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, son of the famous Russian pianist, Tatiana Shebanova, who was married to Polish pianist, Jaroslaw Drzewiecki. Presenting this musical family to Vancouver audiences seemed like a great idea; however, this required some organizational structure. It seemed natural and timely to consider starting a Chopin society for Vancouver, since the International Federation of Chopin Societies, founded in Warsaw in 1985, was receiving quick recognition, and many new Chopin societies were launched 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 nineteen 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 run by wonderful and dedicated volunteers who donate their time, energy and talents to manage and direct society’s affairs. If you are interested in serving on our board, please click here.
- Lee Kum-Sing – Artistic Director
- Benedykt Iko Bylicki – Senior Manager
- Patrick May – Director, President
- Henry Ewert – Director, Vice-President
- Teresa Bobrowska – Director, Secretary
- Jason Ng – Director, Treasurer
- Vince Cardella – Director
- Eugene Nizker – Programming Director
- Nathan Wells – Director
- Anna Pietrzak – Director
- Graham Blank – Director
- Dawn Short – Honorary member of the Board
Please contact us at:
The Vancouver Chopin Society
# 400 – 601 West Broadway Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 4C2
Welcome to The Vancouver Chopin Society’s 2023-2024 season. As we enter into our next quarter century, The Vancouver Chopin Society is proud to have introduced to Vancouver audiences laureates of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, legends of the piano, as well as promising young artists who are already showing signs of becoming tomorrow’s stars.
What a season we have for you! Lilya Zilberstein, an artist at the height of her powers, will make a welcome return to Vancouver. We have our dear friend Rafal Blechacz, whose appearances here have always been very special occasions. Alexander Gavrylyuk, whose performance of Rachmaninoff’s second sonata still rings in our ears, will return to perform for us. As well, we have the Vancouver recital debut of Anna Geniushene, silver medalist of the Cliburn Competition. Together with our friends at Early Music Vancouver, we will present fortepianist Melisande McNabney in recital.
And we have two very special performances at the Orpheum Theatre – keyboard legend Yefim Bronfman and the return of Bruce (Xiaoyu) Liu!
Need we say more?
We already feel the excitement about our upcoming season as we write these words. Please do join us for another extraordinary series of performances that you would remember and talk about for a long time to come.
We continue our commitment to make our tickets affordable to everyone, in particular seniors and students. BCRMTA members enjoy a substantial discount of 20%. The price for youth (Grades 1 through 12) will once again be an unbelievable $15 per ticket. If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, you are eligible to purchase single tickets at the extraordinarily low price of $18.
Come help us celebrate the beauty and excitement of live music!
From the Board
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.
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:
President: Marta Noguera
Address: Av. de Mayo 1370 – Palacio Barolo 6° floor oficce 127
Phone: +54 11 47 73 22 95
Friends of Chopin Australia Inc.
President: Ben James
Address: 4 Morrow Street
Dunlop Act, 2615
Phone: +61 2 625 95 099
Internationale Chopin-Gesellschaft in Wien
President: Theodor Kanitzer
Address: Biberstrasse 4, A-1010 Vienna
Phone: +43 1 512 23 74
Fax: +43 1 512 23 74/75
Chopin-Associatie Vlaanderen vzw.
President: Willy Claes
Address: Meerlaarstraat 127, 2430 Vorst-Laakdal
The Vancouver Chopin Society
President: Patrick May
Address: #400 – 601 West Broadway Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. V5Z 4C2
Sociedad Frederico Chopin de Chile
President: Cristobal Giesen
Address: Miraflores 178 – Piso 13
Phone: (562) 2425 9404
Společnost Fryderyka Chopina, spolek
President: Ivan Klansky
Address: Dům Chopin, Hlavni 47, 353 01 Mariánské Lázne
Phone: 00420 354 595 267, 00420 777 670 319
Chopin Society of Finland
President: Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna
Address: Suomen Chopin-yhdistys ry. /The Chopin Society of Finland
Museokatu 3 A 6
FI-00100 Helsinki, Finland
E-mail: email@example.com, rangervo(at)siba.fi, rebekka.angervo(at)emo.fi
Association “Musique au Pays de George Sand”
President: Yves Henry
Address: 7, avenue George Sand, 36400 La Châtre
Phone: +33 25 406 04 95
Fax: +33 25 406 09 15
Association Frédéric Chopin de Lyon
President: Hélene Balligand
Address: 14, avenue de Grange Blanche, 69160 Tassin-la-Demi-Lune
Phone: +33 04 72 71 81 93
Centre de Recherche Culturel Chopin
President: Sylvain Blaise
Address: 16 Rue des Capucins -BP 14-, F-88130 Charmes Cedex
Phone: +33 03 29 38 88 55
Fax: +33 03 83 30 50 36
Société Chopin a Paris
President: Antoine Paszkiewicz
Address: 23, avenue Foch, 75116 Paris
Phone: +33 145 00 22 19
Fax: +33 140 67 70 08
Chopin Gesellschaft in der BRD e.V.
President: Aleksandra Mikulska
Address: Kasinostrasse 3, Kennedy-Haus, D-64293 Darmstadt
Phone/Fax: +49 (0)6155 7952606
Chopin-Gesellschaft Hamburg-Sachsenwald e. V.
President: Hubert Rutkowski
Address: Obere Bahnstraße 12,
21465 Wentorf bei Hamburg
Phone: +49 (0)4104 2489
President: Sookie Schober
Address: Kirchröder Str. 42, D-30625 Hannover
Phone: +49 511-55-42-22
Fax: +49 511 55 07 78
Chopin-Gesellschaft Taunus e.V.
President: Ilse Schwarz-Schiller
Address: Zimmersmühlenweg 27, D-61440 Oberursel, Hochtaunuskreis
Fryderyk Chopin-Gesellschaft in Berlin
President: Jolanta Bork
Address: Auguste-Viktoria-str 24, D-14193 Berlin
Phone/Fax: +49 30 826 40 46
György Ferenczy Foundation
President: Izabela Darska Havasi
Address: Nagyszekes U, 8, HU – 1172 Budapest
Phone: +36 1 253 66 40
The Chopin Society in Israel
President: Alexander Tamir
Address: P.O.Box 410, Jerusalem
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Associazione Culturale „Fryderyk Chopin”
President: Mrs. Marcella Crudeli
Address: Via Pierfranco Bonetti, 88/90
Phone: +39 06 5073889
International Chopin Festival in Japan
President: Hiroyuki Takashima
Address: 1-20-2-307 Ebisu Shibuya-ku, Tokio 150-0013
Phone: +81 3 6450 3307, +81 90 3009 3951
Fax: +81 3 6450 3308
The Frederic Chopin Society of Japan
President: Hitoshi Kobayashi
Address: c/o Kawai Musical Inst. Mfg. Co. Ltd, Zenriren Bldg. 1-36-4 Yoyogi Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151
Phone: +81 333 79 28 03
The Frederic Chopin Society of Korea
President: Suk Kim
Address: Chong-Pil Lim
Piano Department, School of Music
222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu
KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Phone: +82 10 3385 2934
Chopin Stichting Nederland
President: J. A. W. Buisman
Address: p/a Museum Geelvinck
Phone: +31 20 639 07 47
The Frederic Chopin Palestinian Society
President: Saleem Zougbi
Address: P. O. Box 228
PALESTINIAN TERRITORY, OCCUPIED
Phone: +(970) or (972) 2 2777141
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Foundation of International Chopin Festivals in Duszniki Zdrój
President: Andrzej Merkur
Address: Rynek 10, 57-340 Duszniki Zdrój
Phone: +48 74 866 92 80
Frederic Chopin Society in Warsaw
President: Kazimierz Gierżod
Address: ul. Tamka 43, 00-355 Warszawa
Phone: +48 22 826 65 49, +48 22 828 38 73
Fax: +48 22 827 95 89
Polish Chopin Academy
President: Irena Poniatowska
Address: ul. Tamka 43, 00-355 Warszawa
Phone: +48 22 44 16 197
Kosovo Chopin Society, Faculty of Arts-Music Departament Prishtina
President: Lejla Paula
Address: Maria Theresa, Prishtina
REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO
Phone/Fax: +38 138 220 446
Chopin Golden Ring Institute
President: Janez Rozman
Address: Šercerjeva 35
Phone: +386 40236573
Association “Festivals Chopin de Valldemossa”
President: Rosa Capplonch Ferra
Address: Celda No 2 en la Cartuja de Valldemossa, Claustre de la Cartoixa 2, 07170 Valldemossa, Mallorca
Institut Frederic Chopin en Suisse
President: Magdalena Hirsz
Address: rue de l’Eglise Catholique 12
Phone: +41 77 489 81 66
Schweizerische Chopin-Gesellschaft in Basel
President: Alicja Masan
Address: Jacob Burckhardtstr. 60, CH-4052 Basel
Phone/Fax: +41 61 313 05 30
Société Frédéric Chopin Geneve
President: Aldona Budrewicz-Jacobson
Address: Case postale 18, CH-1222 Geneve
The Frederic Chopin Foundation of Taipei
President: Anna Fujita
Address: 5F.,No.17,Ln.26,Yixian Rd.,Xinyi Dist.,Taipei Taiwan.110
TAIWAN, PROVINCE OF CHINA
Phone: +886 2 27 51 61 27, +886 2 27 81 33 60
Bangkok Chopin Society
President: Lucia Menchavez Thangsuphanich
Address: 272 Soi Sri Nakorn, Linchee Rd., Yannawa, Bangkok 10120
Chopin International Academy of TOVAK Foundation
President: Irena ÜLKÜ
Address: F. K. Gökay Cd. Okul Sk. Altunizade Sitesi F Blok D. 1
Phone: (+90) 531 772 18 35; (+48) 505 082 777
Frederick Chopin Society in Ukraine
President: Natalia Vorobyova
Address: vul. Vernadskogo 18 kv. 40, 49027 Dnepropetrovsk
Phone: +38 0501765849
Chopin Foundation of the United States, Inc.
President: Blanka A. Rosenstiel
Address: 1440 79th Street Causeway, suite 117, Miami, Florida 33141
Phone: +1 305 868 06 24
Fax: +1 305 868 51 50
Chopin Society of Atlanta
President: Dorota Lato
Address: 10700 State Bridge Road, Suite 12,
Johns Creek, Georgia 30022
Phone: +1 404 245 6133
Chopin Society of Connecticut
President: Luiz Carlos de Moura Castro
Address: 38 East Woodhaven Drive
Avon, CT 06001-2425, USA
Phone: +1 860 675 6363