Arts Report Review: Turning Point Ensemble’s Carnival


Vancouver has been and will be always a source of musical talent. Founded in 2002, Turning Point Ensemble‘s 16 core instrumentalists bring together magnificent music from the early 20th century to today’s modern. Bringing in audiences with their flair-filled shows and intricately woven programs, audiences will be forever transformed by the experience.

Carnival, featuring acclaimed cellist Ariel Barnes, premiered on Friday, March 13 and concluded on the 14th. Here to tell you about the innovative performance–Arts Correspondent Christine Kim with her review under the cut.



Carnival is a classical music concert put on by Turning Point Ensemble on Friday March 13. The very first opening song was Vez by Ana Sokolovic. Vez is a cello solo played the internationally recognized cellist, Ariel Barnes. For me, starting off the concert with a cello solo was a unique experience as I am used to cellos playing more of the background base tunes than a forefront melody. As such, it was very nice getting to hear the range of notes the cello could play and how well it could sound independently of other instruments. The other unique aspect of this performance, but also for the concert in general, that I noticed was simply how close the audience was to the performers. I could hear the celloist’s breathing, see his facial expressions, and follow his eye contact on his hands. Usually, the audience in a huge theatre really only gets to watch ensembles from afar but the proximity of where I was sitting to the musicians was completely unexpected.

After the cellist, there were several numbers by changing musician groups before I believe the entire cast came out to play the main number, Carnival. Carnival was played by about 12-15 musicians, two of which were pianists that each played on one grand piano. The harmony the two grands made were beautiful and again, something I was not used to at all. Along this note, I was surprised to find myself laughing at some of the melodies the musicians created. The tunes created were based on the topic of an animal. How well the personality of each animal was captured with the melodies that were produced! Slow tunes, graceful tunes, strong and deep tunes, left audiences with favourites they could hum as they left the auditorium. Some of my favorites were the ones I could recognize from mainstream culture like the Aquarium and Tortoises.

Overall, it was a classical music experience that introduced me to many new things and had unique style that I will not soon forget.