BIOGRAPHY OF THE SPECIAL GUESTS
Louis Lavigueur has been artistic director and conductor of the Montreal Youth Symphony Orchestra since 1986. Prize winner at the Besançon International Competition for Young Conductors (France), he is conductor of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal Orchestra since September 2013 and founder-director of the Ensemble Sinfonia de Montréal. He also served as conductor in residence for the McGill University Orchestra. One of few conductors equally at ease with both choir and orchestra, he is the conductor of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal Chorus and artistic director of the Ensemble vocal Polymnie, the Choeur polyphonique de Montréal and the Choeur classique de Montréal.
A respected and distinguished educator, Louis Lavigueur has taught at Laval and McGill universities, the University of Montréal, Pierre-Laporte High School and at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal where he still teaches conducting. As guest conductor, he has performed with several orchestras and choirs in Canada, France, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Romania. Louis Lavigueur’s impressive career as maestro, musician, conductor and teacher earned him the title of “Personnalité de la semaine” in La Presse newspaper and at Radio-Canada on March 7, 2011. In May, 2011, Maestro Lavigueur was named Chevalier of the National Order of Québec, the most prestigious honour awarded annually to those outstanding men and women who, in their respective fields, have made major contributions to Québec society.
The MONTREAL YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA, founded in 1976 by Mrs. Sandra Wilson CM, L. Mus., is still faithful to its first mandate, which remains “to provide an optimal framework in which to train talented young people in symphonic music, as a complement to and in association with participants in the Montreal area’s music circles, thus sharing the joy of orchestra music with an ever-growing public”.
The Orchestra has contributed to the musical training of nearly 1000 musicians of which a great number are now playing orchestras throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, while others are pursuing careers as soloists or chamber players. Since its creation, the MYSO has given more than 350 concerts, gone on five European tours, five Canadian tours, one China tour and another one in United States, has premiered about ten works of québécois composers and finally, took part in more than 20 festivals in Canada and Europe.
The MYSO has had three music directors: Jacques Clément, Mario Duschenes and Louis Lavigueur, C.Q. Since 1986, Louis Lavigueur has been responsible for the development of the orchestra, and, having drawn on his pedagogical expertise, he has enabled the MYSO to become one of the best orchestras for young musicians in Canada.
The MYSO’s yearly subscription series consists of three concerts, and the orchestra performs four supplementary concerts with invited guest choirs and soloists as well. By the number and the quality of its activities, the MYSO has built a solid reputation throughout the years on the Montreal musical scene.
Singer-songwriter, this 20 year-old Montreal gem was first discovered when she appeared as a runner up on the Quebec reality television competition La Voix, where the public was introduced to a naturally-adept singer with strong technique. She has since been taking some time to define her artistic vision and style, which comes out with a jazzy backbone and electronic undertones. Acting on dynamics, impressive vocal technique and catchy chords, Charlotte masters her art with great ease. More recently, she was the opening act for international pop star Mika at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and performed with French sweetheart Patrick Bruel at the Festival d’Été de Québec. An enchanted audience discovered her quiet strength and undeniable ability to captivate. Without hesitation, she agreed to perform at the St.Patrick’s Basilica on behalf of sick children. She will undoubtedly put Symphonic Smiles on our faces.
The Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal is a boys’ choir established in 1956 by Father Léandre Brault, c.s.c., who was inspired by the great European tradition of boys’ choir schools dating back to the 6th century. Since its foundation, the Boys’ choir has been fulfilling its mission by providing high quality singing of sacred works enriching the many religious ceremonies at St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount-Royal in Montreal, Canada.
Aged nine to seventeen, the 210 boys in the choir come from diverse social and cultural backgrounds but all share a common passion for singing. At the choir school, the young choristers explore the great polyphonic works from across the ages and around the world. Their repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant to contemporary choral works. Over the last five decades, the unique educational project of St. Joseph’s Oratory’s Boys’ Choir School has flourished. In addition to the regular academic curriculum, the choir school provides advanced musical education including piano, voice and ear training, as well as choral singing in sacred and secular repertoire.
At the elementary school level, the boys follow three hours of daily musical instruction. During their high school studies at College Notre-Dame, the choristers pursue their musical training at the choir school enriching their repertoire and learning music writing. Throughout the year, the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal can be heard at over seventy religious ceremonies at St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount-Royal and at many concerts.
The choir is often heard on radio and television and invited to perform abroad. In recent years, they sang in Korea, Venezuela, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Austria and the United States.
Mrs. Johanne Chantal is the General Director of the Petits Chanteurs du Mont- Royal Choir School and Mr. Gilbert Patenaude is the Musical Director and Choirmaster.
Gilbert Patenaude has been musical director and choirmaster of the Boys’ Choir the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal for thirty-five years. After completing his musical studies at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec (Quebec Conservatory of Music) in Montreal, he went to Nice, France and Hilversum, Netherlands, for advanced musical training. Since then, he divides his time between composition and musical direction. In 1978, Gilbert Patenaude was selected as musical director for the choir school, thus becoming the third musical director but the first lay person to hold this position. His responsibilities include the musical training of the boys during the last three years of elementary school and the five years of high school. He also serves as choirmaster when the choristers sing at religious ceremonies held at Saint Joseph’s Oratory and at concerts. Mr. Gilbert Patenaude also devotes a great deal of his time to composition. He has produced numerous harmonizations and orchestrations and has composed many original works including three operas.
Under his direction the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal have recorded a number of Cds, among which Pax Caelestis (2009) and the most recent Ave Maria.