Chances are, you probably have never heard the acronym BRQ before. It was part of the title of a festival we just bought tickets for, as in BRQ Vantaa. Yes! You guessed it, my husband Carl’s doctor has given him the go-ahead to rebook our European trip, and since we look first for musical events to attend, we came across this early music festival to be held in Vantaa, Finland. Check out their website here.
Vantaa is the fourth largest city in Finland and has a population of over 200,000 people. It is home to the Helsinki-Vantaa airport where we will arrive after traveling from Honolulu, which we are already anticipating will be an ordeal. In case you are curious, this is the only way we could get there: Honolulu (HNL) to Los Angeles (LAX) to Houston (IAH) to London (LHR) to Munich (MUC) to Helsinki (HEL)! Whew! makes me exhausted just thinking about it!
Here’s what is scheduled:
Aug. 3, Latvian Radio Choir, Europe’s finest chamber choir sings music by J. S. Bach, Byrd, Purcell, Caldara, Pärt, Tomkins and Weelkes
Aug. 4, Ensemble Nylandia with guests on harpsichord, cello, violone, viola, violin and organ perform music from North Germany to Spain with works by Boccherini, Soler and C. P. E. Bach
Aug. 5, Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani is known for his thrillingly intense, dramatic interpretations and will play music by Benda, W. F. Bach and C. P. E. Bach
Aug. 5, Maggie Urquhart, violone, will perform with the BRQ Vantaa Ensemble (violin, viola da gamba, cembalon, organ and theorbo)
Aug. 6, Finnish Baroque Orchestra play music of Austria and Hungary, past and present
Aug. 7, The debut of a new keyboard instrument played by Ilpo Laspas
Aug. 7, BRQ Vantaa Ensemble and Maggie Urquhart play duos of different sizes and timbres.
Aug. 8, Tuija Hakkilo, fortepiano
Aug. 8, La Risonanza and Yetzabel Arias Fernandez, soprano, team up to perform music from Handel operas.
Aug. 10, Aapo Häkkinen, plays W. F. Bach and C. P. E. Bach on clavichord and harpsichord
Aug. 10, Ensemble Villancico from Sweden performs music from the Latin American baroque with voices, recorders, baroque guitar, lute, viola da gamba, and percussion.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, BRQ stands for Baroque. I’ll never forget the time when I was listening to radio KAIM (Hawaii Public Radio’s predecessor) and the announcer pronounced it as three syllables: bar – oh – cue!
Whatever — we’re certain to hear some wonderful performances in Vantaa!