Auguste-Descarries Piano Competition

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

Dedicated to spotlighting an important Québécois figure from the first half of the 20th century, the Association pour la diffusion de la musique d’Auguste Descarries (ADMAD) is launching a new competition this year hinged on the interpretation of the composer’s piano repertoire. The association, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, hopes to pass the torch to future generations of pianists so they can, in turn, experience the rich musical heritage of Auguste Descarries.

Auguste Descarries (1896-1958)

Pianist, organist, and composer from Lachine, Auguste Descarries bequeathed to posterity a remarkable body of 90 works, very few of which were edited or interpreted in his lifetime. After winning the Prix d’Europe in 1921, he undertook an eight-year stay in Paris where he met illustrious Russian composers such as Alexandre Glazunov, Nikolai Medtner and Sergei Rachmaninov, developing a writing style that was at the same time classical in form and post-romantic in inspiration. He is also credited with the creation of the first Canadian concerto, Rhapsodie canadienne (1927-33), a masterful work interpreted in concert for the first time in 60 years by the Longueuil and Drummondville symphonic orchestras in 2017 and 2018.

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Giving Auguste what he is owed

Having been one of the biggest omissions in Quebec’s musical history, the composer seems to be stepping out of the shadows little by little thanks to the continued efforts of the ADMAD and its president, Hélène Panneton. Descarries’s solo piano repertoire is also the focus of brilliant pianist Isabelle David’s most recent album, Souvenirs d’Auguste Descarries (2022, Leaf Music). After having contributed to the publication of four monographic albums and many unpublished scores, Panneton is now focusing on the organization’s next generation this fall with the Concours de piano Auguste-Descarries.

Pianists to your keyboards!

Pianists are invited to submit, before Sept. 30, 2022, their recordings of pieces chosen from a program of works by Descarries and Bach. The three selected finalists will then be invited to a public grand finale that will take place on Nov. 10, 2022, in the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal concert hall. A jury comprising pianists Charles Richard-Hamelin, Janelle Fung and Wonny Song, under the chairmanship of Réjean Coallier, will choose a laureate to take home a $5,000 prize, as well as a two-week residence valued at $2,000 thanks to a partnership with Orford Musique.

Translation by Zenith Wolfe

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


About Author

Arnaud G. Veydarier est actuellement étudiant en musicologie à l’Université de Montréal et nourrit un intérêt prononcé pour le jazz, la musique contemporaine et les liens entre musique et développement urbain. Il est pigiste pour La Scena Musicale depuis septembre 2017.

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