about music on main

Music that brings us together.

“If there was any doubt that Vancouver is becoming a real nexus of musical creativity, its latest concert series should take care of that.”   (The Georgia Straight)

That’s what the Georgia Straight wrote when Music on Main launched on October 3, 2006 with One Night Stand: Steve Reich, a one night festival of Reich’s music that was part of the international celebrations of the composer’s 70th birthday.  Artistic Director David Pay created the series with a promise of great music in casual but stimulating environments, with top-flight musicians, an ear for contemporary music, and refreshing concert formats.

Since then, Music on Main has developed a growing local, national, and international reputation as storytellers for a post-classical age.

At a Music on Main concert, there’s always great musicians and interesting, engaging music. And there’s always the chance to make new friends, meet the artists, and escape from your to-do list for an hour or two.

Music on Main has produced more than 450 events featuring in excess of 1,000 musicians and 100 world premieres at Heritage Hall on Main Street, the now-closed Cellar Restaurant and Jazz Club in Kitsilano, and venues throughout Metro Vancouver. The music has touched the souls of thousands of listeners, and we’ve helped artists from around the world connect with each other, and with Vancouver audiences.

In 2010 we launched the annual Modulus Festival, which “provides western Canada with one of the finest windows onto the post-classical scene” (Gramophone Magazine). In 2014, we created “The Orpheus Project.”  November 2-8, 2017, we co-hosted the ISCM World New Music Days 2017.

Our events take place in Vancouver’s most vibrant neighbourhoods. The Main Street Series happens at Heritage Hall, The Fox Cabaret, and other intimate spaces located in the heart of the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, in East Vancouver.  Other events take place in unexpected and fun venues throughout Metro Vancouver.

At Music on Main, you’re always welcome.

“It’s an idea both simple and sophisticated: Why restrict quality music to the concert hall?”   (The Vancouver Sun)

about david pay

Music on Main’s Artistic Director David Pay loves sharing the experience of great music and great musicians with people. He founded Music on Main in 2006 with the goal of creating informal, intimate musical experiences. Since then, he’s developed an international reputation as one of today’s leading-edge classical and contemporary music programmers, creating what the Huffington Post calls “a program that spanned the range of human experience.”

His background in music includes degrees in classical saxophone performance, years of singing in choirs, and sitar lessons in India. But it’s producing concerts that gets him out of bed in the morning (and often keeps him up at night!). He loves to think about innovative ways for audiences and musicians to engage with each other. He plays with ideas about how music from different eras and different genres can shed light on each other. And he’s committed to ensuring that all kinds of music can be experienced in welcoming, friendly environments that puts both listeners and performers at ease.

Dave has been a Visiting Artist and Associate Director, Fall & Winter Music Programs at The Banff Centre and has served on the faculty at Capilano University’s Arts & Entertainment Management Department. He is a frequent speaker at conferences across North America and Europe, and was the Artistic Producer of the 2015 Opening Night Gala of Classical:NEXT, the world’s leading classical music showcase. He served as Artistic Director of ISCM World New Music Days 2017, the largest new music festival in Canada’s history.

Next time you’re at a Music on Main event, introduce yourself to Dave. He’d love to meet you!