Honens Open Air 2016
Pianist Artem Yasynskyy performs a chamber recital with members of Kensington Sinfonia | Photo: Monique de St Croix, courtesy of Honens

Honens Festival

Canada’s International Festival of Piano pays homage to Canada 150

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Price Free - $55
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A celebration of piano brimming with innovative performances and dynamic community concerts, Honens marks Canada 150 with a Canadian themed lineup.

The four-day festival of music runs September 7 to 10, 2017 and brings together some of the country’s brightest classical music stars and competition laureates.

“There’s something for everyone at our 2017 festival,” says Neil Edwards, Honens’ President, in a statement. “It will be four days of music with a side of maple syrup! We’re proud to showcase the wonderful music and musicians our great country has to offer.”

Mark your calendars, here are our must hear events for this year’s festival:

Montrose Trio

September 7, 2017, 7:30pm
Jack Singer Concert Hall, Arts Commons (205 8th Ave. SE)
$10 – $55

Formed in 2014, the Montrose Trio is a collaboration stemming from a long and fruitful relationship between pianist Jon Kimura Parker and the Tokyo String Quartet. The 95-minute program includes pieces from Haydn, Shostakovich, and Arensky.

Cecilia String Quartet and Luca Buratto

September 8, 2017, 7:30pm
Knox United Church (506 4th St. SW)
$10 – $40

The Toronto-based Cecilia String Quartet is known for powerful and dauntingly perfect performances. Celebrating its second decade as an ensemble, the quartet initiated Celebrating Canadian Women in Music—a spotlight on four immensely talented female Canadian composers commissioned in the creation of four new works.

Bison Noir

September 8, 2017, 10:00pm
Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 (116 7th Ave. SE)
$18 – $25

Always popular and very unique, this year’s edition of Bison Noir shines a spotlight on Sri Lankan-born, Canada-based composer-performer Dinuk Wijeratne whose boundary-crossing work sees him equally at home in collaborations with string quartets and tabla players.


September 9, 2017, 9:00am
King Eddy, National Music Centre (438 9th Ave. SE)

Join visiting pianist Katherine Chi as she instructs and inspires music students and teachers from across Alberta.


September 9, 2017, 12:30 & 2:00pm
Drop In Zone, Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre (850 4th St. SE)

A concert for the whole family, Storytellers features popular children’s stories set to music and encourage kids to read while exposing them to classical music. Based on a true incident, Tess combines authenticity with drama. Set during the 1930s in the Canadian West, it is a remarkable story of a family whose older members are immigrants but whose children are, in the truest sense, at home. Catch this 30-minute concert as part of Honens Day at Studio Bell.

Xenia Concert

September 9, 2017, 3:00pm
Drop In Zone, Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre (850 4th St. SE)

The Cecilia String Quartet’s Xenia Concerts are designed to appeal to, and be welcoming of, children on the autism spectrum and their families. Embodying the quartet’s philosophy that everyone should have equal access to quality chamber music performances, catch this free concert as part of Honens Day at Studio Bell.

Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould

September 9, 2017, 3:30pm
Performance Hall, Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre (850 4th St. SE)
With admission to Studio Bell

A film screening with a musical edge, Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould casts light on a man whose ideas were as controversial, and his private life as passionate, as his music.

Katherine Chi

September 9, 2017, 7:30pm
Performance Hall, Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre (850 4th St. SE)
$10 – $35

In 2000, Katherine Chi became the first woman and only Canadian to win the Honens Piano Competition. Now firmly established as one of Canada’s foremost pianists, Chi returns to Calgary for this special concert.

Open Air

September 10, 2017, 2:00pm
Central Memorial Park (1221 2nd St. SW)

Bringing the world’s best chamber music to Calgary, cap your Honens experience under the warm September sun with this free, outdoor concert.

The 2017 Honens Festival runs September 7 to 10 at venues throughout Calgary. Head to honens.com for the full schedule.