Mathieu Lussier, Associate Conductor
The accomplished and multifaceted Mathieu Lussier is a long-time friend and collaborator of Les Violons du Roy and of its founding conductor Bernard Labadie. As associate conductor of the internationally renowned chamber orchestra based in Quebec City, he has led the ensemble in more than 75 concerts throughout Canada, Mexico, and the United States. In recent years he has carved out a reputation as an important new voice from the podium specializing in Baroque and Classical repertoire as well as the great neglected works of 19th-century France. His first recording at the head of Les Violons du Roy appeared in September 2014, and he received in 2015 the Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestra Conducting from the Canada Council for the Arts.
From 2008 to 2014 Mathieu was artistic director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival, where he conducted major choral and orchestral works by Vivaldi, Zelenka, and Handel. Critics have praised his high-energy performances and keen sense of detail, while his explorations of a large, diverse repertoire have garnered much attention, from his no-holds-barred rendering of Milhaud’s Le Bœuf sur le toit with Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal at Festival de Lanaudière to a widely hailed production of the opera Zémire et Azor with staging by Denys Arcand. He made his conducting debut on fall 2015 at the head of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal as well as with Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières.
Mathieu Lussier is also active as a soloist and for close to 20 years has been tirelessly and passionately introducing audiences to the modern and baroque bassoon all over North America and Europe. He has appeared as a soloist with such ensembles as Les Violons du Roy, Montreal’s Arion Baroque Orchestra, Toronto’s Tafelmusik, the Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, and Apollo’s Fire of Cleveland. He continues to pursue a career in chamber music with Ensemble Pentaèdre in Montreal and in summer 2014 was appointed assistant professor at Université de Montréal. His many solo recordings cover close to a dozen bassoon concertos including those of Vivaldi, Fasch, Graupner, Telemann, and Corrette. He has also recorded a disc of Boismortier’s bassoon sonatas, three of solo bassoon works by François Devienne, and two of wind music by Gossec and Méhul.
Mathieu Lussier is also a composer, with a catalogue of more than 40 works heard regularly in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In August 2009 the bassoon and strings version of his Bassango received 3rd prize for “Contemporary Classical Song” at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. Artists such as Nadina Mackie Jackson, Guy Few, Lise Beauchamp, and George Zukerman have commissioned works from him, as have such ensembles as the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, the Oshawa-Durham Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, and Les Idées Heureuses. His music has been the object of numerous recordings and been broadcast throughout the world. His 2001 wind quintet Dos Tropicos has been performed close to 100 times in Canada, Europe and the United Kingdom. His works are published in the U.S. by TrevCo Music, in Germany by Accolade, in the UK by June Emerson, and in France by Gérard Billaudot.