THE FESTIVAL

Message from the Artistic Director

Dear music lovers,

We are proud to invite you to this year’s edition of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival, which will take place on the islands of Lamèque and Miscou from July 27 to 29. We hope you will join us to enjoy the music and celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Festival.

This summer, you are cordially invited to spend the weekend with the Bachs. The illustrious Johann Sebastian Bach will of course be there, but we will also be hearing from several members of his family and a number of other Baroque musicians who influenced him and his work.

We are delighted to be hosting nearly fifty artists, who I am sure will dazzle you. This year’s edition will see the return of Ensemble Caprice and conductor Matthias Maute, who made quite the impression when they last attended the festival in 2017. In collaboration with the Mission Saint-Charles Choir and Ensemble ArtChoral, they will be performing the Magnificats of Johann Sebastian Bach and his son Carl Philipp Emanuel for the grand finale concert. This year’s programme also includes choral music by Bach’s contemporaries, a concert dedicated entirely to the guitar, a unique opportunity to hear music performed on recorder and percussion, an homage to J.S. Bach’s ingenious harpsichord compositions and a nod to chocolate’s arrival in Europe in the Baroque era. The Festival is proud to present the most recent winner of the Mathieu-Duguay Early Music Competition, violinist Guillaume Villeneuve, who will be accompanied by French harpsichord player Bertrand Cuiller for several concerts around the Maritimes in July, in collaboration with the Under the Spire and Barachois Summer Music festivals.  

We hope this year’s edition will be full of surprising discoveries, powerful emotions and some truly special interactions between musicians and audience members.

We look forward to seeing many of you in July as we come together to celebrate Baroque music!

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. Between 1977 and 2017, CBC Radio was an important partner of 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

Denis Ferron, vice-president – Village-des-Poirier

Roseline Hébert, secretary-treasurer - Lamèque

Marie-Anne Ferron, administrator – Lamèque

Paulette Sonier-Rioux, administrator – Shippagan

Johannes Larsen, administrator – Miramichi

Roseline Paulin, administrator – Tracadie

Daniel Chiasson, administrator – Moncton

Martin Mallet, administrator - Shippagan

 

Team of the Festival

Vincent Lauzer, artistic director

Nathalie Stewart, administrative director