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  • Dorothée Jourdain

Marina Thibeault wins a JUNO Award!

The violist Marina Thibeault won the 2023 JUNO award for Classical album of the year: Large Ensemble, for the album Viola Borealis with Orchestre de l'Agora and Nicolas Ellis!

Congratulations Marina!

Listen to Viola Borealis (Atma Classique) here.

Read below the musical history behind this great project (written by Marina Thibeault):

« Last night, I was going over in my head all the wonderful moment Nicolas Ellis and the Orchestre de l'Agora had during this recording. We literally would burst out laughing at times and had to start over. Nicolas has this gift to make musicians feel at ease and to unveil their full musical potential. His conducting is thoughtful, sensitive, his listening skills up the roof. And he is simply one of the nicest human being you will ever meet. The Agora reflects the same musical and personal attributes. Every single musician on this album is a unique, creative, inspiring artist. We took some risks and explored a version of the Telemann concerto that had not been recorded yet (to my knowledge and I’m quite the viola nerd). Using modern instruments, strings, bows, but infuse each phrase with historically informed concepts. I’m so proud of our hybrid version amongst the more romantic or baroque specialist versions out there, that I also love very much. There is space for all ideas! Melody McKiver contributed to this album by conceptualizing two already existing tracks for viola and electronics for acoustic viola. I have been travelling with these pieces on my tours and I’m so grateful for this collaboration. Thank you Melody and hopefully this is the beginning of a long journey together.

Lastly, it’s in 2017 that I became aware of the existence of Peteris Vasks’ viola concerto. Thanks to my manager, Barbara Scales at Latitude45 Promotions, I was able to see multiple drafts and versions of the work as it unfolded. With the permission of Vasks, I was able to play most of the original version, before several changes were made to the viola part. Thank you to the Sinfonia Toronto and Kamloops Symphony who gave me the opportunity to make this piece my own. Recordings of our performances were sent to Vasks and with the help of his daughter who speaks English well, we could weave in as many original passages. It was a surreal experience to work with the composer from afar despite our language barrier. »

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