Orford, April 20, 2017. – Orford Music is proud to present the 2017 edition of its international Festival, Wonny Song’s second as artistic director. More than 70 events will take place throughout the summer, with Canadian artists figuring prominently as Canada celebrates the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
“This summer promises to be a spectacular season, with some 20 performances in the Great Concerts series, and something for every taste. I am firmly committed to making classical music accessible to everyone and, with this in mind, we are creating opportunities to meet and discuss with the artists, as well as question-answer sessions that will be held in parallel with certain concerts,” says Wonny Song.
A season with an accent on innovation
“This summer, I look forward to giving listeners the chance to discover a new aspect of classical music with innovative artists who are constantly pushing the limits. I want to encourage this artistic approach, which is a driving force behind the evolution of classical music. This is particularly the case with artists such as jazz saxophonist Yannick Rieu, the Kuss Quartet, and harpist Valérie Milot,” adds the pianist and artistic director.
Orford Music will also welcome back several well-known artists and favourites of the audience: Marc-André Hamelin, Lorraine Desmarais, Stéphane Tétreault, the Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal and André Laplante.
Canadian composers in the spotlight
This summer, the Festival will pay tribute to Canadian artists, in particular composers, as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation, a major milestone in Canadian history. The music of several of our composers will be performed by various guest artists, including compositions by Simon Bertrand, André Prévost, FrançoisMorel and Marjan Mozetich.
On July 7, Valérie Milot, a perfect example of innovation in action, will whisk the audience away to aluminous musical universe. As music lovers listen to different compositions and arrangements for harp, they will also enjoy a beautiful light display that projects a luminous sphere around the artist and her instrument. A remarkable event!
Often described as one of the greatest virtuosos of the romantic repertoire, the incomparable André Laplante will once again take to the stage at Orford Music on July 8, to perform music by Liszt, Schubert and Chopin. The popular Orford Six Pianos ensemble will be back with more surprises in store for the audience and exciting renditions of original arrangements at what promises to be an explosive concert on July 9. On the program: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas, The Moldau by Smetana and Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky. And the great Marc-André Hamelin will be at the Orford Music Festival for two concerts! The first on July 14, will be a recital featuring the Four Impromptus D. 935 by Schubert; and the second on July 15, where he will interpret the monumental and dramatic Quintet in F minor by Brahms with the Kuss Quartet, an internationally recognized German ensemble. Finally, young Canadian prodigyJan Lisiecki, now signed with the prestigious Deutsche Grammophon label, will perform classics from the greats, including Bach, Schumann, Chopin and Beethoven on July 23.
Violin & Strings Series
Unique opportunity: the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and its maestro Fabien Gabel will perform at Orford on July 21! The audience will hear the magnificent and moving Symphony No. 2 in D major by Brahms and Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor, considered by many as the greatest in the cello repertoire, with young musician Cameron Crozman. Described as the next Itzhak Perlman, young violinist Paul Huang, recipient of numerous prizes including the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2015, and the Lincoln Center Award for Emerging Artists in 2017, will team up with the much-loved Stéphane Tétreault on August 5 to perform violin-cello duets, and Mendelssohn’s Trio in D minor, No. 1 with pianist Katherine Chi.
Once again this year, the Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey will host two baroque concerts. On July 15, travel back in time and discover choral music of North America’s French colonies, presented by the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal and Maestro Andrew McAnerney. On July 29, enjoy the talented team comprised of Louise Pellerin and Luc Beauséjour for an intimate concert featuring oboe and organ. The sacred space has ideal acoustics for these magnificent concerts, offering the audience a truly contemplative experience.
Academy Grand Masters Series
Admire the dedication and immense talent of the Academy’s distinguished faculty on June 17 and July 1st! These renowned artists come together every year to offer new discoveries as well as classics from the chamber music repertoire. Also, Orford Music will pay tribute to the great teacher and cellist Laurence Lesser for his rich career and dedication on June 30. The audience will enjoy this majestic instrument like never before with an ensemble of 12 cellists.
Jazz and World Music Series
With top-notch jazzmen from the Montreal jazz scene, the great Lorraine Desmarais and her big band will bring her newest creation to the stage on July 22: Danses Danzas Dances, a “dance suite” of colourful styles from around the world. Passion, breathtaking performances, and humour are in store!
On July 29, the audience will dive into the world of Da-Li, a program inspired by Asian music with renowned saxophonist Yannick Rieu. Finally, the classically trained and technically solid musical director and pianist of the show Belle et Bum, Julie Lamontagne, along with a string quartet, will bring an evening that promises to be fun and original on August 11, with jazzy renditions of classical composers such as Rachmaninov, Debussy, and Handel. In the World Music series, Peruvian Canadian singer Patricia Cano will perform a tribute to Mercedes Sosa on August 4; an evening of latin rhythms presented in a unique blend with a touch of southern warmth!
I Musici de Montréal will visit the Festival with conductor Jean-Marie Zeitouni on August 12! The chamber orchestra will interpret Mozart’s Divertimento in D major and, as pièce de résistance, the Serenade for Strings by Tchaikovsky, written on a whim but declared by the composer himself as one of his best works. A beautiful evening planned for the closing night of the 2017 Festival!
Orford Music Award
In parallel with the Festival, the second edition of the Orford Music Award will take place. This high-level competition for the elite students of the Academy will be held for the second year in a row from July 24to 28. This will be a great opportunity for the public to hear emerging talent and participate in nominating a winner for the Public’s Choice award. Details including names of the finalists will be announced on Orford Music’s website in June.
Also, the 2016 grand prize winner, young violinist Mai Tategami, will perform a program of French music with the innovative Boreal Trio comprised of a clarinetist, a violist and our artistic director Wonny Song at the piano on July 16.
Free family activities
As usual, the Orford Music Festival will present numerous free concerts given by talented students from the Academy all summer long at the Gilles-Lefebvre Concert Hall (Rising Stars Concerts), at Orford’s Rivière-aux-Cerises Park every Friday evening (5 à 7 Orford) and in different municipalities in the Eastern Townships and the Montérégie region (Orford on the Road).
The Classical Picnics series is a new feature of this year’s festival. Families are invited to picnic and enjoy a fabulous outdoor concert given by our students every Saturday at noon from June 24 to July 22 at the municipal park in Saint-Étienne-de-Bolton!
In addition, our distinguished Academy teachers will give Public master classes offered free of charge on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Take advantage of this opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of our international Academy and watch how teachers and their promising young students work together.
Four conferences have been added to this series; learn about different topics that affect professional musicians, such as artistic leadership in the era of digital media and the role of public relations in career development
Now in its third edition, Family Day will be held on August 6, offering young music lovers the chance to discover classical music through various introduction to instruments workshops and a concert that will delight the whole family. Places are limited, reservations required.
Orford Music is again partnering with the Festival CinéVue this year to present two films on site at no charge. On August 2 at 6:30 p.m., Vitus by Fredi M. Murer, described as one of the best Swiss films of all time, will be presented at the concert hall; and Boy Choir by François Girard will be shown at 9 p.m.outdoors, projected onto a building’s facade. Combine your passion for music and film at this unique event!
Visual art exhibitions
The Orford Music Festival will host two visual art exhibitions: Resonances by Karine Fréchette, whose approach is inspired by Op art, abstraction from the beginning of the century and psychedelic aesthetics; and Inner Territories by François Haguier, an extension of the artist’s work in the exploration of pictorial minimalism. The exhibitions will be accessible during events taking place at the Gilles-Lefebvre Concert Hall from June 15 to August 12.
Details and complete programming at orford.mu.