Seasons of the Sea: Vetta, Blackman, Georgeson

Tuesday, July 25, 7:30 pm

Pre-Concert talk at 6:40 pm

Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, University of Victoria

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Vetta Chamber Ensemble

Joan Blackman, violin

Rosemary Georgeson, storyteller

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 – 1741): The Four Seasons

Jeffrey Ryan: Seasons of the Sea


The Vetta Chamber Ensemble, with Joan Blackman, solo violin, performs Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The ensemble and Joan are then joined by Coast Salish/Sahtu Dene storyteller Rosemary Georgeson for Jeffrey Ryan’s Seasons of the Sea, commissioned by Vetta for its thirtieth anniversary in 2016 as a companion piece to the Four Seasons.


Vetta has produced and presented a professional chamber music series in Vancouver since 1985. Vetta began when a group of Vancouver professional musicians decided to present string quartet concerts. Their concerts grew into a series and in 1987 they incorporated the Vetta Chamber Music Society. Under former Associate Concermaster of the VSO Joan Blackman’s direction for the past ten seasons, Vetta audiences have quadrupled in numbers and the number of concerts presented in Vancouver has also doubled. Using some of the best musicians from BC augmented with the occasional internationally renowned musician Vetta Chamber Music has gained the reputation as being the pre-eminent locally produced chamber music series in Vancouver. Articles and reviews of Vetta Chamber Music often appear in local print media including the Vancouver Sun, Georgia Straight and the Courier and Vetta concerts have been chosen as the Georgia Straight “Straight Pic” of the week and as one of their five top picks for the year. Vetta’s traditional Friday night concerts have been augmented by a more recent Thursday Afternoon Series which was specially created for seniors and other patrons who find it difficult to attend evening concerts. In its 30th Anniversary Season, Vetta commissioned a collaborative piece created by Vancouver composer Jeffrey Ryan and First Nations Aboriginal story teller Rosemary Georgeson which has led to an outreach program with First Nations communities and a plan to tour BC.

Joan Blackman solo violin and Artistic Director of Vetta Chamber Ensemble.

 “Shapelier phrases and sweeter tone would be hard to imagine”, “a ravishing tone”, “first rate soloist”, “exchanged lines meltingly in a flawless performance” “playing with lyricism, precision, and evident joy”; are some of the accolades that have graced Joan’s reviews. “Your heart would need to be made of stone not to have loved Joan Blackman’s splendid solo”  Zach Carstensen, Seattle’s Gathering Note.

Formerly Associate Concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony, Joan Blackman enjoys a vibrant and varied musical life performing chamber music and teaching violin. As a soloist she has performed and recorded with the Vancouver Symphony, Victoria Symphony, CBC Radio Orchestra, Turning Point Ensemble and the Banff Festival Orchestra, and has played chamber music with premier groups such as the Penderecki String Quartet and the Purcell String Quartet.

She has appeared on the series Music in the Morning, Music Fest Vancouver, the Pender Harbour Music Society Concert Series, The Jeffrey Concerts in London, Ont., and the American String Project, which brings together concertmasters and soloists throughout North America. Joan has appeared at numerous summer festivals including the Hornby Island Festival, the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival, and the Victoria Summer Music Festival.

Joan is also an active teacher and has taught at UBC, Kwantlen College, Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific, Vancouver Academy of Music, and the VSO School of Music.

She is presently on faculty at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and the Nanaimo Conservatory of Music and gives master classes throughout BC. Ms. Blackman is also the Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Vetta Chamber Music Society, a longstanding and well respected series.

Rosemary Georgeson, Sahtu Dene and Coast Salish storyteller.

Rosemary is the recipient of the 2009 Vancouver Mayor’s Award, recognizing her as an emerging artist in community arts. She is a writer, performer, storyteller, documentary film maker and has a passion for sharing stories of the west coast and of her First Nations grandmothers. In 2014 she was named Vancouver Public Library’s Aboriginal storyteller in residence and is the co-facilitator of the Arrivals Project and From Where We Speak Project, where she works with youth, elders and ancestors through storytelling, writing and cross-cultural connections. Her documentary, Women in Fish, was produced by CBC as a radio documentary and 4-part radio series, and was shortlisted for a Jack Webster Award for Best Documentary