The Quatuor Saguenay, composed of violinists Marie Bégin and Nathalie Camus, violist Luc Beauchemin, and cellist David Ellis, has developed a reputation for excellence throughout Canada and internationally. The quartet’s originality, contagious enthusiasm, unique sonority, and remarkable cohesion have all contributed to its long-term success, both on stage and in recording. The four instrumentalists are also the first chairs of their respective sections of l’Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
After having performed for twenty-seven years under the name Alcan String Quartet, the ensemble’s list of accomplishments is impressive: close to 1000 concerts in Europe, Asia, and North America; a hundred or so radio broadcasts (Société Radio-Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Public Broadcasting System (USA), Radio France, etc.); numerous appearances on television; fifteen or so albums; and a number of commissioned pieces.
The extensive discography of the Quatuor Saguenay (recorded under the Alcan Quartet) includes major works from the string quartet repertoire, such as those of Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Dvorak, Debussy, and Borodin. In 2015, the complete Beethoven quartets were added to the collection. These recordings have received adulatory reviews in the United States and Europe. The quartet won the Prix Opus — Recording of the Year, for its album devoted to Schubert’s quartets, as well as a Félix Award in 2011 for Mathieu — Trio & Quintet, together with Alain and David Lefèvre.
In between tours, the quartet is regularly invited to teach at universities, conservatories, and summer academies in Québec and elsewhere. The quartet’s involvement with young people of the area is an invaluable contribution for the Saguenay Conservatory of Music, the SLSJ Youth Orchestra, music schools, and Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean public schools. All four members also play an active role in many other cultural organizations in Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean.
Since its formation, the quartet has been based in Saguenay, Québec, and continues to evolve as the resident quartet of l’Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay—Lac-Saint-Jean thanks to a financial agreement between the orchestra and Saguenay. The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ) and the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) also contribute to making this prestigious ensemble better known throughout Québec, Canada, and the rest of the world.