Bourgie Hall presents

Soloists of the Orchestre Métropolitain

Chamber Music

A program of chamber music drawn from the purest Romantic tradition, championed here by musicians of the Orchestre Métropolitain as well as their soloist-in-residence, violinist Blake Pouliot, and special guest, cellist Stéphane Tétreault.

Blake Pouliot, violin

Violinist Blake Pouliot has joined the ranks of today’s brilliant young soloists, establishing himself as a consummate 21st-century artist with enduring rigour and passion. At only 25 years of age, this committed violinist was praised by the Toronto Star as, “one of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime.” Pouliot has performed with the Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, Montreal, San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto symphony orchestras, among others. His debut album earned a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine and a 2019 Juno Award nomination for Best Classical Album. Pouliot was named Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Competition. He is a graduate of the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Robert Lipsett. Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù violin, on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank as First Laureate of both their 2018 and 2015 competitions.

Yukari Cousineau, violin

Yukari Cousineau is Concertmaster of the Orchestre Métropolitain. She has been a member of that orchestra since 1998, first as Assistant Concertmaster and then Associate Concertmaster. She is also a member of Ensemble Magellan and Ensemble Jean Cousineau. As a chamber musician, she was a member of the Trio Cousineau and the Molinari Quartet, and in 2008, she founded the Quatuor La Muse. She is a guest of many festivals, including the Festival de Lanaudière, the Concerts aux Îles du Bic, and Un Été à Bourges, where she was invited to perform solo recitals. She has performed in recital with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alvaro Pierri, Jean Saulnier, and Julien LeBlanc. Ms. Cousineau is Visiting Professor at the Université de Montréal, and has taught violin and viola at UQÀM for several years, in addition to being regularly invited to conduct master classes.

Brian Bacon, viola

Brian Bacon graduated from McGill University, where he studied with Steven Kondaks. He presently 
holds the positions of principal viola for l’Orchestre Métropolitain and l’Orchestre 
Symphonique de Longueuil. He was the violist for NEM from 1989 to 2010, with whom he appeared as soloist in Europe, Asia and North America. A very active studio musician and chamber musician, he is a founding member of the La Muse string quartet, and appears in the Allegra Chamber Music series. He often plays with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and has performed with all of the major ensembles in Montreal and in several of the metro stations.

Christopher Best, cello

Born in Montreal, Christopher Best is Principal Cello of the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil. He has occupied the same position in other ensembles, including the Canadian Chamber Orchestra, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Orchestra, Festival de Lanaudière Orchestra, and Opéra de Montréal Orchestra. He has played frequently with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and National Arts Centre Orchestra, including appearances as Guest Principal Cello with the latter. Heard frequently on Radio-Canada/CBC and Radio de la Francophonie (Europe) as a member of the Morency String Quartet, Best has also played with the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), Bradyworks, and Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. He is currently a faculty member at Vanier College, and previously taught at the Crane School of Music, State University of New York, as well as Vincent-d’Indy Music School.

Stéphane Tétreault, cello

In addition to countless awards and honours, Stéphane Tétreault is the recipient of the prestigious 2019 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, in recognition of his outstanding talent, musicianship, artistic excellence, and valuable contribution to artistic life in Canada and abroad. Chosen as the Orchestre Métropolitain’s first ever Soloist-in-Residence, he performed alongside Yannick Nézet-Séguin during the 2014–2015 season. Tétreault has performed with violinist and conductor Maxim Vengerov and has worked with pianists Alexandre Tharaud, Jan Lisiecki, and Marc-André Hamelin. He has taken part in several masterclasses, notably with cellists Gautier Capuçon and Frans Helmerson. His debut CD was selected as Editor’s Choice in the March 2013 issue of Gramophone, while his second album, with pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone, was named Critics’ Choice 2016 by the same magazine and recognized as one of the top albums of the year. Tétreault performs on the 1707 Countess of Stainlein cello, generously loaned to him by Sophie Desmarais.

BORODIN String Quartet No. 2 in D major
SCHUBERT String Quintet in C major, D. 956

This performance is available online from February 18 to March 4, 2021.

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