The romantic spirit of Beethoven will infuse the Montreal Chamber Music Festival’s 22nd Season

Montreal Chamber Music Festival Natalie MacMaster

As part of the TD Jazz Series, the internationally acclaimed Natalie MacMaster will perform virtuosic pieces and lively step dancing, inspired by her native Nova Scotia
Photo: Rebekah Littlejohn

The Montreal Chamber Music Festival presents Beethoven: Passion Romantique, dedicating its 22nd season to the spirit of Beethoven, the great master who represents the transition from the Classical to the Romantic era. Founder and Artistic Director Denis Brott, C.M. has scheduled the music of Beethoven on almost all Festival concerts, anchored by the performance of the complete Beethoven string quartets over six concerts by the extraordinary Dover Quartet, who have “enjoyed a “rise to the top [that] looks practically meteoric” (Strings Magazine). Denis Brott comments: “Like no other composer, Beethoven ushered in a new musical language inspired by the French Revolution’s Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. Beethoven’s remarkable prowess and indomitable spirit has influenced all music since, and his emotional expression and compositional innovation continue to inspire and resonate. The Festival celebrates his genius with gratitude and gusto in 2017.”

This 22nd Festival season, which is preceded by a three-concert “Prestige Series”, features many more world-class artists, including superstar Canadian pianist Jan Lisiecki, a world premiere by Yoav Talmi, the Israeli Chamber Project, the Rolston String Quartet, the always-popular TD jazz series with Rémi Bolduc, Robi Botos, and Natalie MacMaster, and much more. A total of 43 events, at all times of day, fill out the Festival schedule for more concerts, more free events, and more Beethoven than ever before!


Montreal Chamber Music Festival founder Denis Brott

Montreal Chamber Music Festival founder Denis Brott is
enthusiastic about this year’s 22nd edition, it’s performers, and the new partnership with McGill School of Continuing Studies

Pre-Festival Prestige Concerts

To open the 2017 season, the Festival presented close friends, the Emerson String Quartet, for a memorable recital on February 1 at Salle Bourgie. This unmatched quartet is celebrating its remarkable 40th anniversary season with a delightful program of Mozart’s Quartet No. 15, K.421, Ravel’s Quartet in F Major, and Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 3.

Beethoven Words & Music brings together several of the composer’s chamber works with texts from his journals and letters for a wonderfully intimate evening on Saturday, May 6 at 7:30 pm at Théâtre Paul-Desmarais, Canadian Centre for Architecture. The elegant Israeli pianist Alon Goldstein, who thrilled Festival audiences last season with his performances of Mozart concerti in transcriptions for string quartet, returns alongside violinist the OSM’s principal violinist Andrew Wan, cellist Denis Brott, and narrators in English and French, Eric Friesen and Julie Payette, respectively.

The final event of the Pre-Festival Series is Casanova, a theatrical collaboration with Montreal’s Ensemble Caprice on Wednesday, May 10 at 8 pm at Pollack Hall. Acclaimed baritone Michael Volle takes on the persona of the 18th-century Italian adventurer, best known for his legendary womanizing, in an evening featuring music by Mozart, Vivaldi, and Gluck, with soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez.

For the complete program and ticket sales, please visit: or call 514-489-7444. Enjoy!

The McGill School of Continuing Studies partners with Montreal Chamber Music Festival to offer a six course lecture series

The Montreal Chamber Music Festival and Prizma, a program of the McGill School of Continuing Studies, are proud to collaborate for the first time on a special series of lectures and concerts devoted to Beethoven’s string quartets. Musicologist Richard Turp leads the six-part lecture series Beethoven: Passion romantique, offered in both English and French, which precedes six concerts featuring the complete Beethoven string quartets performed by the extraordinary young American Dover Quartet.

Deeply passionate, prolific, and living in a time of immense social, political, and artistic change, Beethoven spearheaded classical music’s transition from the Classical to the Romantic era. The new lecture series tracks Beethoven’s personal and musical evolution by way of his sixteen string quartets. Master of the form developed by Haydn and Mozart, this remarkable body of compositions is considered to be among the greatest ever written. Lecture topics include music and culture in 18th-century Germany and Austria, Beethoven’s increasing and irremediable deafness, and Beethoven’s pivotal role in the emerging Romantic Movement. In addition to Richard Turp, special guest speakers include conductor and pianist Raffi Armenian, former Director of the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, Denis Brott, cellist and Artistic Director of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, and Julie Payette, astronaut and passionate classical music lover.

English lectures take place Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., April 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16 and 23

French lectures take place Wednesday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m., April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17 and 24

The complete cycle of Beethoven string quartets will be performed by the Dover Quartet, which has “enjoyed a rise to the top [that] looks practically meteoric” (Strings Magazine). Described by The New Yorker as “the young American string quartet of the moment”, the Dover Quartet catapulted to world attention after sweeping first prize in all categories of the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. It has quickly become a major presence on the international scene. With its burnished warmth, incisive rhythms, and natural phrasing, the Dover’s sound is “so distinctive as to be identified within mere minutes” (Philadelphia Inquirer).

The Dover Quartet performs the complete Beethoven string quartets at Pollack Hall over three weekends:

Friday, May 26 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 28 at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, June 2 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 11 at 3:00 p.m.

PRIZMA is part of McGill’s School of Continuing Studies. It partners with the community to offer quality, multi-disciplinary courses to adult learners. Courses offer a wide spectrum of learning, including music, art, science, human development, history, and architecture.

The Beethoven: Passion romantique lectures and six-concert series also includes a VIP invitation to pre-concert talks as well as post-concert receptions with the artists present. For additional lecture details and registration, please visit: or call 514-489-7444. Enjoy!

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