Charming Montreal becomes even more magical in winter – the perfect stage for a celebration of one of history’s great composers. Ensembles, orchestras, choirs and solo musicians come from across the globe for this elegant event, which kicks off on 18 November with an even more elegant gala evening.
The Bach-Académie de Montréal is a non-profit organization founded in Montreal, a city well-known for its sophisticated culture and cultivated artistic communities. As a testament to the city’s unique appreciation of classical and baroque music and its special sensitivity to virtuosic artistry, the Bach-Académie de Montréal organizes a music Festival featuring outstanding Canadian ensembles alongside international artists.
In 2017 Montreal celebrates its 375th, Canada its 150th and this year, Lutherans all over the world are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. A great many of Johann Sebastian Bach’s compositions are choral works written – and signed “Soli Deo Gloria”, Glory to God Alone – by the devout cantor as an act of his Lutheran faith. You will not be surprised to find a clear emphasis on religious choral music in this year’s programming. Thus, there will be special guests four internationally renowned choirs: from Germany, on their second visit to Montreal, Bach’s very own St. Thomas Choir, from the Czech Republic, Collegium 1704 which will open the Festival with Bach’s monumental B minor Mass, from Belgium, Vox Luminis with a seldom heard masterpiece by Heinrich Schütz and from France, Ensemble Jacques Moderne with a choice of beautiful German and Italian works. The public will also have the good fortune to hear two of Bach’s greatest choral works, the Christmas Oratorio in all its six parts, performed by the Studio de Musique Ancienne and Ensemble Caprice, as well as the moving Magnificat performed by the OSM under Kent Nagano.
There is also an addition on to an existing series whose main goal is to promote young Quebec musicians – the Mélodînes@Festival Bach Montreal. For this project, the Bach Festival teams up with the Société Pro Musica and the Jeunesses Musicales Canada to present 12 lunchtime concerts of 40 minutes each, all of which will take place at Place des Arts. These short Bach-recitals are a perfect way to spend your lunch hour, as most of these concerts are scheduled during the week. A few others are planned on the weekends so you can bring the kids and enjoy a lovely concert with the whole family. Who knows, maybe you will discover among these talented youngsters a future Quebec superstar!
Among many outstanding performers, we are thrilled to welcome pianist Nick van Bloss, a newcomer to Montreal, who will interpret the Goldberg Variations, and violinist Tedi Papavrani with his rendition of the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin. There are many other exciting concerts for you to discover in this season’s programme.