Schubert’s stirring “Death and the Maiden” quartet is the focal point for this deftly woven program by Nicolas Ellis featuring works rich in poetry and marked by the passage of time. Violist Marina Thibeault, a Quebec City native who used to performed on occasion with the orchestra, makes her debut as a soloist in Britten’s poignant Lachrymae.
The concert will be preceded by a talk about the evening’s musical program, including what to listen for. The talk will take place onstage starting at 6:40 p.m.
Conductors and soloists
Nicolas Ellis is the Artistic Director, Conductor and Founder of the Orchestre de l’Agora and currently serves as Artistic Partner to the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. He was recently named Principal Guest Conductor for Les Violons du Roy, starting in the 2023-2024 season.
Mr. Ellis appeared as guest conductor with numerous Canadian orchestras including Les Violons du Roy, the Vancouver Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Orchestre de chambre I Musici de Montréal, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. He also regularly collaborates with the Opéra de Montréal’s Atelier lyrique.
During the 2022-2023 season, he is invited to conduct performances of Britten’s War Requiem at the Oper Graz in Austria and returns as a guest conductor to the Orchestre National de Bretagne. He has also collaborated as Assistant conductor to conductor Raphaël Pichon and his Ensemble Pygmalion on productions of Fidelio (Opéra comique de Paris) and Idomeneo (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence).
Mr. Ellis founded the Orchestre de l’Agora in 2013. The orchestra uses music as a tool for sustainable social change and has established itself on the Montreal scene for its creative programming and bold projects. Its repertoire ranges from Bach’s six Brandenburg Concertos, to Britten’s Turn of the Screw, to new works by Canadian composers, and more recently the ensemble presented Mahler’s 3rd symphony for its Gala de la Terre, a fundraising concert for environmental organizations. The orchestra has developed projects involving youth with mental health challenges, educational music workshops for children and a monthly concert series at the Prison de Bordeaux in Montreal.
Nicolas Ellis is the recipient of the 2017 Bourse de carrière Fernand-Lindsay and was named Revelation of the Year 2018-2019 by Radio-Canada. More recently, he won the Prix Goyer Mécénat Musica 2021.
Violist Marina Thibeault’s “plangent tone and expressive phrasing” (The Strad) foreground a great richness in her playing that is on display across various styles. Named Radio-Canada's classical "Revelation" for 2016-2017, she has delighted audiences across Canada, the United States, and Europe with her elegant, spellbinding performances and engaging presence.
An accomplished soloist, Marina Thibeault’s has performed with the North Czech Philharmonic, Mariánské Lázně Symphony Orchestra, the Santiago Chamber Orchestra, the Verbier Festival, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Sinfonia Toronto, to mention a few. An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with members of the Guarneri Quartet, the Cleveland Quartet, Charles-Richard Hamelin, Marie-Nicole Lemieux, and Johannes Moser, amongst other renowned chamber musicians. Her interest in new music has led her to work with composers such as John Corigliano, Joan Tower, and Krzysztof Penderecki.
Marina Thibeault’s first album, Toquade, was released in April 2017 on the Atma label, and was nominated by the ADISQ and Prix Opus for Album of the Year. Her 2020 Juno Award-nominated album Elles honours groundbreaking women composers from Clara Schumann to the present day. A passionate advocate for women’s rights, Marina Thibeault has utilized the broad-ranging Elles project in various iterations to reach out to at-risk women and raise awareness for organizations that support this important cause. The concert adaptation of Elles presents a wide-ranging program of works for solo viola by Ana Sokolović, Dorothy Chang, and Melody McKiver.
Marina Thibeault holds numerous honours and distinctions, including prizes from the Père-Lindsay Foundation (2017), "Révélation Radio-Canada" (2016-2017), CBC’s “30 hot classical musicians under 30” (2016), and the Sylva Gelber Foundation (2016). She won first prize in the string category of Prix d’Europe (2015), the McGill Concerto Competition (2015), the Radio-Canada “Young Artist” prize (2007) as well as a special prize at the Beethoven Hradec International Viola Competition (2008).
A Letter from the Afterlife from Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems
Langsamer Satz (version for string orchestra)
Lachrymae, op. 48a
Quartet No. 14 in D Minor, D. 810 “Death and the Maiden” (version for string orchestra)