176 Keys returns to Stephen Avenue this September | Photo: Courtesy of Honens

Honens Festival

Canada’s award-winning International Festival of Piano returns to Calgary

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location Various Venues 
  • Price Prices Vary
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If you love classical music, you have to check out this festival! The world’s best come to Calgary as the award-winning Honens Festival returns with four days of extraordinary piano and chamber music.

Highlight performances include the Miró Quartet (with Calgary native William Fedkenheuer), award-winning Polish piano and accordion Duo 19:21, and concerts from pianists Jon Kimura Parker, 2018 Honens Prize Laureate Nicolas Namoradze, Pedja Mužijević, Susanne Ruberg-Gordon, and 2000 Honens Prize Laureate Katherine Chi.

Other not-to-be missed events include Honens Family Day at the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts as well as masterclasses, Bison Noir, and a 70th birthday tribute to revered Canadian composer Alexina Louie. It all wraps up at with the ever-popular Open Air.

“To say that I’m thrilled about the 2019 Honens Festival would be a big understatement—it’s music for the soul and for the mind,” says Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker in a statement. “Featuring everything from a Bach Capriccio and Beethoven string quartet to a Rossini Overture for one piano six hands and performances for all ages—indoors and out, this is Honens’ musical love letter to the city of Calgary.”

Mark your calendars and check out our must-hear events for this year’s festival.

Open Air in Central Memorial Park

The festival wraps with Open Air, a free concert in Central Memorial Park | Photo: Courtesy of Honens

Duo 19:21

September 5, 2019, 4:30pm
Stephen Avenue Walk (8th Ave. SW)
Free admission

This is not your grandfather’s accordion—hear accordionist Iwo Jedynecki and pianist Aleksander Kryżanowski perform stunningly beautiful arrangements of classical romantic works. This program includes Guilmant’s Scherzo capriccioso for harmonium and piano in F-sharp minor Op. 36, Franck’s Prélude Fugue, et Variation in B minor Op. 18 FWV 30, and Saint-Saëns’ Six duos for piano and harmonium Op. 8.

A Study in Etudes

September 5, 2019, 7:30pm
Knox United Church (506 4th St. SW)
$10 – $47

An extraordinary artist, Nicolas Namoradze stunned the Honens jury with his own Etudes during the 2018 competition. Those Etudes, often the most difficult works in a composer’s output, take centre stage in this opening night recital.

176 Keys

September 6, 2019, 12:30pm
Stephen Avenue Walk (8th Ave. SW)
Free admission

Be a part of the energy as Stephen Avenue comes to life when four internationally renowned pianists. Hear performances of J.S. Bach, Brahms, Copland, Rachmaninov, and more.

Bison Noir

September 6, 2019, 9:30pm
Royal Canadian Legion No. 1 (116 7th Ave. SE)
$18 – $30

Award-winning composer, pianist, singer, and rising superstar, Gabriel Kahane performs his newest album in this edition of Bison Noir. And keep your eyes open as a few cameos from Honens Festival artists are set to round out the evening.


September 7, 2019, 1:00pm
Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts Lobby, Mount Royal University (18 Mount Royal Circle SW)
Free admission

Bring the family for a fun-filled program of stories and examples of things that are the same, only different! It’s your chance to experience a real concert accordion up close alongside a demonstration of the similarities and differences between classical violin and country fiddling.

Miró Quartet with Jon Kimura Parker

September 7, 2019, 7;30pm
Bella Concert Hall, Mount Royal University (18 Mount Royal Circle SW)
$10 – $57

Internationally acclaimed and former winner of the Banff International String Quartet Competition, Miró Quartet is joined by Honens Artistic Director Jon Kimura Parker for a performance that celebrates the musical synergy of Johannes Brahms and the Schumanns. This concert is sure to be a festival highlight.

Open Air

September 8, 2019, 2:00pm
Central Memorial Park (1221 2nd St. SW)
Free admission

One accordion, two pianos, and a quartet of strings—bring your sunglasses and blanket to Central Memorial Park for this free concert that’s always a fan-favourite. It’s the perfect wrap to the 2019 Honens Festival.

The Honens Festival runs September 5 to 8, 2019. Head to honens.com for the full schedule.