About the Festival
“…and the music of the vesper bells comes stealing over the water, one almost believes that nowhere else than on the lake of Como can there be found such a paradise of tranquil repose”
Lake Como is a magical place where Nature gives you everything it could offer so overwhelmingly that you feel compelled to give something back.
There is so much pleasure for the eyes whether on the water, the mountains, the small paths in the villages that one would expect an abundance in auditive sensations as well.
The sounds of Nature are always rich, but don’t we need great music and inspired interpreters who will channel the richness of all the impressions gathered in such a divine setting?
Many years ago, great musical encounters happened in this region when the great pianist and composer Artur Schnabel held classes with young musicians from all over the world.
In this spirit, we want to welcome the young generation of musicians from the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Belgium.
By coincidence, that country also happens to be the honorary recipient of the Comacina island, the only island on all of Lake Como. It was offered to the king of Belgium for the valiancy and honor in combat of its people.
These thoughts would like to be a fitting prelude to an International Music Festival, Arts and Academy taking place in the unique territory called Tremezzina.
Louis Lortie, pianist – founder, artistic direction of the Festival
Our intent is to create a music festival and an academy of the highest profile in which the beauty and the calm of the places will inspire every artist and give the audience unforgettable moments.
For professional musicians it is very important to get away from the daily “business” life, which often kills the creativity and be inspired and nourished by new impulses and meeting with significant people. Young musicians will have the possibility to be fully immersed in a daily exchange of new ideas and opportunities. The role of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Belgium is a turning point in bringing together young artists and great Maestros.
Concert programs will stretch from baroque to contemporary music. In the future we would also like to create links between music and other arts, musicians, writers and visual artists: sharing experiences could help us to expand our sensitivity.
The motto of LacMus Festival 2017 is: “Ars longa vita brevis”.
For its first year the festival offers four concerts and one special event: the opening one will be a musical meditation at the Santuario della Beata Vergine del Soccorso in Ossuccio, a Unesco World Heritage site, where the world renowned soprano Christiane Karg will inspire us through the world of the art song; the second one, at Villa Carlotta, celebrates the memory of Johannes Brahms remembering the 120th anniversary of his death and his residence at Villa Carlotta, and will be performed by Augustin Dumay, Louis Lortie and friends.
The young artists in residence of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel are the protagonists of the third concert on July 14th in a dazzling and explosive Hommage à la France. An ecstatic experience for the senses will be The Musical Greenway: a path through the most beautiful spots in Tremezzina, between Renaissance villas, old roman villages, lakeside promenades linked to short musical performances to “hear the light and see the sound”. The great Italian violinist Giuliano Carmignola and the Accademia dell’Annunciata will close the Festival.
The highly-esteemed French Canadian pianist Louis Lortie has extended his interpretative voice across a broad range of repertoire rather than choosing to specialize in one particular style. The London Times has identified the artist’s “combination of total spontaneity and meditated ripeness that only great pianists have”.
Recent concerts include appearances with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, amongst others. Mr. Lortie has been named Artist in Residence of the Shanghai Symphony for the 2017-2018 season, which will include a tour of performances in Tibet.
He has made more than 45 recordings for the Chandos label, covering repertoire from Mozart to Stravinsky, including a set of the complete Beethoven sonatas and the complete Liszt “Annees de Pelerinage”, which was named one of the ten best recordings of 2012 by the New Yorker Magazine.
As of October 2016 Louis Lortie became the new Master in Residence of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Belgium. Mr. Lortie studied in Montreal with Yvonne Hubert, in Vienna with Beethoven specialist Dieter Weber, and subsequently with Leon Fleisher. He was named Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992, and received the Order of Quebec. He has lived in Berlin since 1997 and also has homes in Canada and Italy.
“The young Italian conductor, former assistant of Daniele Gatti and Christian Thielemann, proved to be an ecstatic and talented conductor who propelled the responsive orchestra through a churning sea of emotions, especially with the intermezzo from Puccini’s Manon Lescaut” (Der Standard, Wien).
Paolo Bressan made a higly acclaimed debut at the Vienna Konzerthaus in a concert with Joseph Calleja and the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra. He conducted at the Théatre-des-Champs-Elysée in Paris and at the Smetana Hall in Prague with the PKF Prague Philharmonia and tenor Bryan Hymel. During the 2015-16 season he made his US debut at the Dallas Opera and in October 2016 at the national auditorium in Mexico City. Warner Music conferred him the artistic supervision of Diana Damrau’s recording “Works of G. Meyerbeer” and Angela Gheorgiu’s “Verismo”. Paolo Bressan started his career at the Mecklenburgisches State Opera in Schwerin, Germany where he also was musical and artistic director of the city’s young symphony orchestra and studied at the conservatory “Giuseppe Verdi” in Milan, Italy and at the university of music “Franz Liszt” in Weimar.
A Queen’s project
The Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Belgium
Inaugurated on 12 July 1939, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel provides high-level training to exceptional young talents. A training center of excellence with an international scope and reputation, its curriculum is reserved for outstanding musicians (the musical elite of tomorrow) in the disciplines of piano, violin, cello, viola, chamber music and voice. At the time of its creation already, the renowned critic Emile Vuillermoz described the Music Chapel as a sort of “modern Villa Medici”.
Sixty-five years after the inauguration, in 2004, the Music Chapel set about reorganizing thoroughly its training and professional insertion program.
The artistic training now rests on three pillars:
- Openness: although anchored in the Belgian landscape, the Music Chapel has an international vocation;
- Flexibility: the Music Chapel seeks to adapt itself to each young artist’s profile by providing him or her with a tailor-made program (variable cycles);
- Excellence: the Masters in Residence – currently José van Dam, Miguel da Silva, Augustin Dumay, Louis Lortie, Gary Hoffman and the Artemis Quartet – and their guests bear witness to the importance of knowledge transmission from one generation to the next.