Valley Concert Society presents Pacific Baroque Orchestra

Performance on Sunday, Sept. 18 at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra performs in Abbotsford this Sunday.

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra performs in Abbotsford this Sunday.

The Valley Concert Society (VCS) opens its 2016/17 season on Sunday, Sept. 18 with a performance by the Pacific Baroque Orchestra and soprano Amanda Forsythe.

The program, titled Handel and His Rivals, begins at 3 p.m. at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way.

Forsythe is regarded as one of the leading performers of Handel’s music. She is in demand around the world and has been part of a Grammy-nominated recording.

Alexander Weimann will direct the Pacific Baroque Orchestra from the harpsichord. Weimann has had an extensive international career, and his recordings have won both an Opus Award and a Juno Award.

The Pacific Baroque Orchestra is carving out an important place for itself in the northwest Pacific early-music scene.

Known for its exciting and innovative playing, the orchestra will perform much-loved favourites such as a suite from the Water Music and rare musical gems such as a violin concerto by Veracini.

George Frederick Handel established himself as a leading composer of opera in 18th-century London. However, competition arose and nearly put him out of business.

This concert will include works by some of these rival composers such as Porpora, Bononcini and Hasse.

A pre-concert talk will take place in the foyer at 2:20 p.m.

The VCS season continues on Nov. 18 with tenor Colin Balzer, on Jan. 28 with the Canadian Guitar Quartet, on Feb. 24 with A Touch of Brass and one May 5 with pianist Paul Williamson.

Another highlight will be the March 24 appearance of Kai Gleusteen, concertmaster of the opera orchestra in Barcelona, and his wife, pianist Catherine Ordronneau. Gleusteen will also hold a master class for violin students on the following day.

Tickets for a single concert are $28 for all adults and $15 for students. They can be purchased online at valleyconcertsociety.com, by calling 604-289-3377 or at the door.

Season tickets are also available.