Gather ‘round with friends and family. Let’s welcome the new year with good music and good company!
Returning to the Orpheum stage is our favourite neighbourhood orchestra, Harmonia String Ensemble, and the rising stars of the West Vancouver Youth Band. Renowned Ukrainian pianist Anna Sagalova will also grace the stage, reminding us how arts brings people together. In collaboration with Jade Music Fest, Daniel Lew & Van Lefan will perform both original songs and iconic songs that everyone can sing along to. Enjoy a night of music from a selection of genres and cultures. Listen with LunarFest and hear how we are all Born to be Free!
LunarFest’s free concert is a chance for everyone to come together. Find stories in harmony and soar freely through the songs as the Year of the Dragon brings us good fortune and good thoughts!
In 2004, Tony Lee brought together a group of enthusiastic string players to read orchestral music in his home. This became a frequent event at the Lee residence and soon, the group decided to perform concerts publicly.
The objective of the group is to play chamber works that are rarely performed by large symphonic orchestras. The music they play is usually composed for strings only, or for a classical orchestra which may include a limited number of wind instruments (typically 2 oboes and 2 horns).
Initially, a whimsical name was chosen for the ensemble – I Musici Sushi – to give the group a “West Coast flavour”. Under the I Musici Sushi banner, the ensemble held three or more concerts a year. Admission was by donation and the proceeds were donated to charities.
In late December 2018, the group’s name was officially changed to Harmonia and we continue to perform and raise money for charitable causes.
Nicholas Urquhart is a vibrant musician bringing out the best in the ensembles he works with. He brings a verve and vitality to his music making. His blend of sophistication, wit, and joy, have earned him many return engagements and a reputation of excellence. The contagious energy he brings to the craft has led to a great deal of success with younger musicians as well.
Nicholas has worked with a multitude of ensembles and has formal positions with many groups. He is the principal conductor of the Harmonia Ensemble and also the Associate Conductor with the West Coast Symphony and Ambleside Orchestra. He has served as Assistant Conductor with the Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kelowna Pops Orchestra. He is also a regular Guest Conductor with the New Westminster Symphony. Nicholas is the director and conductor of the WYVB Strings (2 youth orchestras in West Vancouver) and runs an impressive string orchestra program at Killarney Secondary.
WVYB Strings Program is based in West Vancouver and comprises 3 orchestras ranging from very beginner to advanced. It is open to all string players from 7-19. The Symphonic Strings (the group performing) is a gold medal winner at the Con Brio Festival, and heralded for their many community performances, including the annual ‘Lift’ concert. String players from across the North Shore and beyond gather once a week to rehearse, prepare concerts, and learn what it means to create as an ensemble.
Anna Sagalova is a well known Ukrainian concert pianist. She is an Honored Artist of Ukraine and Associate Professor at Kharkiv I.P. Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts and completed a postgraduate course with G. Otto at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar (Germany). Recently, she obtained a doctoral degree in arts from Kharkiv University.
Anna is an internationally recognized artist and a laureate of many musical contests in Italy, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Canada and Germany. She frequently plays as a soloist with symphony orchestras throughout Ukraine under the baton of conductors from Ukraine, USA, Switzerland, Great Britain, Austria, etc. Anna has given concerts and taken part in a number of festivals across Europe and in China. Her performances have been broadcasted on radio and television. She has recorded two compact discs.
Anna is the Artistic Director of the International musical art contest Kharkiv Assembles, co-founder of the project Music Against Cancer, and a producer of multiple events and concerts. She is a jury member in several national and international music contests in Ukraine. Anna gives piano master-classes in Ukraine, Spain and the UK. Among her students and graduates are winners of all-Ukrainian and international music competitions.
Jade Music Fest is elevating Chinese-language music in Canada and beyond. More than a music festival, with panels, live showcases, and workshops, JMF is building a platform for Canadian and international musicians to connect with their heritage and mother tongues.
Daniel Lew is a Chinese-Canadian folk-pop artist with a mission to uplift the world. 10 years ago, he went deaf in his left ear and developed tinnitus. This trauma catalyzed his commitment to music. His songs have been called a “self-help book” due to their honest and introspective nature. He has independently released 3 albums, amassed over 400 performances, and has been featured by Jade Music Festival, TAIWANfest, Pancouver Magazine, and Daily Hive Vancouver.
Recently, Daniel received praise from Jacob Collier and Ed Sheeran while he was busking. Ed invited him backstage to his show where he had the opportunity to play a song and share insights about their music journeys.
In June 2023, he released his summer anthem “Alive (The Ocean Song)”. Produced by Braeden “Pockets” Rangno (Kimmortal), and featuring bass from Grammy Award winning producer/artist Pomo (Jon Batiste, Anderson .Paak, Mac Miller). A live performance of The Ocean Song was featured by Daily Hive Vancouver and gained 182,000 views, and landed in rotation at UK based radio station “The Sound Lab”.
Daniel received funding from Creative BC’s Career Development program, and is recording a new album that is on pace to be released May 2024. He will be supporting its release with a Canadian tour. He has a vision of providing opportunities for under-represented artists in the music industry, and is leading a team made primarily of Asian-Canadians. He’s embracing the momentum of his journey and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Van Lefan樂凡 is a Taiwanese multidisciplinary artist who honors art as powerful medicine for healing, change, sharing of stories and ideas. Her practice includes music, sound art, visual media, written works, theatre, northern Shaolin kung fu, dance, and aerial hoop.
An inquiry into personal and collective experience, her 2022 album, “What Holds Us Together?” is a sonic journey that synergizes folk, pop, experimental soundscapes and poetry, weaving a tapestry of ancestry, identity, ecological reverence and social justice.
Her work “Unsent Letters: To Whom It May Concern ” is an experimental play/immersive multimedia installation researching the intersections between her artistic practices and healing modalities. Inspired by personal experiences and background in psychology and counselling, this work is an intimate dive into the cyclical nature of interpersonal relationships, attachment patterns, and memories. Using songs, movement, monologues, and controlled feedback, Lefan investigates how experiences are imprinted in bodies, spaces, objects, and the processes we engage in to re-write these stories.
In recent years, she has worked with Immigrant Lessons, Rumble Theatre, What Lab, Media Arts Committee, Bard on the Beach, Jade Music Festival, and currently works as a 4DSOUND technician at Lobe Spatial Sound Studio.
LunarFest Vancouver is grateful to be held on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam Indian Band), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish Nation), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh Nation). We acknowledge our privilege to be gathered on this land, and commit to work with and be respectful to the Indigenous peoples whose cultures and stories inspire us to bring communities together.