Louise Bessette

Louise Bessette

Piano 2024

Jury 2024

A versatile musician and a piano wizard, Louise Bessette is much in demand as a concert artist in Europe, America, and Asia. Numerous organizations and international competitions have seen to reward her talent, and her reviews are constantly laudatory. Many composers write especially for her. Louise Bessette has performed with renowned conductors such as Leonardo García Alarcón (Les Violons du Roy), Charles Bruck (Orchestre symphonique de Québec), Edward Cumming (Belfast Ulster Orchestra), Agnieszka Duczmal (Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Poznan, Poland), Charles Dutoit and Kent Nagano (Orchestre symphonique de Montréal), Mauricio Kagel (Orchestre philharmonique de Radio-France), Pascal Rophé (Orchestre national de Montpellier, France), Gerard Schwarz (New York Chamber Symphony), Michel Swierczewski (Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, Denmark), Yuli Turovsky (I Musici de Montréal), Pascal Verrot (Orchestre national de Lyon).

She is regularly invited by major music festivals, like Festival Présences Radio-France (Paris), Festival Musica (Strasbourg), Festival Détours de Babel (Grenoble), Festival Tivoli (Copenhagen), Numus Festival (Aarhus), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Festival International de Lanaudière and Festival International du Domaine Forget. She performed at the World Music Days in Warsaw and Mexico. In 2007, she was invited as piano professor and guest artist at the 4th International Piano Festival in Shanghai. Louise Bessette has recorded over thirty albums. Her recording of Messiaen Les oiseaux, on Analekta label, received a wonderful review in the Gramophone magazine, and her album Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jésus (ATMA Classique) is renowned all over the world.

In 2019, Louise Bessette received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award for Classical Music. The GGPAA are Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts. In 2016, she was honoured in London, University of Western Ontario, where she received the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, to celebrate her accomplishments as an internationally recognized performer.

As a pianist with an eclectic repertoire, and always eager to promote exchange with other art forms, Louise Bessette recorded works by Alkan and Grieg for a film soundtrack in 2009. Hidden diary, by French film director Julie Lopes-Curval, starring Catherine Deneuve and Marie-Josée Croze, was presented as world premiere at the Festival des Films du Monde in Montreal (2009), and then in movie theatres all over the world.

Louise Bessette received her tenth Opus Prize from Conseil québécois de la musique in 2021. In 2015, she was listed as one of Canada’s top 25 pianists by CBC Music. First Prizes at Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (1981), Concours International de Musique Contemporaine (Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 1986), International Gaudeamus Competition (Rotterdam, 1989), Femme de l’année at Salon de la Femme de Montréal (Arts category, 1989), Prix Québec-Flandre (1991), Member of the Order of Canada (2001), Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec (2005), Canadian Music Centre Ambassador (2009), Louise Bessette has been a professor of piano at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal since 1996.


© Photo: Sasha Onyshchenko


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