Violinist Chloe Kim's weekly online baroque concert series kicks off Friday, July 3

The 11-week series, Music for the Pause, is in solidarity with, and support of, Victoria-based musicians.

The 11-week series, Music for the Pause, is in solidarity with, and support of, Victoria-based musicians

Baroque violinist Chloe Kim is the creator and artistic director of a new online concert series that seeks to support classical musicians in Victoria, B.C., who are struggling amidst the pandemic. (Kelsey Goodwin)

The financial implications of COVID-19 have been crushing to the arts, and particularly to classical musicians who often perform in larger ensembles and may not have the opportunities that solo artists do with streaming or exploring other digital platforms. According to a survey of the UK Musicians' Union, one-fifth of all classical musicians believe that coronavirus will be the end of their careers, and similar concerns have gripped classical artists around the world, including here in Canada. 

But Victoria-based baroque violinist Chloe Kim has a plan to reinvigorate her music community. The 23-year-old is the artistic director and creator of the ambitious new weekly concert project, Music for the Pause. The online concert series kicks off Friday, July 3, and runs for 11 weeks, featuring mostly Victoria-based musicians performing baroque chamber works on period instruments. 

"Music for the Pause is a way of keeping myself and my colleagues, who are like family to me, creatively engaged as well as for staying connected to audiences during a very difficult and strange time," explains Kim. "As someone who thrives on the intensity of a full performing schedule and the togetherness and sharing that comes with that, the concept of a summer without music was inconceivable to me. I like the challenge of having to work within certain parameters, whether it be social distancing regulations or personnel limitations, and I choose to see this period of time as an opportunity to be creative, rather than one of waiting or inactivity."

Among the artists joining Kim in Music for the Pause are fellow baroque violinists Tyson Doknjas, Christi Meyers, Jeanne Lamon, Elyssa Lefurgey-Smith, Paul Luchkow,  Kathryn Wiebe as well as Mark McDonald (organ), Christina Hutten (harpsichord), Mieka Michaux (baroque viola), Katrina Russell (dulcian/baroque bassoon), Soile Stratkauskas (baroque flute), and Christina Mahler (baroque cello).                         

"It's been an absolute joy to be making music again," Kim says. "To be honest, I almost cried when I first got into the rehearsal space with my colleagues — I can't describe how cathartic it was. It just feels good to be creating and feeling again, especially with such dear friends."

The series, which is co-presented by Early Music Society of the Islands, Victoria Baroque, Pacific Baroque Series, and Christ Church Cathedral, will be filmed inside Christ Church Cathedral's Chapel of the New Jerusalem, and each performance will include short interviews between musicians and celebrity guests from the international early music community. Starting July 3, each concert in the 11-part series will stream weekly on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. PT, via Facebook Live on each of the co-presenters' Facebook pages. The streams are free, but viewers are encouraged to donate, with proceeds benefiting artists whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. 

Watch the Music for the Pause teaser, below, and tune in for the live streams starting Friday, July 3, at 7:30 p.m. PT on any of the co-presenters' Facebook pages. Scroll down for the programs for the first five concerts in the series.

Violin Virtuosi 
July 3, 7:30 p.m. PT
Kim, Meyers, Lefurgey-Smith, Wiebe

Telemann: Concerto No. 1 in G Major for Four Violins
Guillemain: Sonata for 2 Violins, Op. 5, No. 1, in A minor
Leclair: Sonata for 2 Violins, Op. 3, No. 3, in C major
Guignon: Les Sauvages, Op. 8
Telemann: Concerto No. 3 in C Major for Four Violins

Virtuoses de Paris
July 10, 7:30 p.m. PT
Stratkauskas, Lamon, Mahler, Hutten

Marais: Pieces en Trio, Suite No.1 in C major
Telemann: Paris Quartet Sonata No.2 in G minor
Hotteterre: Brunette 'vous qui faite votre modelle' for solo flute in D minor
Leclair: Deuxième Récréation de Musique in G minor(/major)

Mad Italians
July 17, 7:30 p.m. PT
Kim, McDonald

Corelli: Opus V Sonata No. 3 in C Major 
Frescobaldi: Toccata 1 for solo keyboard
Vivaldi: Violin Sonata in G minor, RV 26
Scarlatti: Sonata in D major, K. 23,  and Sonata in A Major, K. 24
Corelli: Opus V Sonata in D Minor "Follia"

Birds, Beasts, and Fantasies
July 24, 7:30 p.m. PT
Stratkauskas, Lefurgey-Smith

Telemann: Fantasia for solo flute in A major
Telemann: Gulliver's Suite for two violins
Hotteterre: Air in G major, Echos in G
Rebel: 'Bird Suite' from Les Élémens
Biber: Animal Sonata
Telemann: Sonata in G for flute and violin

Stylus Fantasticus
July 31, 7:30 p.m. PT
Lamon, Kim, Mahler, Hutten

Schmelzer: Sonate a 2 in F Major for two violins and continuo
Buxtehude: Sonata No. 3 G Minor for violin and continuo
Schmelzer: Sonata Quarta in D Major
Buxtehude: Sonata a 3 in G Major, BuxWV 271