the ensemble

Aventa, founded in 2003, is a Victoria-based ensemble with a mission statement of performing and fostering new music in British Columbia and Canada. Under the artistic direction of Bill Linwood, the ensemble is comprised of musicians who are passionate about new music and its place in our culture.

Aventa regularly commissions both Canadian and international composers and has presented premieres of over 100 works both in Canada and on tour. Recent highlights from the international repertoire include the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Stormwatch, Stormfall (commissioned by Aventa) and the North American premiere of Pierre Boulez’s (FR) Dérive II (1988-2007) of which Robert Everett-Green from the Globe and Mail wrote;

“I can hardly give enough praise to the 13 players of Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble and conductor Bill Linwood, who tackled all this difficult music with skill, passion and dedication” – Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail

Hailed as “a superb contemporary-music ensemble” (Globe and Mail), Aventa is recognized as one of Canada’s finest musical ambassadors. Aventa recently embarked on its sixth international tour with performances in Adelaide and Sydney, Australia, as well as Auckland, New Zealand. Highlights of this tour included appearances at the prestigious Adelaide Festival 2015, a collaborative concert with Australia’s new music organization Ensemble Offspring, as well as workshops and performances hosted by the University of Auckland.

In a continuing commitment to Canadian repertoire, Aventa presented 25 Canadian works and 10 premieres over the last year. “Aventa – directed by Bill Linwood, has a knack for putting complementary compositions together. For those of us who think contrast is overrated, their programs are a treat.” – Globe and Mail, Feb. 5, 2008. Other recent highlights included a week-residency with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies as the ensemble presented the world premiere of his 2011 work Stormwatch, Stormfall, written for Aventa.

On September 13, 2013, Aventa presented the world premiere of British composer (and Canadian Permanent Resident) Gavin Bryars’ opera Marilyn, Forever at Victoria’s MacPherson Playhouse Theatre. Commissioned by Aventa, the opera is based on aspects of the life of actress Marilyn Monroe, with libretto from Metchosin author and poet, Marilyn Bowering. This premiere led to the opportunity of presenting Marilyn, Forever on the international stage at the Adelaide Festival 2015

“whimsical, surreal and musically absorbing, “Marilyn Forever” is an undeniable highlight of this year’s Adelaide Festival.” – Graham Strahle, The Australian.

“Marilyn Forever is an intimate piece steeped in beautiful melancholia. Jealousy, fame and the search for love collide making this soulful opera with a perfect ending an Adelaide Festival highlight.” – Gordon Forester, Limelight, Australia’s classical music and arts magazine.

On March 9th, 2014, Aventa presented Rolf Wallin’s Strange News, a work that confronts the challenging issue of child soldiers. Norway’s leading composer Rolf Wallin and Ugandan actor Arthur Kisenyi joined Aventa in the presentation of this work, which features video, live electronics, surround sound and the participation of local media. Following the Victoria production, Aventa presented Strange News on tour, alongside performances of Canadian music, in Seattle, Ottawa, Regina and New York City. A highlight of our tour was a presentation of Strange News in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy at the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa.

Aventa has been fortunate to receive generous support from all three levels of government and are encouraged by support received from Foundations, international support, private donors, sponsorship and our growing audience. Aventa occupies a unique position within the Canadian music community. The ensemble has established itself as a leader in contemporary programming through an established concert series, tours, commissions and premiere performances.

“a superb contemporary-music ensemble” – Elissa Poole, Globe and Mail
“Aventa played with wonderful fluidity, ease and naturalness…
whimsical, surreal and musically absorbing,
Marilyn Forever is an undeniable highlight
of this year’s Adelaide Festival. – Graham Strahle, The Australian
“a superb Canadian ensemble” – Sueddeutsche, München
“an amazing performance” – Stephen Pedersen, The Chronicle Herald, Halifax
“an uncommonly compelling interpretation” – B5 Kultur, München
“tight and well-prepared” – Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette
“a remarkable performance, a tour-de-force to match the music” – Deryk Barker, Music in Victoria
“I can hardly give enough praise to the 13 players of Victoria’s Aventa Ensemble and conductor Bill Linwood, who tackled all this difficult music with skill, passion and dedication”. – Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail
“You’ve had a glimpse of infinity, and lo and behold, it’s a nice place to be” – Elissa Poole, Opus Magazine

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