The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival will celebrate its 38th anniversary from July 25 to July 27, 2013. On Lamèque Island in northeastern New Brunswick, summer means the return of an exceptional artistic event, the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival.

Beginning with a 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 setting of the Petite Rivière de l'Île church.

The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival is unique in Canada for its artistic vision. It is the only festival in the country that confines its musical programming to the period between 1600 and 1760, respecting the aesthetics of the Baroque era through the use of period instruments or copies thereof.

Over the years, numerous world-renowned musicians have made the small church of Sainte Cécile resonate with their music: Musica Antica Köln, Florilegium, the Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal, the Toronto Consort, Ensemble Il Tempo; excellent soloists such as Emma Kirby, Laura Pudwell, Agnès Mellon, Danielle Forget, Karina Gauvin, Nigel Rogers; pianofortists Steven Lubin and Andreas Steir, cellist Peter Wispelwey, violonist Rachel Podger, not to mention harpsichordists Geneviève Soly, Blandine Verlet, the late Scott Ross, Colin Tilney and Martha Brickman.

The Festival's own choir and orchestra, La Mission Saint Charles, has traditionally been directed by a guest conductor. Since its formation in 1985, this ensemble has been led by Hervé Niquet, Andrew Parrott, Christophe Spering, Bernard Labadie and Rinaldo Alessandrini, to name but a few. Furthermore, the Festival has been a stepping stone for many Acadian artists, such as sopranos Suzie Leblanc and Nathalie Paulin, base-baritone Normand Richard and tenor Aldéo Jean. Since 1977, CBC Radio has been broadcasting the entire production, 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. The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival is definitely worth a visit!

The recitals and concerts take place in the Church of Sainte-Cécile, which is an attraction in and of itself. Built in 1913, it was repainted in 1968 by the parish priest in a multicoloured motif. Its wooden structure offers perfect acoustics for the music, and with its coloured interior, it makes a dramatic impression on audiences.

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