Bourgie Hall presents

Piazzolla with Leonardo García Alarcón

Les Violons du Roy welcome back Leonardo García Alarcón, with whom the ensemble won the 2018 Opus Award for Concert of the Year in Quebec City. Joined by soloists Mariana Florès, William Sabatier, and Louise Bessette, this Argentinian conductor conveys his special understanding of Piazzolla’s music in a concert guaranteed to be exhilarating.

Les Violons du Roy
Leonardo García Alarcón, conductor

After studying piano in Argentina, Leonardo García Alarcón moved to Europe in 1997 and entered the Geneva Conservatory in the class of harpsichordist Christiane Jaccottet. It was under the aegis of Gabriel Garrido that he embarked on the Baroque adventure. He created his ensemble Cappella Mediterranea, a responsibility that he combined shortly afterwards with that of the Millenium Orchestra, which he founded to accompany the Namur Chamber Choir, of which he became artistic director in 2010.

He divides his time between Geneva, where he teaches the class of Maestro al cembalo at the Haute Ecole de Musique, France, notably as a regular pillar of the Ambronay Festival and artist in residence at the Dijon Opera, Belgium, but also sporadic returns to his native South America. We owe him the rediscovery of Cavalli’s operas: Elena and Erismena at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2013 and 2017, Eliogabalo, to open the 2016 Paris Opera season, Il Giasone in Geneva, Antonio Draghi’s El Prometeo in 2018 at the Dijon Opera, and again in Dijon La Finta Pazza by Francesco Sacrati, the very first opera imported from Italy to Paris.

As a conductor or harpsichordist, he is invited to festivals and concert halls all over the world. In 2018, he conducted Monteverdi’s Orfeo in the staging of Sacha Walz at the Berlin Staatsoper. In 2019, he triumphed with Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes at the Opéra Bastille on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Music.

Mariana Florès, soprano

The Argentinian soprano Mariana Flores studied singing at the University of Cuyo, then went on to advanced study with Rosa Domínguez in Basel and at numerous masterclasses throughout Europe. Mariana has now become established as a key interpreter of the Baroque repertoire. She performs and records regularly with leading figures such as Leonardo García Alarcón, John Eliot Gardiner, Christina Pluhar and Manfred Kraemer. Since her Australian tour of 2015, she has now sung on every continent, in the most prestigious venues and festivals of the Baroque universe.

In March 2016, Mariana Flores made her debut at the Teatro Zarzuela de Madrid in two operas by Sebastían Duron. The press greeted her performances with dithyrambic reviews. In September 2016 she appeared on the stage of Paris’ Palais Garnier in Cavalli ’s Eliogabalo. She sung the role of Alinda in Cavalli’s Il Giasone at the Opera of Geneva and Versailles in 2017, and the role of Tétis in the world premiere of Draghi’s El Prometeo at the Dijon Opera in 2018. In 2019 she once again won over audiences and critics as Deidamia in Sacrati’s La Finta Pazza in Dijon, Geneva and Versailles.

In 2017, a tour of Monteverdi’s Orfeo brought Flores back to Argentina’s Teatro Colón, where she also sang Falvetti’s Il Diluvio Universale.

William Sabatier, bandoneón

Bandoneon and tango have always been part of William Sabatier’s life. He began his musical studies at the age of 6, with his father, a musician by profession, and then with Olivier Manoury. Olivier Manoury made him curious, and led him beyond the universe of tango and give him a taste for freedom.

For more than twenty years, William Sabatier has led a career as a soloist. Invited by many classical orchestras (Orchestre Régional d’Auvergne, European Camerata , Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Orchestre lyrique d’Avignon, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Nederlands Kamerorkest, Orchestre de chambre de Genève,…), he is a reference interpreter and arranger of the work of Astor Piazzolla. He regularly performs in such prestigious venues as Wigmore Hall in London, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Salle Pleyel in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Flageay in Brussels and the Victoria Hall in Geneva.

Louise Bessette, piano

A versatile musician and a piano wizard, Louise Bessette is much in demand as a concert artist in Europe, America, and Asia. She has recorded a wide variety of repertoire both as a soloist and with chamber ensembles, appearing the world over with distinguished orchestras and by invitation to many first-rate festivals. She premieres works specially written for her and her reviews are consistently laudatory.

In April 2019, she received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award for Classical Music. The GGPAA are Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts. In June 2016, Louise Bessette was honoured by the University of Western Ontario (London, Ontario) where she received the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, to celebrate her accomplishments as an internationally recognized performer and leading light in the interpretation of 20th and 21st century music and for her significant impact in the contemporary world of classical piano.

Louise Bessette received her tenth Opus Prize from Conseil québécois de la musique in 2021. In 2015, she was listed as one of Canada’s top 25 pianists by CBC Music. Louise Bessette has received many honors and prizes marking the importance of her musical contributions. These include: First Prize, Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (1981); First Prize, Concours International de Musique Contemporaine (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 1986); First Prize, International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition (Rotterdam, 1989); Femme de l’Année at the Salon de la Femme de Montréal (Arts category, 1989); Prix Québec-Flandre (1991); Member of the Order of Canada (2001); Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec (2005), and Canadian Music Centre Ambassador (2009). She has been a professor of piano at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal since 1996.

Balada para mi muerte*
Balada para un loco*
Siempre se vuelve a Buenos Aires*
Yo soy Maria*
Bandoneón Concerto Aconcagua
Double Concerto for Bandoneón and Piano Hommage à Liège
Tangazo, from Variations on Buenos Aires**
*arr. Q. Gato
**arr. W. Sabatier

Friday, February 24, 2023 at 7:30pm
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