Bringing together Canadian and international artists, SALT was an exciting and innovative two-day festival of contemporary music. In its second year, the festival featured Victoria’s new music ensemble Tsilumos (tsil meaning “ring” in Hebrew and lumos is Latin for “light”), the University of Victoria Orchestra, and several renowned international guests.
The festival commenced on Friday, March 2, at the University of Victoria with the UVic Orchestra and Ensemble Nikel. Under the direction of Ajtony Csaba, the orchestra presented the world premiere of Lovely Monster Reloaded by Bernhard Gander and the North American premiere of Chaya Czernowin’s Zohar Iver (Blind Radiance) — a concerto for Ensemble Nikel (saxophone, electric guitar, piano, and percussion) and orchestra. Czernowin was in Victoria for the festival and took part in a pre-performance talk.
On Saturday, March 3, the SALT Festival — PART 2 featured Tsilumos Ensemble (Joanna Hood, Ajtony Csaba, Dániel Péter Biró, and Kris Covlin), Ensemble Nikel (Vincent Daoud, Yaron Deutsch, Tom De Cock, and Reto Staub), celebrated Victoria pianist Tzenka Dianova, and Olaf Tzschoppe (Germany), member of Les Percussions de Strassburg and one of the greatest percussionists in the world. At Open Space the Tsilumos Ensemble presented world premieres of new works by Chaya Czernowin (Professor of Composition at Harvard University) and Israeli composer Ruben Seroussi.
Starting at 4 p.m. and continuing late into the evening, audience members had a chance to mingle with the composers and musicians while enjoying food and beverages designed specifically for this event by Victoria Spirits.