The month of November, 2017 proved to be a very active and productive month for Luke Welch as he traveled from the Netherlands to North America for his first tour of British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. The tour began with a recital at the Old School House in Qualicum Beach on Sunday November 12, a multi-facility building on Vancouver Island which houses an art gallery and hosts concerts throughout the year. After the emotional performance, which included pieces by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Chopin, Morawetz, and Schumann, Welch was treated to a surprise birthday serenade from the capacity audience on stage!
The journey continued in Burnaby a couple of days later at Brentwood Presbyterian Church - a venue equipped with marvelous acoustics, and primarily features a jazz concert series. Nevertheless, representing one of the first opportunities to expand the church's programming with classical music, this recital included works by Scarlatti, Morawetz, Chopin, and Robert Schumann to a very appreciative group of listeners. Welch then ventured to West Vancouver for an appearance at the Silk Purse Gallery on November 16. This picturesque location along the ocean-side was the perfect setting for an early recital to another sold-out and enthusiastic crowd. Notably in attendance was Claudia Morawetz - daughter of the celebrated Canadian composer Oskar Morawetz - who was very interested to meet the pianist after the performance.
The Western Canada journey continued with a visit to the islands off the coast - first via Denman Island to Hornby Island on Saturday November 18. Hornby Island accommodates a year-round residential population of approximately 1,000 which swells to upwards of 5,000 people during the summer, and features a concert series entitled MADDWEve (Musical Antidote to Dark, Dreary Winter Evenings). This afternoon performance certainly provided the appropriate weather for the title of the series, though it did not deter the islanders who still came out for the concert at Hornby Island Community Hall which was followed by a delightful dinner. The following day was an early start - a commute back to Vancouver Island for an afternoon recital at Chemainus Classical Concerts. Chemainus, a former sawmill community, is located approximately 100 kilometers south of Victoria and is known for its wide array of murals. On this occasion, Welch performed in front of another packed house at St. Michael's Church and also treated the audience to a surprise selection as an encore.
To complete the series, Welch then returned to mainland British Columbia where he ventured east across the province to Abbotsford for a Coffee Concert, and continued through the mountains to Lake Country for a notable moment where he presented the first ever classical concert at Creekside Theatre on November 26. With the tour now in the books, he is set for a very active 2018 with concerts in Canada, the Netherlands, England, and more! Be sure to check the agenda for performances near you.