The society aims to promote cultural interaction among the people of Vancouver, who come from a rich variety of ethnic backgrounds, and to emphasize the importance of music in our lives. We have chosen to name our Society after the Polish composer Frederic Chopin because of the universal appeal of his music and his world-wide reputation as one of the greatest composers for the keyboard.
The VCS is a member of the International Federation of Chopin Societies, based in Vienna. This connection puts us in touch with some fifty other Chopin Societies worldwide, creating exciting possibilities for inviting international musicians to Vancouver.
The Vancouver Chopin Society is a registered charity. All donations are tax deductible and will be acknowledged in VCS concert programs. Our activities are presented mainly through the assistance of volunteers. If you are interested in helping us as a volunteer, please call 604.871.4450
The idea of founding the VCS came to Iko Bylicki’s mind in late 1996 when he heard about the ten-year-old prodigy, pianist Stanislaw Drzewiecki, the son of the famous Russian pianist, Tatiana Shebanova, who was married to the Polish pianist, Jaroslaw Drzewiecki. Presenting this family to a Vancouver audience seemed like a great idea; however, this required some organizational structure. It was natural to think about starting another Chopin society, since the International Federation of Chopin Societies, founded in Warsaw in 1985, was receiving quick recognition, and many new Chopin societies were popping up around the world.
Sharing this idea with other Polish enthusiasts resulted in The Vancouver Chopin Society being incorporated on April 22, 1997 under the Society Act of British Columbia with Tadeusz van Wollen as president, Eryk Sitkowiecki as artistic director, Iko Bylicki as vice-president, Malgorzata Burczycka as secretary, and Tadeusz Dukszta as treasurer. In the same year, the VCS officially became a member if the IFCS. However, the first concert did not occur until a year later, on April 19, 1998, in the Vancouver Playhouse. Teresa Bobrowska, our current secretary, joined us after that first concert.
Being able to continue and survive the very first seasons and build the foundation for the Society was possible because of the outstanding dedication of, among others, two ladies, Elizabeth Czetwertynski, an incredibly charming old lady who was able to bring around a hundred people for each concert since nobody could refuse her convincing power, and Dr. Maria Bleszynski, whose financial generosity rescued the Society from sinking a number of times.
The very first member of the Society was Masanao Morimura, the Japanese scientist, who retired in Canada in the nineties. He played piano very well and was extremely fond of Chopin’s music, and he was developing a web site about Chopin and writing a book. He passed away on May 27, 2012, a few days after he had renewed his subscription.
The first concerts were held in the Norman Rothstein Theatre, but in the second half of the 1999/2000 season, the board decided to move the concerts to the auditorium of the Vancouver Academy of Music. In 2006, the board decided to move the concerts to Magee Theatre, and since then, the concert series is presented in three venues, the Vancouver Playhouse, the Chan Centre, and the Magee Theatre.
Conductor Grzegorz Nowak became the VCS’s artistic director in 1999, holding the post through 2004. After Mr. Nowak left Canada, Lee Kum-Sing, respected piano teacher, worldwide, became the artistic director, and has remained so since.
And eighteen seasons after The Vancouver Chopin Society was inaugurated, three members, Malgorzata Burczycka, Teresa Bobrowska, and Iko Bylicki are still working on the board of the VCS, feeling privileged to be part of such a competent and dedicated board such as we have today.
Our society is entirely run by wonderful and dedicated volunteers who donate their time, energy and talents to manage and direct society’s affairs.
- Lee Kum-Sing – Artistic Director
- Iko Bylicki – President
- Henry Ewert – Vice-President
- Teresa Bobrowska – Secretary
- Jason Ng – Treasurer
- Ori Kowarsky – Publicity Director
- Malgorzata Burczycka – Director
- Vince Cardella – Director
- Patrick May – Director
- Dawn Short – Honorary member of the Board
- Niels Andersen – Honorary member of the Board
Please contact us at:
The Vancouver Chopin Society
# 400 – 601 West Broadway Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 4C2
From the Artistic Director
The Vancouver Chopin Society is distinctive in its approach to featuring artists of the keyboard not by their famous names, but for their specialty in Chopin’s music and exceptional performances of classical repertoire. And with our unique international connections, particularly in the European countries, the Chopin Society has been able to bring to Vancouver audiences top Chopin interpreters such as Nelson Freire, Nelson Goerner, Rafal Blechacz, Ingrid Fliter, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Dina Yoffe, Juana Zayas, Wojciech Switala, Zbigniew Raubo, Janne Mertanen, Ingolf Wunder and Daniil Trifonov. These former Chopin Competition laureates and judges have won the highest possible critical acclaim worldwide for their recitals and recordings of the music of Chopin and other composers, though some are generally not so well-known in North America. In many cases the Chopin Society has introduced them first to Vancouver.
Consequently, the Vancouver Chopin Society has been able to bring the highest caliber of artists to Vancouver audiences of music lovers, teachers and music students at very affordable ticket prices.
Thanks to the support of our donors and audiences, we look forward to continuing this tradition in seasons to come.
From the President
It is our pleasure to welcome you here as we enter an exciting 19th season. It would not be possible without you!
We have established a great history of a yearly four-concert series that includes established artists, as well as rising talents.
Once again, we have for you a fantastic line up of four great pianists: Ewa Poblocka, known in musical circles as the first lady of the piano in Poland; Charles Richard-Hamelin, silver medalist at the 17th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the first Canadian ever to win a top prize in this prestigious Competition; Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, considered by many critics to be incomparable for his Debussy and Ravel interpretations; and Sergei Babayan, one of today’s top pianists.
We continue to maintain the lowest possible price for subscriptions. We are able to do this because our society is entirely run by wonderful and dedicated volunteers.
Together with your support, we look forward to many years ahead.
Member of IFCS
The VCS is a member of the International Federation of Chopin Societies, based in Vienna.
Members of the International Federation of Chopin Societies
Fundacion Frederic Chopin
1425 Buenos Aires
Mr. Hector Citera – President
The Frederic Chopin of Victoria
Mrs. Irena Janus-Olchowik – President
Internationale Chopin-Gesellschaft in Wien
Dr. Theodor Kanitzer – President
Chopin Gesellschaft in Vorarlberg
Prof. Jacek Łukaszczyk – President
Frederyk Chopinstichting v.z.w.
Mr. Willy Verhelst – President
Association Frederic Chopin – Karol Szymanowski
Mrs. Joanna Bruzdowicz – President
Sociedade Chopin do Brasil
Alto de Pinheiros
Mrs. Glora Guerra – President
The Vancouver Chopin Society
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4C2
Mr. Iko Bylicki – President
Drustvo Fryderyk Chopin
Prof. Stjepan Radič – President
Sociedad Federico Chopin de la Habana
Ciudad de la Habana
Mrs. Nancy Casanova – President
Spoleenost Fryderyka Chopina KaSS
353 01 Marianske Lazne
Prof. Ivan Klansky – President
Det Danske Chopinselskab
Mrs. Elsebeth Brodersen
The London Chopin Society
London, W10 6JL
ph. + 44 020 8960 4027
Lady Rose Cholmondeley – President & Co-Chairman
Association Lyonnaise Frédéric Chopin
Mrs. Denise Montibert – President
Société Chopin a Paris
Mr. Antoine Paszkiewicz – President
Association des Amis de Nicolas Chopin
Mr. Gabriel Ladaique – President
Societe Chopin a Nohant
36-400 Nohant – Vic
Mr. Adam Wibrowski – President
Chopin Gesellschaft in der BRD e.V.
64293 Darmstadt 11
Prof. Maciej Lukaszczyk – President
Chopin-Gesellschaft Taunus e.V.
D-61440 Oberursel Hochtaunuskreis
Mrs. Ilse Schwarz-Schiller – President
D-3000 Hannover 61
Mrs. Beate Geiseler
Deutsche Chopin-Gesellschaft e.V.
Mr. Bernd Weinreich
Grupo Fryderyk Chopin
8a. calle 35-53 zona 10, El Prado
Mrs. Geraldina Baca-Spross – President
Associazione Musicale Internazionale F.Chopin
Mrs. Anna Maria Corduas – President
Associazione Internazionale F.Chopin
80 133 Napoli
Dr Leonardo Sardo – President
Associazione Culturale Fryderyk Chopin
The Chopin Society in Israel
Mr. Alexander Tamir – President
The Frederic Chopin Society of Japan
Zenriren Bldg. 1-36-4 Yoyogi Shibuya-ku
Prof. Hitoshi Kobayashi – President
Mr. Kimyo Sano – Secretary General
The Chopin Society of Korea
Suite # 606, Samku Bldg.
576-15 Sinsa-Dong, Kangnam-Ku
Prof. Jin-Woo Chung – President
Sociedad Cultural Frederico Chopin de Mexico
Mexico, D.F. C.P. 11850
Mrs. Maria Teresa Rodriquez – President
Mr. Leszek Zawadka- Executive President
Association Marocaine des Amis de Frederic Chopin
Dr. Omar El Hajjami – President
Drustvo Fr. Sopen
11000 NEW YUGOSLAV
Prof. Jokut Mihailovič – President
Philippine Chopin Society
Polska Akademia Chopinowska
c/o Państwowa Szkola Muzyczna nr 2 im. F.Chopina
Prof. Irena Poniatowska – President
Towarzystwo im.Fryderyka Chopina w Warszawie (TIFC)
Prof..Tadeusz Chmielewski – President
Mr.Albert Grudziński – General Director
Fryderyk Chopin Society in Moscow
Prof. Leonid Sidelnikov – President
Mr. Michail Aleksandrov – Director
Association Festivals Chopin de Valldemossa
07170 Valldemossa, Mallorca
Mrs. Rosa Capplonch Ferra – Chairwoman
CH- 3073 Gümlingen
Mr. Rolf Junker – President
Mrs. Silvia Mikhail-Reber – General Secretary
The Frederic Chopin Foundation of Taipei
Mrs. Annna Fujita – President
Bangkok Chopin Society
Mrs. Kamolvan Noot Punyashthiti – Hon. Secretary
Fryderyk Chopin Society of Texas
Corpus Christi, Texas 78411
Prof. Nina Drath – President
The Frederic Chopin Society
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408
Mrs. Carolyn White – President
Western Chopin Society
V Phoenix AZ 85020-5614
Mr. Tadeusz Zakrzewski – President
Chopin Association, Inc.
Tucson, AZ 85717
Mrs. Halina Jasiak – President
The Chopin Association
Washington, D.C. 20019
Mr. J.Nelson Logan – President
The Chopin Foundation of the United States, Inc.
Miami, Florida 33141
Mrs. Blanka Rosenstiel – President
The Fryderyk Chopin Society of Connecticut
Ashford, CT 06278
ph. (860) 429-4234
Mr. Slavomir Dobrzanski – Artistic Director
Club de Musique F.Chopin
51, X Tran Hung Dao
Prof. Nguyen Huu Tuan – President