Feb-1-2016 •

The interview by BlogCritics talks about how Ute Lemper developed the idea for her latest album and how she transformed a book by Paolo Coelho into a stunning musical work.

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Jan-26-2016 •

"Everyone was expected to conform to a rigid standard of normalcy, but I resisted. I had feelings, dreams and passions, making it hard to fit in. I escaped through music."

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Jan-19-2016 •

Quebec City, January 8, 2016 - Les Violons du Roy founding conductor and La Chapelle de Québec music director Bernard Labadie received the Prix Samuel de Champlain today January 8 in Paris, together with celebrated French pianist Alexandre Tharaud. The award was bestowed by the Ambassador Alfred Siefer-Gaillardin, chair of the France–Canada Institute and Prix Samuel de Champlain jury. Also in attendance were Graeme Clark, chargé d’affaires at the Canadian Embassy, and Michel Robitaille, Quebec’s agent general and the premier’s personal representative for La Francophonie.

The Prix Samuel de Champlain was established in 1997 by the France–Canada Institute, the Canadian branch of the France–Amériques Association. It is awarded every year to two individuals, one Canadian and one French, who have shared their respective cultures with audiences in France and Canada.

Les Violons du Roy congratulates Bernard Labadie on this new honor, the latest of the many awards and distinctions he has collected in acknowledgement of his impressive career and the importance of his work in Quebec, across Canada, and on the international stage. Maestro Labadie was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005 and chevalier of Ordre national du Québec in 2006. He received the Banff Centre’s National Arts Award in 2008 for his contribution to the development of the arts in Canada and holds an honorary doctorate from Université Laval.

Alexandre Tharaud is one of the leading pianists of our day and is highly regarded in France, Canada, and worldwide. His artistic partnership with Les Violons du Roy and Bernard Labadie goes back to 2008. Their most recent collaborations include the recordings Alexandre Tharaud, Mozart, Haydn, Jeunehomme in 2014 and Alexandre Tharaud - Concertos pour clavier de J. S. Bach in 2011, as well as a number of regular-season Les Violons du Roy programs and two European tours. A North American tour is on the schedule for Les Violons du Roy, Alexandre Tharaud, and Bernard Labadie in April.

Previous recipients of Prix Samuel de Champlain include Marie Chouinard and Brigitte Lefèvre (2014), Nathalie Bondil and Michel Côté (2012) Denys Arcand and Patrice Leconte (2008), Jacques Lacoursière and the bookstores Librairie canadienne de Paris and Librairie du Québec (2007), Marie-Hélène Fraïssé and Michael Snow (2006), Robert Lepage and Jean-Pierre Pichart (2005), Charles Aznavour (2004), Bernard Pivot and Claudette Hould (2003), Françoise Lepeltier and Hubert Reeves (2002), Jean-Michel Lacroix and Antonine Maillet (2001), Michel Drucker and Pierre Lampron (2000), and Jean-Michel Dubin and Luc Plamondon (1999).

For more on the Prix Samuel de Champlain, see (in French).

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Alexander Korsantia
Dubbed “a major artist” by the Miami Herald and a “quiet maverick” by the Daily Telegraph, pianist Alexander Korsantia has been praised for the “clarity of his technique, richly varied tone and dynamic phrasing” (Baltimore Sun), and a “piano technique where difficulties simply do not exist” (Calgary Sun). The Boston Globe found his interpretation of Pictures of an Exhibition to be “a performance that could annihilate all others one has heard.” And the Birmingham Post gushed that “his intensely responsive reading was shot through with a vein of constant fantasy, whether musing or mercurial.” Ever since winning the First Prize and Gold Medal of the Artur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition and the First Prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition, Korsantia’s career has taken him to many of the world’s major concert halls, collaborating with renowned conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Christoph Eschenbach, Gianandrea Noseda and Paavo Jarvi and orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, Kirov Orchestra and Israel Philharmonic.