with pianist, Allison Gagnon
FORM, BALANCE, MOTION
Bach: Art of the fugue
Marcus Goddard: Allaqi
Ernest Macmillan: Two Sketches on French Canadian Airs
Miguel del Aguila: Presto II
César Franck: Quintet in f minor for piano and string quartet
The Quatour Saguenay (formerly The Alcan Quartet) — violinists Marie Bégin and Nathalie Camus, violist Luc Beauchemin, and cellist David Ellis — has developed a reputation for excellence throughout Canada and internationally since its formation over twenty years ago. The quartet’s originality, contagious enthusiasm, unique sonority, and remarkable cohesion have all contributed to its long term success. Critics agree that, both on stage and in the recording studio, the Quartour Saguenay possesses the qualities that characterize the best ensembles of its kind: a recognizable personality, a homogeneous sound, and an elegant style.
The ensemble’s list of accomplishments is impressive: close to 1000 concerts; over 100 live radio broadcasts (Radio Canada, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio in the USA, and Radio France); numerous television appearances; tours throughout North America, Europe, and Asia; and a number of commissioned pieces and first performances.
The Quartet’s discography includes major works from the string quartet repertoire including Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Dvorak, Debussy, Borodin, and others. These recordings have received adulatory reviews in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The Quartet won the “Prix Opus, recording of the year” for its CD of Schubert Quartets.
In addition to its performing career, the Quartet is regularly invited to give master classes at universities, conservatories, and summer chamber music institutes.
The Quatour Saguenay is based in Chicoutimi, Québec where it receives the unconditional support of the Orchestre symphonique du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. The Quartet also receives support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Canadian pianist Allison Gagnon directs the Collaborative Piano Program at UNCSA, and appears in recitals throughout the US and Canada, and in Europe, with both instrumental and vocal colleagues. At UNCSA, she performs not only with faculty and students, but also with guest artists, among whom have been Frederica von Stade, Jens Lindemann,
and the Miró Quartet. Before joining the UNCSA faculty in 1998, Dr. Gagnon taught at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada and was staff pianist at McGill University in Montreal. For nearly two decades she was a member of the piano staff at the renowned Meadowmount School of Music in New York.
A dedicated educator, Dr. Gagnon was a recent recipient of the UNCSA Excellence in Teaching Award. Graduates of the collaborative program she created at UNCSA have won positions in Texas, North Dakota, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, and have become active professionally in the US and abroad. Her definitive edition of the piano reduction for Ernest Chausson’s Poème, Op. 25 for Violin and Orchestra has been published (www.encoremupub.com) and new reductions of two of Mozart’s instrumental concertos (K. 219 and K. 313) are in process. She is preparing teaching materials in the field of collaborative piano pedagogy, and has begun to explore the role of music in the well-being of those with dementia, inspired by experience with her parents.
Dr. Gagnon completed her DMA with Anne Epperson at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Her earlier teachers were Dale Bartlett (McGill), Michael Krist (Vienna Hochschule fur Musik), Pierre Jasmin, and Margaret McLellan (Queen’s) and her mother Marjorie Gagnon. From CIM she holds the Brooks Smith Award of its Collaborative Piano Department. Her
creative interests include ceramics and wildlife photography.