Message from the artistic director

Dear music lovers,

It is with great pleasure that I invite you to the 43rd season of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival. Join us and discover music written for queens, played at the courts of kings or created by composers we consider today to be the greatest masters of western music.

Each day of the Festival will have its own special touch.  The opening concert will be dedicated to French music and to François Couperin, a musician employed by Louis XIV. The following day features the music of Bach and Handel, considered to be the greatest German composers of the 18th century. For the closing day of the Festival focus will be on music from the British Isles with pieces by Scottish and Irish composers including James Oswald, chamber composer to George III and works by Henry Purcell who wrote for Queen Mary.

This summer, for the first time, the festival includes a concert dedicated to young audiences. Both young and old are invited to discover the lute and to be amazed by this little-known instrument that was beloved of royalty for centuries.

Delighted as we are to revisit the churches of Petite-Rivière-de-l'Île, Miscou and Lamèque, we are also very excited to present a concert at the Shippagan church in 2018. The beautiful new organ of Saint-Jérôme Church will resonate to the sound of Handel's music.

The Festival's musicians have been at the heart of the festival's success for 43 years now. Exceptional artists will be visiting us again this summer. I am delighted to welcome once again conductor Ivars Taurins, who gave us an exceptional Messiah in 2015, harpsichordist and organist Luc Beauséjour, soprano Myriam Leblanc, winner of the 2017 Mathieu Duguay Early Music Competition, and some fifty artists from across Canada, the United States and France.

This 2018 season will be one of splendour, elegance and refinement! I hope to see you at the festival in large numbers!

Vincent Lauzer,
Artistic Director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival 

Our history

The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival is an annual festival dedicated to music from the period of 1600 to 1760, performed on period instruments. Founded in 1975 by harpsichordist Mathieu Duguay, the Festival has earned an enviable reputation on the New Brunswick and Canadian musical scenes, and even abroad.  Each year, the Festival presents a series of high-calibre concerts at the end of July, making it a not-to-miss cultural event in Acadie.  Most concerts are presented in churches and halls on the picturesque Lamèque Island, of which the colourful Saint-Cécile Church in Petite-Rivière-de-l’Île with exceptional acoustics.

Over the years, the Festival has proven to be one of the most interesting musical events of its kind in Canada, with concerts respecting the aesthetics of the Baroque era.  Each season, the Festival presents outstanding performances on period instruments (or replicas).  Its program includes vocal and instrumental selections, featuring choral works, chamber music and solo pieces by renowned musicians.

A Great Festival on a Small Island
From the seed of a single harpsichord recital in 1971, the Festival came into its own in 1975 and was incorporated in 1976. Since then, many memorable concerts have been presented in the intimate and charming settings on Lamèque Island and surrounding area.  

Over the years, numerous world-renowned musicians have performed at the Festival: Musica Antica Köln, Il Tempo et Florilegium, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, the Toronto Consort, excellent soloists such as Emma Kirby, Renata Pokupic, Agnès Mellon, Shannon Mercer, Karina Gauvin, and Nigel Rogers; pianofortists Steven Lubin and Andreas Steir; cellists Peter Wispelwey and Jaap ter Linden; violonist Rachel Podger, not to mention harpsichordists Geneviève Soly, Blandine Verlet, the late Scott Ross, Hank Knox, Blandine Rannou, Luc Beauséjour, and Rachelle Taylor.

Mission Saint-Charles Choir and Orchestra
The Festival's own choir and orchestra, La Mission Saint-Charles, was created in 1985 to celebrate the three hundredth anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach.  The size of La Mission Saint-Charles varies according to the needs of the music performed each year.  The orchestra is comprised of professional musicians while the choir is a mix of professional and experienced amateur singers from the community.  Each year, La Mission Saint-Charles presents masterworks of the Baroque repertoire for orchestra, choir and soloists, making each performance a long-awaited musical moment for concert-goers. Since its inception, La Mission Saint-Charles has been led by Hervé Niquet (France), Andrew Parrott (United Kingdom), Christoph Spering (Germany), Bernard Labadie (Canada), Rinaldo Alessandrini (Italy), and Jaap ter Linden (Netherlands), to name but a few. Furthermore, the Festival has been a stepping stone for many Acadian artists, such as sopranos Suzie Leblanc, Pascale Beaudin, and Nathalie Paulin. Since 1977, CBC Radio has been supporting the event, contributing even further to the Festival’s renown in Canada.

Season after season, a selection of prestigious artists and a dedicated effort to maintaining high standards for its musical programming have made the Festival a prestigious event that welcomes patrons from well beyond the borders of New Brunswick. Most concerts take place in Sainte-Cécile Church which is an attraction in and of itself. Built in 1913, it was repainted in 1968 by the parish priest in a multi-coloured motif. Its wooden structure offers perfect acoustics for the music, and with its coloured interior, it makes a dramatic impression on audiences. 

Board of directors

Jean-René Noël, chairman – Campbellton

Marcel Lanteigne, vice-chairman – Lamèque

Denis Ferron, secretary-treasurer – Village-des-Poirier

Marie-Anne Ferron, administrator – Lamèque

Paulette Sonier-Rioux, administrator – Pointe-Brûlée

Emmanuelle Tremblay, administrator - Petite-Rivière-de-l'Île

Johannes Larsen, administrator – Miramichi

Brigitte Lavoie, administrator – Moncton

Daniel Chiasson, administrator – Moncton


Team of the Festival

Vincent Lauzer, artistic director

Nathalie Stewart, administrative director