Louise Bessette makes the news
It is on April 23, 2002, at 8 PM, at Salle Pierre-Mercure, that pianists Louise Bessette and Håkon Austbø will pay tribute to the French composer Olivier Messiaen in honour of the 10th anniversary of his death. Both renowned specialists of Messiaen’s piano music, they will perform Visions de l’Amen, a monumental work for two pianos. Additionally, Louise Bessette will perform excerpts from the Catalogue d’oiseaux: VI - L'Alouette Lulu, VIII - L'Alouette Calandrelle and XIII - Le Courlis cendré, as well as the Prélude (1964), an unpublished posthumous piece. This concert is co-produced by la chaîne culturelle de Radio-Canada and the Centre Pierre-Péladeau.
Of Norwegian origin, Mr. Håkon Austbø has been awarded the First Prize of the Olivier Messiaen Competition for Contemporary Music in Royan, France in 1970 by a unanimous jury. His recording of the Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus (1995) is part of a NAXOS project that will include the complete Messiaen piano music. It was chosen by Classic CD as the best available version of the work and received a Norwegian Grammy award. In 1998, his recording of the complete Catalogue d'Oiseaux coupled with Petites Esquisses d'Oiseaux, was awarded the Edison prize for the best solo recording. The 8 Préludes and the 4 Etudes de Rythme have also been released.
Håkon Austbø met Olivier Messiaen for the first time in 1970, and worked at several occasions with the composer.
“ J'ai trouvé là un interprète rêvé pour ma musique. Håkon Austbø a une magnifique technique, un toucher plein de charme aux timbres variés, et il sait recréer une athmosphère, un paysage, un chant d'oiseau, avec une intense poésie. Son jeu a un pouvoir d'envoûtement magique sur l'auditeur, qui se trouve transporté dans un "ailleurs" aux couleurs féeriques. ” Olivier Messiaen, 1986.
Born in Montreal, Louise Bessette began studying piano at the Montreal Conservatory in 1971 where she studied with Georges Savaria and Raoul Sosa. She subsequently perfected her skills with Eugene List in New York. In 1982, she set her sights on Paris, where her masters were Yvonne Loriod, Claude Helffer, Jay Gottlieb and Dominique Merlet. In 1986, she won the First Prize at the Concours International de Musique Contemporaine in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France). Since then, she has gone on to become recognized as a leading light in the interpretation of twentieth-century music. Most notably, she has added to her list of accomplishments both the First Prize and the Special Prize for Piano at the Rotterdam 1989 International Gaudeamus Competition for Contemporary Music, and the 1991 Flandre-Québec Award. The Conseil Québécois de la Musique awarded her the Prix Opus 1996-1997 in the category “conductor or soloist of the year” for her recital devoted to the Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus. Her repertoire includes most of Messiaen’s works with orchestra: Turangalîla-Symphonie, Oiseaux exotiques, Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine; as well as his piano works: Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus, Catalogue d’oiseaux, La Fauvette des Jardins, etc. Her discography includes, amongst others, the Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus on the Atma Classique label (2000).
“ Messiaen a trouvé en Louise Bessette, sans doute pour longtemps, son interprète moderne la plus inspirée ” Yves Allaz, Journal de Genève.
April 23, 2002 at 8 PM.
Salle Pierre-Mercure, Centre Pierre-Péladeau : 300, boul. de Maisonneuve Est, Montréal, Qc
23$ / 19,50$ (Accès Mtl) / 10,50$ (Student) – Box Office: (514) 987-69189
Broadcast on Friday, April 26, 2002 at 8 PM for RADIO-CONCERTS