After a tumultuous 129th season that saw many concerts cancelled and international artists unable to enter Canada, the 2021 – 2022 Season begun with a brilliant concert by violinist Blake Pouliot, accompanied by Hsin-I Huang. While many classical music organizations pivoted to live streaming concerts, the LMMC President Constance Pathy and the Board members decided that they were dedicated to presenting live music concerts. Working with the management of McGill’s Pollack Hall, they were able to squeeze in a couple of concerts in the spring of 2021.

With 80%-plus of the general population now vaccinated, concert halls were able to open at a reduced capacity. The introduction of vaccine passport has been a tremendous boost for concert organizers, and the Quebec government recently announced that concert halls could open at 100% capacity, with some restrictions.

In a recent conversation with Constance Pathy, she indicated that she and her colleagues at LMMC are happy to be back with a full schedule of concerts with world-class musicians for the 130th Season. “When they tour North America, most European musicians will want to have dates booked in the United States in addition to us in Montreal. With this in mind, we’ve had to develop a Plan B, in case one or more of our artists can’t get entry.

“This year, Stewart Goodyear is coming back on December 5th by popular demand from our subscribers. Local soprano Karina Gauvin was able to step in for the October 3rd concert when the Doric String Quartet could not come. We’re delighted to have cellist Matt Haimovitz for our October 24th concert.”

Also scheduled for a fall concert is the Cremona Quartet on November 14th. Cremona is an Italian city famous for its luthiers, including the Stadivari family. The instruments in the quartet include a Stradiverius violin crafted in 1727; a cello also made by the master in 1700; a second violin is the Prince Doria made by Gaurneri del Gesu in 1734; and the quartet is completed with the Stauffer viola built by Andrea Amati in 1734. In a review of a Wigmore Hall concert, the British magazine The Strad wrote “Dynamic contouring was as sleek and elegant as an Armani suit, and it tailored the music to perfection.”

The Ladies’ Morning Musical Club is a labour of love for Constance Pathy and the dedicated volunteer Board, who are also accomplished musicians. “I feel responsible – we all do – for our stewardship of this organization that was started 130 years ago by women. We’re in a healthy financial situation, and we’re proud of that. Live music is more special and more heartwarming. There is that interaction between the audience and the musicians that can only happen in a live situation.”

The season continues in 2022 with pianist Lise de La Salle on February 4th; the Goldmund Quartet on February 27th; the Fauré Quartet on March 20th  (piano and strings), pianist Pavel Kolesnikov on April 10 and the Han-Setzer-Finckel Trio on May 1st to wrap up the 130th Season.

Most of the LMMC ‘family’ are season subscribers, and many have been for decades. With the opening of greater capacity, Executive Director Rosemary Neville has been able to open single ticket sales. To encourage musicians studying at McGill and other music schools, discounted season tickets are available for just $80 for 10 concerts.  All concerts are conveniently held at 3:30 pm on Sunday afternoons at McGill University’s Pollack Hall. For information about tickets and subscriptions, please call: 514-932-6796, email: info@lmmc.ca or www.facebook.com/ladiesmorningmusicalclub