At the tender age of 25, Thomas Le Duc-Moreau is one of the most promising talents of his generation. His apprenticeship in conducting with Jacques Lacombe at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal seems to have paid off. Indeed, he is the youngest appointee ever as assistant conductor of the OSM, having previously held a similar posting at the OSQ in Quebec City. Far from being cast in the shadows, Le Duc-Moreau will be appearing regularly in the months to come, especially in concert programs aimed at families and their offspring. He certainly values Kent Nagano’s tutelage greatly, all the more given the latter’s departure at the end of the current season. “As a Montrealer, I was exposed early to music in programs offered at schools in the Plateau and at François-Perrault,” remembers the young conductor. “Growing up, I attended OSM concerts and got more serious about music with the arrival of Maestro Nagano.
I have learned so much from him over the last decade, simply by observing him.” Beyond his new duties, Le Duc-Moreau founded the Ensemble Volte two years ago in conjunction with a host of virtuoso players, all fellow graduates of the Conservatoire. “We joined forces simply because of our shared enjoyment in playing together,” says the young go-getter. On stage, the pleasure is palpable, brimming with energy too. “We’ve had long discussions among ourselves on the place of classical music in today’s society,” he goes on to say, “all that for the sake of finding another way of dealing with works of the past in the here and now. Volte is the medium of choice for us to express ourselves on such matters.”
The ensemble has made good on this by devising an array of concert programs that span the ages, from Rameau to Shostakovich. Part of its mission is to include lesser known works of the repertoire. This June, for instance, Volte tackles a seldom-performed opera, Haydn’s L’isola disabitata. “Haydn wrote 12 operas,” Le Duc-Moreau points out. “Regrettably though, they are rarely staged. Not only that, but few of his symphonies are played with any regularity. For instance, we will be doing his No. 60, subtitled “Il Distratto.” It’s in six movements, quite original too, and ought to be a real discovery for many a music lover.” Le Duc-Moreau’s time at the OSM will be a great learning experience, unquestionably, and something will surely rub off on him in his work with Volte. In his view: “A good way to make classical music more accessible is to create bridges with other art forms, poetry, theatre and dance.
For that purpose, we intend to commission written texts, choreographies and art installations for our concerts.” When passion and hard work are invested into culture, the possibilities are limitless. Translation by Marc Chénard www.ensemblevolte.com