For Immediate Releae, February 5, 2015, Montreal, QC ... At a Gala event on February 1 at Salle Bourgie, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Le Conseil québécois de la musique declared pianist Louise Bessette the winner of the Prix Opus for Interprète de l'Année / Artist of the Year. Recognized around the world as an exceptional pianist, and as a pre- eminent interpreter of the music of our time in particular, Bessette has sustained a fierce dedication to the interpretation and celebration of contemporary Quebec composers, the theme of her extraordinary four-concert recital series last season. In 25 ans de musique québécoise avec Louise Bessette, in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of La Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Bessette performed 25 Photo : Anis Hammoud/CQM works written by Quebec composers over the last 25 years, including a new work by Maxime McKinley written for the occasion. The Prix Opus Interprète de l'Année comes with a $5,000 grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
In reviewing the concert series last season, writer Normand Babin commented: "In four recitals, Louise Bessette painted a picture of the past 25 years of piano composition in Quebec; An impressive history lesson for the listener, and an imposing challenge for the pianist. Composers seem to have an infinite love for this great interpreter. A historic moment played out in our ears on four occasions, and concluded with a call for renewal."
Last month, Bessette performed Schoenberg's magnificent Pierrot Lunaire in the series Musiciens de l'OSM at Salle Bourgie. Also in January, ATMA Classique released a new recording of music by Sofia Gubaidulina featuring Bessette with the Molinari Quartet. Coming up on Sunday, April 12, Bessette performs with cellist Yegor Dyachkov and clarinetist Simon Aldrich on a concert presented by Pro Musica at Salle Bourgie. Continuing to inspire contemporary composers, Bessette will premiere two new concertos next season: a new work by Silvio Palmieri with Ensemble de la SMCQ conducted by Walter Boudreau; and François Dompierre's Concertango Grosso with Orchestre Appassionata, conducted by Daniel Myssyk.
This year's honour is Louise Bessette's 7th Prix Opus. Most recently, she was the winner of two Prix Opus for "Concert of the Year--Montreal" as well as "Concert of the Year--Modern and Contemporary," for her 30-year Career Celebration presented by Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) in 2012. Recently, she was named one of the 25 Best Canadian Pianists by CBC Music. Louise Bessette is a Member of the Order of Canada, and Officier of the Ordre national du Québec. For more information, please see www.louisebessette.com.