Surrey Senior Youth Orchestra. When he is not playing the cello, he usually reads books, learns programming, or sometimes plays video games. Benjamin is currently in grade 11 at Semiahmoo Secondary.

Alina Nicolenco, Violin -  Lalo Symphonie Espagnole, mvt 1

Alina Photo.heic

Alina Nicolenco started her violin studies at the age of 5 with local instructor Beth Nickel. Since 2021 she has been studying with Dr. Calvin Dyck and is part of the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra. 
Alina is 13 years old, homeschooled and has made several music videos along with her siblings.  Alina loves the challenge of learning new repertoire, and the opportunity to play alongside professional musicians. She is excited to perform a concerto with the Fraser Valley Symphony.
Her dream is to some day study violin in Europe and perform in some of the famous concert halls around the world.  Alina has a passion for music, and she loves to share the beauty and emotion of the music with audiences.”

Sunday, April 2, 2023

featuring Michelle Mares, piano

Grieg                          Piano Concerto
Schubert                    Symphony No.4, "The Tragic"

A native of Vancouver, Canada, Michelle Mares began her musical studies at the age of 4 as a student at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She amassed a great deal of performing experience as a child prodigy and drew the attention of many notable musicians, including András Schiff, Ivan Moravec and Gaby Casadesus.  
She gave her first full length recital at the age of 10 and in the same year, appeared for the first time as a soloist with the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, Austria. At the age of 12, she was personally invited by the world renowned pedagogue, Karl Heinz Kämmerling to study with him in Germany and worked with him there. From that point on, she routinely won top prizes in competitions including the CBC Young Performer’s Competition, the Hamburg Steinway Competition, the Montreal Symphony Competition, the S.A.C.E.M. Prize at the Casadesus International Competition and at the age of 17, top prize at the 1988 Geneva International Competition. She has also been awarded the Canada Council B grant on various occasions.  
She has been mentored by some of the world’s most eminent musicians, studying with Canada’s own Jane Coop and subsequently, Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory. She received her performance degree at the Mozarteum Conservatory in Salzburg, Austria in 1995, after which, she moved to London, England where she enjoyed the rare privilege of studying with Alfred Brendel. In those same years, she also came into the orbit of the great Hungarian composer, György Kurtág who had an enormous influence on her as a musician. It was at this point that she decided to settle in Europe where she lived and worked for almost 20 years.  
She has led an active performing career in both Canada and Europe spanning the entire repertoire as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed with virtually every major orchestra in Canada as a soloist and her performances have been heard regularly on national and international radio broadcast. Some of the orchestras she has appeared with in Europe include Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Polish Chamber Orchestra and the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra.  
Ms. Mares returned to her native West Coast of Canada in 2008. She is currently settled in Vancouver, BC where she has an active private teaching studio and has served as Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia. She was on the piano faculty at the University of Victoria for 10 years and is a popular guest adjudicator at music competitions throughout British Columbia. 

Sunday, June 4, 2023

  featuring Melanie Krueger, Soprano
         & Martin Renner Wallace, Tenor

With Arias, duets and orchestral selections from beloved operas and shows, including
Nessun Dorma (Turandot)
Caro Nome (Rigoletto)
Libiamo (La Traviata)
West Side Story Highlights
Overture to Die Fledermaus
and more...

Recognized for her expressive, lyric tone, and thrilling high notes, Canadian soprano Melanie Krueger embraces an extraordinarily wide range of repertoire, from Britten and Berg to Mozart and Monteverdi. 

Melanie maintains a thriving performance schedule, which has taken her from Canada to Europe. This season, Melanie will be joining the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Bach Choir in Handel’s Messiah as well as Mahler’s Symphony #8. Operatic engagements this season include the role of the Handmaiden in Vancouver Opera’s production of Turandot. Highlights from her career include: Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Maestro Les Dala, Lillian, in John Estacios’ Lillian Alling at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, Abigail Williams in the Czech premier of Ward’s “The Crucible”, Fortuna in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno D’Ulisse in Patria at Teatro Massimo’s Festival Scarlatti, Sandrina in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera at the Prague Estate Theatre, Atalanta in Handel’s Xerxes with the Prague Chamber Opera, Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme and The Vixen in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen with the Usti nad Labem Opera House. 

Past operatic roles with the Vancouver opera include Eliza from Muhly’s  Dark Sisters, Miss Wordsworth from Britten’s Albert Herring, “The Celestial Voice” from Verdi’s Don Carlos, the Valedictorian in the world premier of Weisensel’s Stickboy, Anina in Verdi’s La Traviata, directed by Sir Jonathan Miller as well as Isabel in the company’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance.

Highlights of Melanie’s stage and concert career include the role of Sharon in The Art’s Club’s production of Terrance McNalley’s Masterclass. Viennese pops concerts have also been a staple of Melanie’s concert career. She has worked with some of Canada’s leading conductors and orchestras including Bramwel Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony, the Victoria Symphony, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Newfoundland Symphony. Oratorio engagements include Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Bach’s B minor Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion.

Melanie holds a masters degree in voice performance from the University of British Columbia, a bachelor of music degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Bachelor of Education degree from Memorial University. 


Tenor Martin Renner Wallace is from Victoria, where he studied voice at the Conservatory of Music as well as completing a Bachelor of Music in Performance at UVic. He moved to Vancouver to tour with “Vancouver Opera in Schools” programme before completing a Masters of Music in Opera at UBC. Martin has been a member of the Young Artist Programmes with the Victoria, Calgary and Vancouver Opera companies, as well as a participant in the Banff Summer Opera Programme. Praised for his “exquisite high notes and lush warmth in his lower register” (Kelowna Daily Courier), he has recently appeared in roles such as Canio in Pagliacci, Pollione in Norma, and Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, as well as in concerts performing Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8. In 2010, Martin was a district winner of the Metropolitan Opera Competition, proceeding to the regionals in Seattle. Martin has sung with companies such as Calgary Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Vancouver Bach Choir. He remains an active performer in Canada, and most recently, on tour in China.

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