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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Calefax Reed Quintet
Calefax Reed Quintet, established thirty years ago, is now in great demand worldwide, not least because of their unique instrumentation. The five musicians arrange, recompose and interpret music from eight centuries to suit their unique constellation. From early music to classical and jazz to world premières, in the hands of Calefax it all sounds fresh and new. The Amsterdam-based ensemble has won a number of prestigious prizes, and can be heard frequently throughout Europe as well as in Russia, China, India, Turkey, Japan and the USA. The Times (UK) has called them “five extremely gifted Dutch gents who almost made the reed quintet seem the best musical format on the planet.”