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The Festival de Lanaudière commissions two works by composer Samy Moussa

In partnership with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Dutch National Opera

The Festival de Lanaudière commissions two works
by composer Samy Moussa

Joliette, September 16, 2021— In a gesture that strengthens its commitment to today’s creators, the Festival de Lanaudière has joined forces for the first time in its history with the Vienna Philharmonic, Dutch National Opera & Ballet and Norwegian Opera & Ballet to commission two works by Quebec composer and conductor Samy Moussa.

This alliance with major international institutions positions Lanaudière as a hub for classical music in the Americas. “The approach is a long-term one. Partnerships such as these ensure that the Festival and its artists will secure a presence in the highest spheres of the international musical universe,” explains Artistic Director Renaud Loranger.

A key artistic figure in Canada and around the world, Samy Moussa was an obvious choice for this Lanaudière Festival initiative. “Moussa is one of the most dazzling talents to emerge in our country in recent years, and has already become a precursor. For Lanaudière, it seemed a natural partnership and one that would also establish new milestones in this composer’s already exceptional career,” continues Mr. Loranger.

The first of the two commissioned works, Elysium, will be given its world premiere this September 18 at the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, in a special concert by the Vienna Philharmonic—the work’s main sponsor—conducted by Christian Thielemann. The event will be broadcast live on several radio and television stations around the world via the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Also co-commissioned by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Elysium will be given its Canadian premiere by the VSO in early 2022, before its first performance at the Festival de Lanaudière in its subsequent edition.

The second work, Antigone, is an oratorio for women’s choir and orchestra to a libretto by the composer himself, based on texts from Greek Antiquity. Commissioned by Dutch National Opera & Ballet, Norwegian Opera & Ballet and the Festival de Lanaudière, it will be premiered in Amsterdam during the 2023-2024 season, followed by its North American premiere at Lanaudière’s Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre.

About Samy Moussa

Born in Montreal in 1984, Samy Moussa graduated from the Université de Montréal in composition and conducting. He has been living in Germany for over a decade and has a special relationship with Canadian orchestras, including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), the Toronto Symphony Orchestra—where he is Artist-in-Residence for the 2021–2022 season—, and the Orchestre symphonique de Québec.

In Europe, he has conducted the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Leipzig Symphony Orchestra and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, among others. He has written for the Dallas Symphony, Brussels Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Toronto Symphony, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, all of which have performed his works. Moussa’s compositions have garnered special appreciation from conductors such as Stéphane Denève, Christoph Eschenbach, Hannu Lintu and Kent Nagano.

A resident of the Villa Massimo of the German Academy in Rome (2018–2019), he was the recipient of the Hindemith Prize of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival (2017), the Composers’ Prize of the Ernst-von-Siemens Foundation (2013), and was a laureate of the Fondation Banque Populaire (2020). He recently won the 2021 Juno Award for Classical Composition of the Year, for his Violin Concerto “Adrano.”

About the Vienna Philharmonic

Founded in 1842, the Vienna Philharmonic is closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music. A legendary orchestra, it has premiered some of the greatest works in the Western art music repertoire, working closely with composers such as Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler and Strauss. It is best known for its New Year’s Concert, an event held since 1941 which is broadcast in more than 90 countries and enjoyed by millions of television viewers.

About Dutch National Opera & Ballet

Dutch National Opera & Ballet is internationally renowned for the quality and daring of its opera productions. As one of the largest cultural organizations in the Netherlands, it is particularly committed to the rediscovery of rarely performed repertoire and to the creation of new work as well as presenting new approaches of the classical repertoire.

About the Festival de Lanaudière

The Festival de Lanaudière is the foremost classical music festival in Canada. Founded in 1978, each year it welcomes tens of thousands of spectators to its concerts featuring some of the greatest artists of the national and international scene, in its main venue, the Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre in Joliette and in the surrounding region’s most beautiful churches. The Festival is a member of the Regroupement des événements majeurs internationaux (REMI).


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