The Arte Musica Foundation recently announced its fourth season of concerts to be presented from mid-September 2014 until mid-June 2015 in Bourgie Hall, part of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts campus on Sherbrooke in the Golden Square Mile. Under the leadership of Artistic and Executive Director Isolde Lagacé, the Arte Musica Foundation and independent orchestras will perform 82 concerts in 15 different series; from classical evenings to 5 a 7 jazz performances. This year dance programs have been added to the schedule. The hall has wonderful acoustics and the seating is very close to the stage; providing an intimacy and connection between the musicians and the audience that is difficult to achieve in a larger concert hall.
Bourgie Hall has become a favourite venue for the McGill Chamber Orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, I Musici, Ensemble Caprice, Arion Baroque Orchestra and the Montreal Chamber Orchestra. Members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra perform in trios, quartets and small groups. Montreal classical musicians have adopted the hall as a place where they can perform in small groups and attend concerts by their peers, much to the appreciation of concert-goers.
Madame Lagacé announced that Arte Musica will present the complete Cantatas by Bach over the next eight years, with eight concerts per year. Kent Nagano, the MSO and the MSO Choir will inaugurate the program with performances on September 13 and 14. It’s a unique and significant undertaking that will continue until 2022.
Spotlight On Beethoven will consist of five Wednesday evening concerts that will highlight his chamber music. The Youth and Pros series will also focus on Beethoven’s chamber music, bringing the Beethoven series to 10 concerts.
As part of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Foundation’s mission includes the presentation of music that is relevant and complementary to the exhibitions taking place at the Museum. The first one will complement From Van Gough to Kadinsky; Expressionism in Germany and France, 1900 – 1914. Known as the Second Viennese School, the exhibit will be complemented by concerts featuring the music of Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Stravinsky. Nine concerts are scheduled during the course of this exhibition from October through to January 2015. From February to June 2015, an additional seven themed concerts are planned for the exhibition; Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: Benjamin Constant in His Time.
Jazz at Bourgie is a series of eight concerts in a 5 a 7 format on Thursday evenings. Doors open for wine at 5pm, and the one-hour concerts begin at 6pm. A Tribute to Lenny Tristano, Tribute to Dave Brubeck, Herb Alpert, Jazz for Christmas with Lorraine Desmarais and 4 other programs provide a great start to an evening out in The Golden Square Mile. Look out for one-hour lunchtime concerts aimed at people working downtown.
The Tiffany Series includes seven concerts featuring big names in Baroque music, dance, chamber music and recital. From les Ballets Jazz de Montreal to Yannick Nézet-Séquin playing piano and accompanied by the talented Stéphane Tétreault and other first chairs of Orchestre Métropolitain. A wonderful opportunity to see one of the world’s rising conductors performing as a musician.
Isolde Lagacé is very proud of the Youth and Pros series of five concerts that provide an opportunity for young musicians to perform with seasoned pros, because they have a chance to raise the level of their performance to meet the challenge of keeping up with the professionals, and learning the best practices about preparing for a live performance.
In just three years, the Arte Musica Foundation has attracted some of Montreal’s most famous classical musicians, while also providing concert work for the city’s many musicians who do not play for the symphony orchestras. More concerts have provided more chances to perform. The ticket costs are affordable, and the hall itself is intimate and welcoming for musicians and audiences alike.
There is so much going on that you may find it useful to pick up a program booklet at the Museum’s ticket office. The program is also available online at, and tickets by phone: 514-285-2000, option 4. The ticket counter is at 1380 Sherbrooke St. West.

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