Bourgie Hall presents

Louise Bessette, piano

Ports of Call: A Piano Tours the World

A musical journey that highlights the folkloric inspirations and influences of many composers, from Liszt to today.

Louise Bessette is renowned for the excellence of her performances and for her commitment to promoting contemporary music. Since winning the First Prize at the 1986 Concours International de Musique Contemporaine in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France), Louise Bessette has gone on to become recognized as a leading light in the interpretation of twentieth-century music. Most notably, she has added to her list of accomplishments both the First Prize and the Special Prize for Piano at the Rotterdam 1989 International Gaudeamus Competition for Contemporary Music, and the 1991 Flandre-Québec Award in recognition of her contribution to contemporary music. The Conseil Québécois de la Musique awarded her the Prix Opus 1996-1997 in the category “conductor or soloist of the year” for her recital devoted to the Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus by Olivier Messiaen. An exceedingly appealing performer, Louise Bessette has made a personal hallmark of offering inspired, energetic interpretations of the finest in original music, whether in recital or as a soloist with orchestras or chamber formations.

Her eclectic repertoire has earned Louise Bessette numerous recital invitations at major music festivals, including the Festival de Musique Française de Laon (France), the Radio-France Festival Présences, the Festival Musica in Strasbourg (France), the Festival 38e Rugissants in Grenoble (France), the Festival Tivoli in Copenhagen, the Numus Festival in Århus, the Huddersfield (U.K.) Contemporary Music Festival, the Festival Nieuwe Muziek in Middelburg (Netherlands), the Festival International de Lanaudière (Québec) and the Festival International du Domaine Forget (Québec). Also to her credit are performances at the World Music Days, in Warsaw in 1992 and Mexico City in 1993.

Composers from all over the world send Louise Bessette their works, while others have created pieces especially for her, including Canadians Serge Provost, André Villeneuve, Raoul Sosa and Serge Arcuri, and French composers Philippe Boivin, Bruno Ducol, Jacques Lejeune et Claude Ballif.

Born in Montréal, Louise Bessette began studying piano at the age of five. Admitted to the Montréal Conservatory in 1971, she studied with Georges Savaria and Raoul Sosa. She earned five first prizes, notably a First Prize in Chamber Music in 1979, and a First Prize for Piano in 1980. She subsequently perfected her skills with Eugene List in New York. In 1982, she set her sights on Paris, where her masters were Yvonne Loriod, Claude Helffer, Jay Gottlieb and Dominique Merlet.

In addition to performing and recording, Louise Bessette has contributed to the advancement and dissemination of music by participating in the juries of numerous musical competitions, and by offering master classes in both France and Canada. In October 2007, she was asked to perform and teach young students at the 4th International Piano Festival of Shanghai. Furthermore, since fall 1996, she has been Professor of piano at the Montréal Conservatory of Music.

John ADAMS China Gates
DEBUSSY Golliwog’s Cakewalk, from the Children’s Corner suite, L. 113
GRAINGER Colonial Song
LISZT Les Cloches de Genève, from Années de pèlerinage : Première année (Suisse), S. 160
MUSSORGSKY The Great Gate of Kiev, from Pictures at an Exhibition
Anthony ROZANKOVIC La jungle jongle
PIAZZOLLA Adiós Nonino
IVES The Alcotts, from Piano Sonata No. 2, “Concord, Mass., 1840-60”
François DOMPIERRE Paraphrase on the theme of L’âme à la tendresse
Maurice DELA La Vieille Capitale

Live at Bourgie Hall
April29, 2021 at 5:30pm
Covid-19 adapted seating plan and measures in effect

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