Leila Getz had a dream-to present outstanding musicians in recitals for Vancouver music lovers. In 1980, she brought that dream to life when she founded the Vancouver Recital Society. Her vision and leadership have established the Society as one of North America’s most respected classical music organizations and its concerts are sought-after platforms for presenting new talent. As artistic director, she has been instrumental in launching the careers of numerous emerging local and international artists, and brought renowned artists to Vancouver from around the world.
In 1986, she established the successful Summer Chamber Music Festival, showcasing the finest and most promising young musicians from Canada and abroad. The Festival has commissioned new works, held workshops for young musicians, and has reached out to the community with free concerts. One of her brainwaves was a summer “Musical Instrument Petting Zoo”, where with a gathering of the festival’s musicians, children can touch, feel, blow into, strum and familiarize themselves with the instruments. This proved to be a huge success, and led to innumerable demands for music lessons.
Ms. Getz has served on the juries of the national finals of the Canadian Music Competitions, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the nominating committee for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, and is a member of the International Council for the Esther Honens International Piano Competition.
Ms. Getz received an Achievement Award from the State of Israel Bonds in Vancouver; the Canadian Arts Presenters’ Association Award in Toronto; and the International Association of Performing Arts Presenters’ Harold Shaw Award in New York. She received the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture, a Canada 125th Anniversary Medal, and a Golden Jubilee Medal.
In 1994, Leila Getz was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.