Alexandra Scheibler, Ph.D.
Founder and Artistic Director of the Montreal Bach Festival
This year’s Bach Festival opens with a very special event: Julian Prégardien, the renowned German tenor, will be back in Montreal to conduct the Festival’s Choir and Orchestra in two performances of Bach’s St. John Passion (in Montreal and in Saint-Benoît-du-Lac) while singing one of the Baroque repertoire’s most challenging roles, that of the Evangelist. Reflecting the spirit of the work’s original 1724 Leipzig production – that of student choristers led by their own teacher – the choir will be made up of voice students, all of whom attended Julian Prégardien’s Festival workshop last season, from three prominent Montreal music schools, McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique and the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Music. These enthusiastic young singers will join with some of the best professional orchestra musicians from Montreal’s lively music scene to render, with unswerving passion, some of Bach’s most beautiful music.
The exceptional American pianist Jeremy Denk was given “carte blanche” for his Montreal debut – of course, there will be some Bach but the remainder is still a secret. We are immensely delighted to welcome once again both the stunning Armenian pianist Sergei Babayan as well as the legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. First-time guests are star violist Nils Mönkemeyer and pianist William Youn, a special treat for our public since viola recitals are still rather uncommon these days. Masaaki Suzuki returns to the Festival, this time with his own ensemble, the Bach Collegium Japan. Also, it is with great pleasure that we greet the charming young breakdancing countertenor, Jakub Józef Orliński, who will appear with Granby’s own L’Harmonie des Saisons.
Since the very beginnings of the Bach Festival, it has always been a point of honour for us to showcase our own amazing musical talent, whether from here in Montreal or further afar in the province. And so, this season we are thrilled to feature the McGill Chamber Orchestra with Julie Boulianne, Daniel Taylor, Luc Beauséjour, Pallade Musica with Mélisande McNabney, the Ensemble Caprice and Valérie Milot, Nicolas Ellis, Stéphane Tétreault, as well as our official symphonic partner, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal with Kent Nagano.
Yet, there are also many other tempting concerts for you to discover in this season’s programme. Should you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch with us. We will be more than happy to help you find the concert which best suits your taste.
On behalf of the entire team of the Montreal Bach Festival, I would like to welcome you to this year’s 12th edition wishing you an unforgettable musical experience!
Alexandra Scheibler, Artistic Director
Alexandra Scheibler founded the Bach-Academie de Montréal in 2003 and has been artistic director of the Montréal Bach Festival since 2007. She was awarded a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Hamburg with a dissertation on religious aspects in Leonard Bernstein’s life and work. She was employed in various German public broadcasters in classical music departments as well acting as assistant director for several productions at the State Opera Bern in Switzerland. As a freelance author Alexandra Scheibler wrote radio features and programme notes. In Cologne and Hamburg, she studied violin and viola and played in numerous orchestras and chamber music ensembles under such conductors as Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Frank Beerman and Alun Francis.
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