David Gordon Duke

To call 2020 a challenging year would be a monumental understatement. For all cultural organizations, the issues of how to exist and, hopefully, work during pandemic times has created an environment like no other in recent memory. As spring 2020 turned into summer, Early Music Vancouver faced yet another challenge: artistic and executive director Matthew White was leaving the organization to become CEO of the Victoria Symphony; new leadership was required, and there was no time to waste.

Late in 2020 came the announcement: The admired soprano and early-music specialist Suzie LeBlanc would take over the reins of one of the Pacific Northwest’s major early-music organizations. For staff, stakeholders, and interested members of the music community, the appointment was met with resounding enthusiasm, and a quiet sigh of relief.

“When I joined EMV’s board of directors in 2008, Suzie already had a large presence on EMV programs,” says past president Sharon E. Kahn. “Audiences looked forward to hearing Suzie every season. So, it feels natural that Suzie — a good friend of EMV’s — is leading EMV more than a decade later.”