A 40th Season for the Pleasure

Press Release

Montréal, Thursday, August 18, 2005 — The Société de musique contemporaine du Québec will launch its fortieth concert season this fall with a feast of new works and major masterpieces from the repertoire. Duests, trios, quartets, large ensembles and soloists will join together to deliver works by composers from Canada (Walter Boudreau, Denys Bouliane, Geof Holbrook, Jean Lesage, Yannick Plamondon, Ana Sokolović), Germany (Karlheinz Stockhausen, Kurt Weill), the United States (William Bolcom, Morton Feldman), France (Philippe Hurel, Erik Satie), Austria (Arnold Schönberg, Georg Friedrich Haas), and Scandinavia (including Norwegian Lasse Thoresen, Dane Bent Sørensen, and Icelander Haukur Tómassen). Along with the musicians of its Ensemble, the SMCQ will play host to several soloists, notably soprani Ingrid Schmithüsen, Julieanne Klein and Karen Young, baritone Vincent Ranallo, flautist Claire Marchand, pianist Brigitte Poulin, trombonist Alain Trudel, percussionist D’Arcy Philip Gray and the Bozzini Quartet, as well as other virtuoso musicians of our time.

SMCQ Jeunesse, for its part will tour Quebec with its show TapaJungle!, (after Rudyard Kipling’s work) with QUAD, percussions originales and actor Félix Beaulieu-Duchesneau. Audiences can also expect to hear an eclectic composing machine making music—Yves Daoust’s Musicolateur—in a variety of entertaining and educational undertakings. Finally, this fall SMCQ Jeunesse will present a new DVD on Québécois and Canadian composers designed for elementary and high school students. Featuring interviews, musical excerpts, and games, this DVD will be provided free of charge to all subscribers.

Later, the SMCQ will present Dans un jardin chinois, a musical event conceived by flautist Lise Daoust and Liu Fang (who plays the pipa and guzheng), that will take part in the Conseil des arts de Montréal’s Tour, from 23 January to 1 February 2006. Dueling with grace and expertise, these two performers deliver an East-West experience, with traditional and contemporary Chinese music and works by composers José Evangelista and Simon Bertrand conceived especially for them.

Finally, in 2006 — for this ‘even’ year —MusiMarch returns between 27 February and 3 March. For this event the SMCQ and the Faculty of Music at McGill University reunite with MusiMarch in the ‘heart’ of winter with a Scandinavian theme. These event highlights Swedish, Norwegian, and Icelandic composers in dialogue with their counterparts from here: enriching lectures, roundtables, and get togethers will complement a week of concerts featuring the Quatuor Molinari, the Icelandic ensemble Caput and three McGill groups (Chamber Singers, Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME) and the Digital Composition Studio) in collaboration with the Fondation Daniel Langlois, la Radio musicale de Radio-Canada, Espace musique, CBC Radio Two and, this year, Radio France.

OUR MONTREAL SERIES OF CONCERTS—40th Season

12 OCTOBER Le Mythe de Sisyphe (The Weight of the World!)
Bolting out of the gate on 12 October, the Ensemble de la SMCQ begins the season with a single work— but what work! In Vain (2000) for 24 musicians by Georg Friedrich Haas evokes a swirling mass that reaches through space with dizzying spirals, in search of an ultimately illusory truth . . . hence the work’s title, a piece that conductor Walter Boudreau has not hesitated to call a masterwork: ‘This is true orchestral bravura that runs for 71 minutes non-stop.’ In the same breath, Boudreau adds that he would not have been able to sleep without putting this work on the programme, and promises listeners an unforgettable sonic experience, ‘Twenty four musicians that deliver the sound of two hundred, it has to be done!’

15 NOVEMBER Seminal Kontakte
A striking duo attack a milestone work by one of the twentieth century’s most extravagant and controversial composers, Karlheinz Stockhausen. His Kontakte, for piano, percussion and electronic media was, in 1960, one of the first radical explorations of the relationship between ‘real’ and ‘synthetic’ sounds (for ‘acoustic’ instruments and electronic samples). D’Arcy Philip Gray and Brigitte Poulin revive this work with a major change in perspective, by assigning the percussion a solo role. Rounding out the programme, a moving work by French composer Philippe Hurel that pays tribute to Gérard Grisey (the ‘father’ of spectral music) and the highly anticipated premiere of a work by the young and talented composer Geof Holbrook.

17 JANUARY La quadrature du cercle (Where nothing is impossible)
The Bozzini Quartet, a group of young musicians who know how to blow the dust off of music from any century, tours internationally every year to critical acclaim for their precision, technique, and musical sensitivity. Because of its predilection for new music, these ‘contemporary experts’ have created close ties with the SMCQ, and make regular appearances with the society. Bozzini will explore the highly contrasting universes of three of the most highly acclaimed Québécois composers with performances of intimate works focused on memory (Jean Lesage), introspection (Denys Bouliane), and spirituality (Walter Boudreau).

11 FEBRUARY Cabaret: Encore! (Wine, Song, and Pleasure)
Following on the success of the Musiques en Apéro series and the warm welcome that Ingrid Schmithüsen received for her unparalleled performance of songs by Kurt Weill, Boris Vian, Eric Satie, and others, the SMCQ has decided to bring it all back, with its original time on Saturday at five o’clock. An hour of cabaret songs, delivered by a giving artist with rare vocal skill, finesse, and humour, followed by a wine and cheese in the company of the artists. Once again, this German soprano will pull out all the stops with the SMCQ’s rapid musical intervention group or GRIM, directed by the dry humour of Walter Boudreau. Pure enjoyment to hear and taste, again and again!

3 MARCH Aurores Boréales : (MusiMarch Comes in From the Cold)
The Ensemble de la SMCQ, under the direction of Walter Boudreau, will close the MusiMarch festival with a spectacular concert, presenting voices that are rarely heard on this side of the ocean. Works by Lasse Thorensen, Bent Sørensen, and Haukur Tómasson will be performed alongside a vocal work by Québécois composer Yannick Plamondon, winner of the 2004 Prix Québec-Flandres, in a concert that will place the spotlight, amongst others, trombonist Alain Trudel, baritone Vincent Ranallo and soprani Julieanne Klein and Karen Young.

23 APRIL ‘Nothing is everything’: Hommage à Philip Guston
To cap the season, the SMCQ will move to Radio-Canada’s Studio 12 along with flautist Claire Marchand, percussionist D’Arcy Philip Gray, and pianist Brigitte Poulin for an original marathon concert. This trio of musicians, baptized by the SMCQ as In Extremis, will perform a contemplative work that the highly eccentric American composer Morton Feldman wrote as a tribute to his friend, the abstract expressionist painter Philip Guston. Anything could happen during the performance of this FOUR (yes FOUR!) HOUR work.

IN PREPARATION FOR OUR 40TH ANNIVERSARY
This fortieth anniversary season will be a celebration of the pleasure of discovery and rediscovery of exceptional works, and will end four decades of musical creativity with an artistic bang—a prelude to next year, as the SMCQ makes place for celebrations and fireworks for the fortieth anniversary of its founding, in December 1966. In the meantime…

SUBSCRIPTIONS: WWW.SMCQ.QC.CA
Become a member of the SMCQ by subscribing to the Montreal concert series, and take advantage of substantial rebates on events for this series and MusiMarch, as well as CDs recorded by the SMCQ. Concerts for the Montreal series will take place at Salle Pierre-Mercure, McGill University’s Faculty of Music, and at Radio-Canada. Tickets for this season continue to reflect our reasonable pricing policies, ranging from $10 to $30. The DVD will be provided free of charge to all subscribers. For more information, visit the SMCQ’s website (after September 8th).

— 30 —
Source: SMCQ, Direction des communications
Relations de presse: Alain Labonté, 514-523-9922