The ensemble

Con­trasto Armon­ico is a lead­ing ensemble which focuses on early music. The ensemble is based in Victoria, BC (Canada).
Since 2015 Contrasto Armonico has been the co-organiser of the Denman Island Baroque Music Workshop and Festival, on Denman Island (BC).

The ensemble was formed in 2004 by cellist Marta Semkiw and harpsichordist Marco Vitale (musi­c direc­tor). The birth of the orches­tra was cel­e­brated in Delft (Netherlands) with two pro­duc­tions of Han­del operas: “Siroe, Re di Per­sia” and “Lotario”.

The aim of Con­trasto Armon­ico is to embrace to the roots of his­tor­i­cally informed per­for­mance by doing front-line research and advanc­ing the bound­aries of early music per­for­mance prac­tice. We consider historically informed performance as a con­stant “work in progress”, treating it as a phi­los­o­phy of exploration instead of as a con­sol­i­dated tradition.

The ensemble consists of pro­fes­sional early musi­c specialists from Canada and all over the world who share the same ideals and vision, using period instru­ments, his­tor­i­cal pitches and trans­po­si­tions, with the goal of getting as close as pos­si­ble to the style and aes­thetic of the work performed.

Con­trasto Armon­ico embarked on a record­ing project of Han­del vocal works in the Ital­ian lan­guage; the first CD was released in 2008 by Bril­liant Clas­sics, with the ser­e­nata “Aci, Galatea e Polifemo” fol­lowed by the ora­to­rio “La Res­ur­rezione” in April 2009. Con­trasto Armon­ico is cur­rently involved in record­ing the com­plete Ital­ian can­tatas by G. F. Han­del, an ambi­tious project which will include all the can­tatas in the Ital­ian lan­guage, with instru­men­tal accompaniment as well as with solo basso con­tinuo. Currently 7 volumes have been released and the project is ongoing under the ayros recording label.

Con­trasto Armon­ico has per­formed in prestigious con­cert halls and festivals such as Con­cert­ge­bouw Ams­ter­dam, Utrecht Early Music Festival, Styriarte Graz.

In April 2022 Contrasto Armonico Music Society was incorporated in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Since moving to British Columbia the ensemble has performed for Early Music Vancouver’s Bach Festival, Vernon Proms, Salt Spring Baroque, and the Denman Island Baroque Music Festival.

Contrasto Armonico Music Society

2263 Arbutus Rd.
Victoria BC V8N 1V4
Business number: 73516 8403 BC0001
We would like to acknowledge the land
we come together to perform is the traditional territory of the Lekwungen Peoples.
Kindly supported by
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram