Louise Bessette

piano

“The secret of such an intense career is perhaps Bessette’s enthusiasm. She is always on the lookout for new ways to promote contemporary repertoire.”

— Scena Musicale

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Biography

An exhilarating and elegant concert pianist, Louise Bessette is recognized internationally as one of today’s preeminent interpreters of the music of our time. She has recorded most of the major works of Messiaen for solo piano as well as the music of Elliott Carter, Charles Ives, music on Spanish themes and tango and several CDs of chamber music including the works of Gubaidulina, Schnittke and Serge Arcuri.

She possesses a unique combination of eclectic repertoire and impeccable delivery. Recipient of numerous prizes and awards, notably the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for her Lifetime Artistic Achievement, she is a champion of the music of our time. 

Current projects include her recital project A Piano around the World, featuring music from a diverse array of contemporary composers worldwide, Les Planètes, a multimedia performance of Walter Boudreau's work of the same name for iMax theatres and Planetariums, and her ongoing performances of the complete solo piano works of Messiaen.

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Programmes and projects

An exhilarating and elegant concert pianist, Louise Bessette is recognized internationally as one of today’s pre-eminent interpreters of the music of our time. In Escales, Louise guides the audience on a musical voyage around the world, through China, Japan, France, Canada, the United states, Benin, Brazil, Italy, Spain, Russia, and even the Antilles! Explore the sonic landscapes which make up our planet - and bon voyage! 

Supported by the Guides de voyage Ulysse

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10,654 mentally and physically handicapped people were murdered in the first gas chamber at Castle Grafeneck in Germany in 1940; an experimental project of the Nazi's murder machinery during the holocaust.

 

This concert pays homage to these victims. It seeks to rescue the memories of these people from oblivion, as well as to shed the lucid light of day on these events, to bring this history to our present-day conversation.

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Les Planètes features a full-dome immersive piano concert using a light-piano in real time to create audiovisual environments. In an extraordinary new visual and sound performance, Louise Bessette plays Walter Boudreau’s Les Planètes on the light-piano created by Yan Breuleux.

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Reviews

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

 

“With her international concert tours, impressively paced and showing no signs of slowing down, Bessette is an indispensable figure for the circulation of Canadian music around the globe.” 

—  Jenna Simeonov,

April 2019

SCENA MUSICALE

 

“The secret of such an intense career is perhaps Bessette’s enthusiasm. She is always on the lookout for new ways to promote contemporary repertoire.” 

—  Benjamin Goron,
March 2019

THE MUSICAL TIMES

 

“The flair and ingenuousness are a delight.” 

—  London

In the 1980s in Paris, pianist Louise Bessette was part of a select group of protégés of Yvonne Loriod, a pianist and wife of Messiaen. As the only woman in the group, Bessette was affeectionately called “ma fille canadienne” by Loriod.

Louise Bessette presents Messiaen and his Legacy, exploring Messiaen's influences on composers from Quebec, Canada. and elsewhere. This bold programme shows the connection that exists between the French musical tradition and the legacy of Messiaen’s teaching that has flourished on the American continent.

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Videos

Audio

Discography

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