Sonic Boom showcases best of BC contemporary classical music

A multi-day celebration of contemporary classical (new) music by BC composers, the Sonic Boom Music Festival takes place March 22-25.

Presented by Vancouver ProMusica, the festival is now in its 31st year. The annual event spotlights a BC Composer in Residence, a Featured Artist and an Ensemble in Residence, along with a mix of ensembles of one to four players. The musicians perform new works by emerging and established West Coast composers.

This year, Sonic Boom presents four evening concerts at Pyatt Hall (843 Seymour St.) and the Orpheum Annex (823 Seymour St.). Find out more below.

The festival kicks off March 22 (7:30 p.m. at Pyatt Hall) with a Mixed Ensemble concert. Ensembles of one to four players perform a variety of music on instruments ranging from trombone to tárogató. Composers include Cindy Gong, Rafael Brisebois, Qinglin Bruce Bai, Zhimin Yu, Craig Day, and others. Musicians are Corey Hamm (piano), Jason Hall (tárogató), Lan Tun (erhu), and Nicole Li (gaochu), baritone voices, and others.

The next evening, March 23, sees a second evening of mixed ensembles at Pyatt Hall (7:30 p.m.). Composers include Jeremy O’Neill, Nadia Schibli, Brian Fremlin, Howard Dai, Cheryl Olvera, and Erica Regegr, among others. Musicians include AK Coope (clarinet), Katie Rife (percussion), Adrian Pang (cello) and Mark McGregor (flute).

Featured Artist Michael Park performs Saturday, March 24 at Pyatt Hall, 7:30 pm. The pianist has collaborated with dancers, choreographers, and companies including Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and Ballet BC. Park will play works by Róisín Adams, Angelique Po, Kristy Farkas, Nolan Krell and Goushi H.K. Yonekura. Following an intermission, mixed ensembles of one to four players will perform.

The Nu: BC performs at this year’s Sonic Boom.

Finally, on March 25 at 7:30 p.m., Ensemble-in-Residence The Nu:BC Collective performs at the Orpheum Annex. Flutist Paolo Bortolussi, cellist Eric Wilson and pianist Corey Hamm are joined by David Gillham (violin), Tawnya Popoff (viola), Mark Beaty (bass), and Liam Hockley (clarinet). They will perform works from their vast repertoire of commissioned and other works. Nu:BC has performed over 35 acclaimed concerts across Canada, the US, and in Taiwan.

This year, Sonic Boom’s Composer in Residence is composer/conductor Owen Underhill.

Sonic Boom Music Festival

When: March 22-25

Where: Orpheum Annex and Pyatt Hall

Tickets: $20 (general), $15 (students/seniors/artists)

Festival Pass to all four concerts: $50 at

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