Moving to France since 1982, Louise Bessette has performed in France, England, Algeria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other European nations. She played with l'Ensemble Fa and l'Ensemble Alternance in Paris, with the Woodwind Quintet of Stuttgart and the Arditti Quartet of London. With the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, she premiered Métalayi No. 3, a work written for her by Bruno Ducol. She has also performed in the US and Mexico.
During her regular visits to Canada, she was heard on CBC radio, at the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, and at the Montreal International Music Festival; in 1988, she took part in a concert tour of the Orchestre des jeunes du Québec. Bessette has been soloist with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with conductors Raffi Armenian, Linda Bouchard and Charles Dutoit. In addition to major European festivals, in Canada she has been heard at the Festival International de Lanaudière and the Festival International du Domaine Forget.
Returning to Canada to live, Louise Bessette began teaching at the Conservatoire de musique à Montréal in 1996.
Louise Bessette has distinguished herself by her performances of contemporary repertoire, which she approaches with remarkable conviction and a flawless technique; the extraordinary energy of her playing is difficult to resist, and it has impressed the most demanding of critics. Following a recital of works by Messiaen and Ives (Concord Sonata), Claude Gingras called her performance a 'tour de force... she absolutely proved equal to the Herculean task she had set herself' (Montreal La Presse, 6 Dec 1987). Among the Canadian works she has premiered are Anagramme by Serge Provost (1982), Piano concertant by José Evangelista with the Orchestre de chambre de Lausanne (1987), and Chute / Parachute by Michel Gonneville (1990). André Villeneuve and Raoul Sosa have also written for Bessette.
In 1989, Louise Bessette was selected as Woman of the Year in the arts category at the Salon de la femme in Montreal. In 1991, she won the Prix de musique contemporaine Flandre-Québec for her contribution to contemporary music. The Conseil Québécois de la Musique awarded her its Prix Opus 1996-7 as its soloist of the year, and she was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2001 and the Order of Quebec in 2005. Bessette was named an ambassador of the Canadian Music Centre in 2009.
Ives Concord Sonata - Messiaen Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jésus (Nos. 11, 14, 15, 20). 1987. CBC Musica Viva MVCD-1041
Mathieu Chevauchée, Sonate. 1987. 5-ACM 32
Québec 5, U.S.A. 3. Garant - Tremblay - Saint-Marcoux - I. Panneton - Alain Gagnon and others. 1988. SNE 553 (CD)
Les Transcriptions de Schönberg, l'École de Vienne No. 2: Arditti Quar, Chaignaud bar, Béroff conductor. 1989. Montaigne JM-01
Canadian Music for Piano. Daniel Foley - Alexina Louie - Ann Southam - Linda Catlin Smith - Jacques Hétu. 1993. CBC Records MVCD 1064
Louise Bessette and Marc-André Hamelin. Matton - Hamelin - Prévost - Hétu - Landry - Matton. 1993. Les éditions Doberman-Yppan DO 137-CD
Nouvelle Musique Montréalaise. Villeneuve - Panneton - Lesage - Provost - Arcuri - Lemire - Hyland. Ensemble contemporain de Montréal. 1994. SNE Techni Sonore SNE 590-CD
Waltzes and Bagatelles. Strauss - Dvorak. Quatuor Alcan. 1995. Analekta Fleurs de lys FL 2 3083
Louise Bessette and / et Martine Desroches. Prévost - Hétu - Sharman. 1998. Les éditions Doberman-Yppan DO 262-CD
Les Lauréats. André Villeneuve - Wim Henderickx - Peter Swinnen - Annelies Van Parys - André Ristic. 2003. Atma ACD 22281
Tango Diablo! 2003. Sept Jardins SJCD-1910
See also Discography for L. Daoust
Author Hélène Garceau, Betty Nygaard King
Eatock, Colin. "Playing Canadian music: an interview," SoundNotes Fall/Winter 1994
Links to Other Sites
The website for internationally renowned classical pianist Louise Bessette, Member of the Order of Canada and a “leading light in the interpretation of twentieth-century music.” Features a biography, discography, repertoire, and online audio selections of her music.
This site offers a profile of acclaimed classical musician Louise Bessette, a performance calendar, and a "Sound Gallery" with audio clips from selected recordings. From Latitude 45 Arts Promotion Inc.
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