microcosmos news


July 2015

Microcosmos is embarking on an exciting new educational adventure next month, a mentorship string orchestra with the four or us (no conductor) leading 22 talented young musicians for four intensive rehearsal days, culminating in a public concert in Pyatt Hall on September 3. 

This project has been made possible through the generosity of Mrs. Susan Kessler and her family in Switzerland, in honour of her 100th birthday (last October) and in memory of her husband Jack, who was concertmaster of the CBC Vancouver Orchestra from 1956-67. In order to make this project accessible to all, there will be no cost to participants. We do however still need to raise $5,000 to cover the cost of rehearsal hall rental, music rental, rehearsal break snacks, as well as our fees. Please consider contributing to our crowdfunding campaign https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/211ZP5, to make this unique opportunity possible for these young people.

The repertoire for this project will include two masterworks of the early 20th century, Bartok’s Divertimento (1939) and Stravinsky’s Concerto in D (1946), both works commissioned by Paul Sacher for the Basler Kammerorkester, and two from the late 20th century, Arvo Pärt’s Fratres (1977), and Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round (1996)

For further information please go to:


May 2015

Microcosmos performed at the 2015 Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax in late May. This included performances of ‘Speaking in Ligeti’ with Marta Marta Productions.



November 2013

Link to CBC podcast about Microcosmos - starts at 11’36”


April 2013

See the review of our recent performances at the Dance Centre here:



Peggy Lee has decided to step out of Microcosmos to focus on composing and improvising. We are thrilled that Rebecca Wenham has agreed to join us. She brings a wealth of high-level chamber music experience with her and a keen interest in our repertoire. Peggy will join us however for our April 2013 project performing Ligeti’s First Quartet with the dancers of Marta Marta Hop, presented by Vancouver New Music.


We finished the year with three performances of Bartok’s First and Second Quartets; one in a dance studio in East Vancouver, one on the Yarilo Concerts series in Port Moody, and one in David Pay’s (Music on Main) beautiful back garden studio. Two of the three were sold out.

In early 2012 we will learn Claude Debussy’s only quartet (Debussy’s music was a strong early influence on Bartok), and move on to Bartok’s Third, along with revisiting Ligeti’s First Quartet, in preparation for a collaboration with mmHop (dance company) in 2013.

Between May 6 and 16 we played concerts for 197 guests in 7 unique venues, including private homes, an artist’s studio, an apartment complex and a gallery. We also gave a special performance of Ligeti’s Second Quartet for the children at St. James Music Academy in the Downtown Eastside (http://www.sjma.ca). This set of concerts was an extraordinary experience for all concerned, and the response from our listeners fulfilled our greatest hopes for this project: that we could perform music of the past one hundred years in a way and in a context that would introduce this music to listeners who might not otherwise hear it and provide new insights to those familiar with it. We were especially gratified by the presence of a number of young composers, and by several guests who came to more than one performance of the same program.