[Skip to content]

LacMus 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”

Mark Twain, The innocent abroad, 1869

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?

With the second edition of LacMus Festival we want to pay tribute to composers who are celebrated in 2018. In his homeland Rossini will delight the audience with his light sparkling music; the compositions by Debussy and Tchaikovsky, both supported by the incredible russian grande dame Nadežhda von Meck, will show contrasts and equivalences between colorful sound mixtures in the romantic and impressionistic periods and Bernstein will seduce us with his bouncing rhythms always on the border between jazz and classical music.

Louis Lortie and Paolo Bressan, founders and artistic directors 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 is: “Ars longa vita brevis”.

About us

Louis Lortie

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.

Paolo Bressan

“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.