Now is a great time to get your subscription to the 2018-19 season of the Valley Concert Society. Besides ensuring your seat at six outstanding musical performances, you will have the opportunity to win one additional free subscription if you purchase yours by June 30.

Two years ago the Pacific Baroque Orchestra opened our break-through season with a concert that featured the spectacular soprano Amanda Forsythe. In September we are delighted to bring back the PBO and their brilliant leader Alexander Weimann. This time they are bringing another international star, the virtuoso Baroque violinist Enrico Onofri from Italy. Onofri will be featured in a program of violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. Weimann and Onofri have selected some of the best concertos from two great cycles for violin and string orchestra by the red-haired priest from Venice entitled L’Estro Armonico and La Stravaganza.

We worked very hard to bring you Cantus in November because we are convinced that the effort was worth it and that you will come away from the concert equally enthused. This male vocal octet from Minneapolis is regarded as one of America’s finest a cappella ensembles. The program they have prepared, Alone Together, is not only a collection of great songs in a variety of styles. It is also thoughtfully curated to speak to the challenges faced by contemporary society.

After the bustle of the Christmas season, we will bring a sparkle to the January lull with the Diderot Quartet. While we were in negotiations to engage this outstanding string quartet, I had the opportunity to hear them in Vancouver and was thrilled to find my high expectations confirmed. The quartet has been in residence for the past few years at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. They are passionate in their exploration of the string quartet repertoire using period instruments. They will perform Haydn’s Emperor Quartet and Beethoven’s Harp Quartet.

Last year our audience was thrilled by the young cello virtuoso Sheku Kanneh-Mason, whose career was already on an amazing trajectory when it gained a remarkable boost from his performance at the royal wedding, along with his sister Isata on piano. A subscriber shared an article from BBC with me reporting that Sheku’s new CD Inspiration is now Britain’s top-selling classical album in 2018. This is by way of introducing our February concert, another brother-sister cello-piano team with ascendant careers. The Cheng2 Duo (pronounced Cheng Squared Duo) of cellist Bryan and pianist Sylvie come to us from Quebec. The day after the pair brings us a concert of masterworks from the German Giants, Bryan will be the clinician at our second masterclass for young string musicians.

Our season concludes with two concerts in April. Near the beginning of the month, a unique ensemble of eight cellos will bring an eclectic program. Six of the musicians are from major orchestras in Brussels and Liège, Belgium. They are joined by cellists from orchestras in Bonn, Germany, and Lille, France. Enthusiastic reviews hailed their tour of eastern Canada last year. Their programs feature everything from the classics to dance music and tunes from the movies.

Marcel and Elizabeth Bergmann will put an exclamation mark on our season with a two-piano concert that celebrates the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth. The Bergmann Duo is a local treasure. Besides enjoying a highly-regarded performing and recording career, they are the artistic directors of White Rock Concerts and instructors at the Langley Community Music School, where Elizabeth is also the artistic director of concerts. Marcel is an accomplished composer. His arrangement of music from West Side Story will be the highlight of a program that will also include works by Gershwin and Copland.

A subscription will bring you these six world-class concerts for the remarkable cost of $20 each or less. Everyone who purchases a subscription by June 30 will be entered into a draw for one free additional subscription. You can take advantage of this outstanding value at our website . Adults pay $120, seniors pay $110 and students pay only $35 for all six programs. Call 604-289-3377 for more information.