Joliette, April 18, 2017 – For its 40th anniversary season, which runs from July 1 to August 6, le Festival de Lanaudière invites music lovers to join in the celebration at outstanding concerts and special events held in the magical environment of the Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay, at historic churches in the Lanaudière region, and at the Joliette’s Salle Rolland-Brunelle. Many of most illustrious musicians of international renown will be on hand to join in the 40th anniversary celebration.
THE PARTY BEGINS: GRAND OPENING CONCERT WITH PIANIST ALAIN LEFÈVRE, THE OSM AND KENT NAGANO
The Festival’s 40th anniversary season begins on Saturday, July 1 at 8 p.m. with a spectacular concert by the OSMunder its music director Kent Nagano and piano soloist Alain Lefèvre. The program opens with a work for organ and orchestra by Samy Moussa featuring Jean-Willy Kunz, resident organist at Montréal’s Maison symphonique. Then comes Ravel’s Concerto in G, a scintillating showpiece for pianist and orchestra alike, and after intermission, Mahler’s mighty Fifth Symphony, an epic work that, like Beethoven’s Fifth, traces a journey from a dark, turbulent beginning to a brilliant, triumphant conclusion.
MORE GRAND CONCERTS AT THE AMPHITHÉÂTRE FERNAND-LINDSAY
On the weekend following the opening-night concert, two of Quebec’s most esteemed orchestras, one from Montréal and one from Quebec City, join forces to present a series of three programs featuring your favorite symphonies. One by Beethoven anchors each concert. On Saturday, July 8 at 3 p.m., I Musici de Montréal and Les Violons du Roy, led by Jean-Marie Zeitouni, play Schubert’s heavenly Unfinished Symphony followed by Beethoven’s powerfully dramatic Eroica (No. 3). On the evening, at 8 p.m., both orchestras return to the Amphitheatre stage but this time individually: I Musici under Jean-Marie Zeitouni plays Mozart’s romantically-tinged Symphony No. 40 in G minor, while Les Violons du Roy under Bernard Labadie offers Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony. The weekend series concludes on Sunday, July 9 at 2 p.m. with the combined orchestras, now led by Bernard Labadie, performing Haydn’s last symphony, No. 104 (London) and Beethoven’s Fifth. Experience as never before the impact of the Fifth in this unique setting, energized by the power of two orchestras playing together on one stage.
The following weekend sees the Sinfonia de Lanaudière under Stéphane Laforest on Saturday, July 15 at 8 p.m., when Emily Oulousian, winner of the Virtuose 2016 plays Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Zhan Hong Xiao, winner of the Virtuose 2017, plays Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra. The following afternoon, Sunday, July 16 at 2 p.m., the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal led by trombonist Jean-Nicolas Trottier performs Glenn Miller classics from the Big Band jazz era.
One of Canada’s most esteemed pianists, Marc-André Hamelin, returns to the Festival for two performances at the Amphitheatre, both at 8 p.m. On Friday, July 21, he presents a solo recital of works by Liszt and Schubert, plus a work of his own. On Saturday, July 22 he joins the Orchestre Métropolitain under Mathieu Lussier for Beethoven’s magisterial Emperor Concerto. Sunday, July 23 at 2 p.m. sees the Virtuose Orchestra at the Amphitheatre for a program TBA.
On Friday of the next weekend, July 28 at 8 p.m., Christine Jensen and the Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal present a stimulating evening of jazz at the Salle Rolland-Brunelle in Joliette. Jensen conducts two large-scale works: first, Under the Influence, one of her own compositions that pays tribute to great jazz artists who helped shape her own style as both composer and improviser, and second, a suite from Gershwin’s immortal opera Porgy and Bess in the celebrated arrangement by Gil Evans. On Saturday, July 29 at 8 p.m. Julien Proulx conducts an orchestral program starring mezzo-soprano Marie-Andrée Mathieu and baritone Hugo Laporte. On Sunday, July 30 at 2 p.m. the Festival’s new artistic director, Gregory Charles, joins tenor Marc Hervieux and the Fernand Lindsay Choir for a program on the Festival stage.
The OSM and Kent Nagano return to the Amphitheatre for two more concerts on the final weekend of the Festival’s 40th anniversary season. On Friday, August 4 at 8 p.m., they perform two large-scale romantic masterpieces. First is Tchaikovsky’s super-popular Piano Concerto No. 1 with the talented young Russian pianist Yulianna Avdeeva, Grand Prize winner at the 2010 Chopin Competition. This is followed by Brahms’s Second Symphony, a work loved by millions for its warmly lyric and relaxed character, gracefulness of the many melodies, and an affirmative outlook. OnSaturday, August 5, also at 8 p.m., the OSM and Kent Nagano shine in masterpieces of unsurpassed loveliness by Mozart and Fauré. Mozart’s Symphony No. 39 has been described as “an immense portico through which the composer reveals to us all the warm and poetic beauty thronging through his mind.” Fauré’s Requiem is a gentle, comforting reflection on the end of life, music of immediacy and intimacy. The OSM is joined for this work by the Korean superstar soprano Sumi Jo, Quebec baritone Jean-François Lapointe and the Festival Choral Ensemble.
THE COMPLETE BEETHOVEN STRING QUARTET CYCLE – PART 2
Last season, in anticipation of the Festival’s 40th anniversary, America’s famed Jupiter Quartet appeared at the Festival to inaugurate its complete cycle of all sixteen Beethoven string quartets. This season, it completes the cycle in three more performances given on Tuesday 11, Wednesday 12 and Thursday July 13 in the churches of Saint-Paul-de-Joliette, Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, and Saint-Sulpice, all at 8 p.m. Following in the footsteps of his great predecessors in the genre, Haydn and Mozart, Beethoven forged new paths for the string quartet. To encounter the cycle of his works is to undergo one of music’s most profound, inspiring, moving, and spiritual experiences.
CHAMBER MUSIC AND RECITALS IN THE CHURCHES
In addition to the Beethoven quartets, a rich diet of chamber music will be offered at the attractive historic churches in towns and small cities dotting the Lanaudière countryside. Six of Quebec’s most outstanding artists – cellist Stéphane Tétreault, pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone, and members of the Saguenay Quartet come together for three programs of chamber music by Viennese classicists. A major work of Schubert, each traversing a world rich in expressivity and sophisticated harmonic adventures, concludes each program, preceded by works of Beethoven and Mozart. The program of Tuesday, July 18, takes place at the Church of Sainte-Mélanie; Wednesday, July 19 at the Church of Lavaltrie; and Thursday, July 20 at the Church of Saint-Lin-Laurentides, all at 8 p.m. Violist Victor Fournelle-Blainjoin the Saguenay Quartet on July 19 for Mozart’s incomparable Quintet in C major, K. 515.
Two piano recitals of great interest await curious concertgoers. One is on Thursday, July 6 at 8 p.m. in the Church of Saint-Henri-de-Mascouche, where Italian pianist Luca Buratto, winner of the coveted Honens Prize in 2015, makes his Festival debut in two sonatas by Beethoven (including the ever-popular Moonlight) and music of Schumann, the extensive set of character pieces called Davidsbündlertänze (Dances of the League of David). On Thursday, July 27 at 8 p.m., Lanaudière-born Charles Richard-Hamelin, one of the most outstanding pianists of his generation, returns this season to celebrate the Festival’s 40th anniversary at the Church of L’Assomption with a program of music by Chopin and Schubert, two composers with whom the pianist feels especially close.
THE CLOSING CONCERT: A HISTORIC OCCASION
The Festival’s closing event on August 6 at 5 p.m. offers something truly special: a concert performance by theOrchestre Métropolitain of Wagner’s last opera, Parsifal, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Parsifal, not heard in Quebec for over a century, will be performed complete. This is Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s favorite opera, a medieval tale of magic and mystery, the story of a gallant knight and his quest for the Holy Grail set to sublimely beautiful music. The cast includes Christian Elsner (Parsifal), Mihoko Fujimura (Kundry), Peter Rose (Gunemanz), Boaz Daniel (Klingsor), Brett Polegato (Amfortas), and Thomas Goerz (Titurel).
CINEMA IN THE OPEN AIR
In collaboration with Place des Arts and the cities of Joliette, Saint-Charles-Borromée and Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, the Festival invites the public to attend the twelfth season of free, open-air film presentations. Seated in comfort under the protective roof, you’ll see, on Tuesday evenings throughout the season, films in which music plays a key role: La La Land (2016), Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), Trolls (2016), and La Famille Bélier (2014).
THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS
The Festival de Lanaudière wishes to thank its principal partners who are directly responsible for maintaining the high artistic level and standard of customer service that distinguish the Festival: presenting sponsor Hydro-Québec in collaboration with La Presse+ and 98.5 fm; the Government of Quebec through the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Tourism Quebec; the Government of Canada through the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Canada Economic Development; the Mouvement Desjardins du Québec; the Société des alcools du Québec; Yamaha Music; Place des Arts; Aéroports de Montréal, Villa Berthier, Amaro; the cities of Joliette and Notre-Dame-des-Prairies; Jean-Pierre Léger; the J.-A. De Sève Foundation; Jacqueline Desmarais; the Lanaudière Regional Tourist Office; and finally, the various cities and towns of the region with their many local establishments involved with culture, media, accommodation and fine dining.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, and on Sunday, August 6, the Festival Express will run a shuttle service from the Infotourist Centre on Peel Street in Montreal to the Amphitheatre.
For information and reservations: 1-800-561-4343.
Don’t forget: www.lanaudiere.org