Prokofiev and Poulenc: two contemporaries swept up in the whirlwind of modernity of the last century, separated at the end of their lives by the Iron Curtain which divided Europe. Two creators of their time, but sometimes inspired by the same inextinguishable source of musical classicism – the divine Mozart, of course, and the great, indispensable Haydn. The two towering figures meet again, exalted by the OSM, Jacques Lacombe, and harpsichordist Mélisande McNabney.
Founded in 1934, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM) is a distinguished leader of musical life in Quebec and Canada. Recognized as one of the finest orchestras in the world, whose core activity is to perform the vast orchestral repertoire with conductors and soloists of the highest calibre, the OSM is an essential cultural ambassador. Under the new direction of Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare, the OSM perpetuates several rich traditions rooted in its long history of social involvement and embodied in far-reaching projects, world class tours, and a superb discography. Firmly anchored in today’s world, the OSM’s innovative artistic programming in both concerts and recordings brings modern-day relevance to the symphonic repertoire while strengthening the Orchestra’s place at the heart of its home base in Quebec’s metropolis. Over the years, the OSM has crisscrossed Canada and toured abroad, travelling to Quebec’s Far North as well as to the United States, Latin America, and several countries in Europe and Asia. The OSM’s discography totals more than a hundred recordings on the Decca, Analekta, CBC Records, ECM, EMI, Philips, and Sony labels, earning more than 50 national and international awards.
Music and Artistic Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Mulhouse in France, Jacques Lacombe has also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Bonn Opera, Music Director of the Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières and of the Orchestre de Lorraine in Metz, France. From 2010 to 2016 he was Music Director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and from 2002 to 2006, principal guest conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. Renowned as a “gifted and ambitious” conductor (The New York Times), his artistic integrity and rapport with musicians and orchestras have propelled him to international stature.
In recent seasons, Lacombe has conducted the Dallas and Boston symphonies, leading the Boston Symphony twice for opening nights at Tanglewood, as well as the Orchestre National de France.
Mélisande McNabney performs keyboard music of all periods, on harpsichord, piano and fortepiano. In August 2015, she received the third prize at the International Competition Musica Antiqua in Bruges, Belgium.
Very active on the concert scene, Mélisande was invited as a soloist in series such as Clavecin en Concert or the Série Jacques Dansereau at Bourgie Hall. As a chamber and orchestral musician, she is regularly invited to play with Les Violons du Roy, Arion Orchestre Baroque, Montreal Bach Festival Orchestra, Les Idées heureuses and Ensemble Caprice. She is a member of Pallade Musica and ensemble Les Songes, with whom she took part in numerous tours of Canada and the USA. In January 2019, Mélisande released her debut solo album, Inspirations : D’Anglebert, Forqueray, Rameau, on the label ATMA Classique. Well received by critiques worldwide, the recording received 5 Diapasons from the famous French magazine.
In addition to her performing activities, Mélisande is also an active researcher in the field of performance practices and will be presenting in two international conferences in the summer of 2021: the HKSNA conference in St. Paul, Minnesota, and the Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music in Birmingham, UK.
Mélisande is a graduate of the Amsterdam Conservatory where she studied harpsichord, continuo and fortepiano in the classes of Bob van Asperen and Richard Egarr. She was granted her Doctorate degree at McGill University in May 2017, under the guidance of Hank Knox and Tom Beghin, thanks to the support of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program.
Mélisande has received scholarships from Musicaction, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Banff Centre, the SSHRC, the FQRSC and the CALQ.