You’re Invited: Stratford Summer Music Festival July 14 – August 24, 2014

stratford summer music festival 2014

Over 200 artists in over 100 performances over 6 weeks of music, from July 14 – August 24, fill Stratford’s concert halls, restaurants and gardens with classical, folk, jazz and world music from around the world during Stratford Summer Music in Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

  • The 14th annual festival launches with a spectacular FREE outdoor event complete with fireworks.

This video presents “TorQ Percussion Quartet plays Stinkin’ Garbage, by E.Argenziano.”

A major theme this year is percussion.

  • In recognition of this, Tom Patterson Island will be transformed to “Tom Percussion Island” for one week (July 14-20).
    • New instruments, all percussion, will be installed on the island for one week, free to be beaten, rattled, smashed, and shook by visitors.
  • TorQ, an Ontario-based percussion quartet, have been chosen as this year’s artists-in-residence.
    • They’ll be performing unannounced “pop-up” sessions throughout the season, largely in areas populated by young people.
    • They’ll also be holding a number of ticketed events, one of which will feature noted German percussionist/composer Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic, who will double as a guest lecturer at the TorQ Percussion seminar (July 25).

FREE outdoor concerts will take the stage on the Music Barge on the banks of the Avon River to suit every musical taste – from Quebec fiddling to meringue from the Dominican Republic, gypsy swing and pipes and drums.

View the festival schedule here.

Here is an itinerary of FREE or Pay-What-You-Can performances and events.

Opening Night with Fireworks


Monday July 14 | 9:15 pm

Lower Queens Park | Avon River

  • Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and join us in a unique community launch for the 14th season of Stratford Summer Music.
  • Summer Music’s traditional Opening Night Celebration, with fireworks to…Music for a Midsummer’s Night (Carrière)

Tom Percussion Island


Tuesday July 15 – 20 |ALL WEEK |10 am – 7:30 pm

Avon River | Tom Patterson Island

  • “For six days only – Tuesday, July 15 to Sunday, July 20 –  TorQ and Stratford Summer Music invite you to get lost in the Dream Gong Maze.
  • Or would you prefer to see the musical dinosaur made from Yamaha’s musical parts?
  • They’re all part of a unique collection of new musical instruments and installations which come alive on Tom Percussion Island, daily from 10am to dusk.
  • Check the schedule to see when members of TorQ  will be on the Island to perform their own Pop-Up concerts or to join you in exploring and playing these unique creations.”

Torq Percussion Quartet


“TorQ Percussion Quartet was formed by four Canadian percussionists looking to add new vitality to percussion repertoire and performance. Renowned for their engaging performances and repertoire, members Richard Burrows, Adam Campbell, Jamie Drake and Daniel Morphy.”

Harry Somers Forum


Wednesday July 23 | 2 pm

University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus

“Annually, since Stratford Summer Music’s inaugural season in 2001, the Harry Somers Forum has honoured its namesake by presenting a composition by Dr. Somers and by examining a topic of interest significant to the arts in the 21st century. Under the direction of the distinguished Canadian broadcaster/composer/musician/producer/comentator, David Jaeger, a panel of percussionists and percussion composers will discuss where, and how, contemporary repertoire is coming alive for their particular musical genre. Panelists will include the musicians of TorQ, who are in residency at Stratford Summer Music, and the visiting European percussionist/composer, Nebojsa Zivkovic.”

Bicycle Opera

Pay What You Can

“The Bicycle Opera Project brings Canadian contemporary opera to communities across Ontario by bicycle! These young musicians bring Canadian music to people who might otherwise have little opportunity to hear it, and work to close the distance between audiences and opera singers through performance in intimate spaces. The project focuses on operatic repertoire that deals with contemporary issues and is sung in English and French so that audiences can more readily relate to the material. The troupe works to demythologize the idea of “the opera singer” (they get dirty too!) and operatic traditions (who says they can’t cycle?), and provide a car-­‐free alternative to touring. The 2014 summer project brings together the following established and emerging performing artists:

  • Liza Balkan, stage director;
  • Wesley Shen, music director;
  • Adam Scime, composer-­‐in-­‐residence;
  • Geoffrey Sirett, baritone;
  • Chris Enns, tenor;
  • Stephanie Tritchew, mezzo and
  • Larissa Koniuk, Artistic Director, and soprano.

National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYOC)- Brass Ensemble


“This year to the delight of Stratford Summer Music’s MusicBarge audiences, it’s the players of the NYOC brass section who join us just before their 2014 Canadian concert tour begins.”

Canadian Men’s Chorus


“The Canadian Men’s Chorus is an ensemble dedicated to the performance and advancement of music specifically for men’s voices.”

Canadian Men’s Chorus  returns to MusicBarge this summer, under the direction of their founding Artistic Director, Greg Rainville.

Les Poules à Colin


“The five members of Les Poules à Colin from Québec’s Lanaudière area are inspired by roots music passed down from their families and learned firsthand from some of Québec’s finest musicians in an area famous worldwide for it’s musical traditions.”

The Resolutionaries


“The Resolutionaries Marimba band is a hot new blend of hybrid Zimbabwean music that has set dance floors ablaze and is hailed for bringing people together. Marimba is a traditional Zimbabwean instrument that combines sweet melodies with African rhythms. The Resolutionaries Marimba Music is a mix of age-old African tunes, Modern innovations and TransAtlantic “livasporic” inspiration.”

Grain Report


“Grain Report is a new acoustic-pop string band from Saskatchewan fusing elements of bluegrass, swing, folk and vocal harmonies to create catchy hits for a new generation.

Upbeat and pretty-sounding, this group consists of all acoustic instruments positioned around one microphone – projecting a real “live” sound.

Grain Report has a collection of “new hit-songs your grandkids will listen to to feel nostalgic” while “Graining” a few choice cover-songs for the avid music buff.

Let these boys charm you with their old-school sound and sunny disposition!”



“Comas are a band firmly rooted in Irish music, but with enough space to allow for original compositions.”

Celtic Blue Highlanders Pipe Band


Sunday, August 24, 12:25pm


“It’s a Stratford Summer Music tradition: to welcome the pipers and drummers marching across the Lake Victoria dam bridge precisely at 12:25pm; to cheer their arrival before the MusicBarge audiences, and to enjoy the playing of familiar highland melodies that bring another season of concerts and musical events to a close. This year, proudly wearing the Loch Ness blue tartan, we welcome the Celtic Blue Highlanders Pipe Band from Goderich.”

Please click here for the calendar of all the performances and events of the Stratford Summer Festival.


Email: | Telephone: 519-271-2101




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