THE FESTIVAL

Message from the artistic director

The Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. The music of the greatest composers of the 17th and 18th centuries will resonate on the islands of Lamèque and Miscou for the entire weekend. It is with great pleasure that we invite you to come celebrate with us!

The Festival is proud to partner with Ensemble Caprice for the presentation of several events. The closing concert will feature the music of the great Johann Sebastian Bach, as well as that of his son Carl Philipp Emmanuel. It promises to be a truly grandiose evening!

The concerts of the 2020 season will also feature the music of Arcangelo Corelli, the complete suites for solo cello composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, and will also explore the work of the Spanish and Portuguese composers who voyaged to America, along with the Italian and Austrian musicians whose destiny ended tragically.

We are delighted to welcome over forty artists to Lamèque this year, including Matthias Maute, conductor and flautist who will be returning after a remarkable visit in 2017, cellist Beiliang Zhu, and from Uruguay, countertenor Leandro Marziotte, who will be visiting Lamèque this year for the first time. Additionally, it will be a pleasure to celebrate in the company of the remarkably talented Acadian singers: Nathalie Paulin, soprano, and Dion Mazerolle, baritone, as well as all the choristers from the Mission Saint-Charles Choir. The choir, created by the Festival founder Mathieu Duguay, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

We hope that this 45th season will offer the members of the public the opportunity to build privileged connections with the musicians, evoke surprising discoveries, and spark moments of profound emotion. We look forward to seeing you in July to celebrate three "magnificent" days of early 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

Marcel Lanteigne, vice-chairman – Lamèque

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

Marie-Anne Ferron, administrator – Lamèque

Paulette Sonier-Rioux, administrator – Pointe-Brûlée

Roseline Hébert, administrator - Lamèque

Johannes Larsen, administrator – Miramichi

Brigitte Lavoie, administrator – Moncton

Daniel Chiasson, administrator – Moncton

 

Team of the Festival

Vincent Lauzer, artistic director

Nathalie Stewart, administrative director