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Joint Commissions

Four organisations from different countries collaborate to commission new works from Quebec composer Samy Moussa


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.

Festival de Lanaudière. Photo © 2020 Genevieve Caron
Festival de Lanaudière. Photo © 2020 Genevieve Caron

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', Loranger continues.

The first of the two commissioned works, Elysium, will be given its first performance tomorrow, 18 September 2021, 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 first Canadian performance 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 first performed in Amsterdam during the 2023-2024 season, followed by a first North American performance at Lanaudière's Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre.

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.

Samy Moussa. Photo © 2019 Genevieve Caron
Samy Moussa. Photo © 2019 Genevieve Caron

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 the 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.

Posted 17 September 2021 by France Gaignard






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