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A Tribute to Johannes Brahms | Jean-Sébastien Lévesque & Victor Fournelle-Blain Duo

Jean-Sébastien Lévesque and Victor Fournelle-Blain have been friends for a long time. Both are from the Quebec region of Lanaudière and they took part in the same music competitions since they were children. Johannes Brahms holds a very special place in the hearts of these musicians: his music is infused with intelligence and disarming sincerity. After having dreamt for years of presenting these sonatas as an integral concert, Jean-Sébastien and Victor finally have the joy of sharing them with the public.
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TICKET PRICES – SHOW AT THE PYATT HALL - 843 SEYMOUR ST, VANCOUVER - 2 P.M.

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Lévesque & Fournelle-Blain Duo
A Tribute to Johannes Brahms
Classical Music 

Sunday, Feb 20th, 2022 
PYATT HALL, 843 Seymour St, Vancouver
Doors opening at 1:30 P.M 
Show at 2 P.M

Jean-Sébastien Lévesque and Victor Fournelle-Blain have been friends for a long time. Both are from the Quebec region of Lanaudière and they took part in the same music competitions since they were children. Later, they developed a tradition where each year, they would give at least one recital and a concert with the orchestra together. Early on, these concerts were held in the Montreal region, where they both lived. After Jean-Sébastien moved across the country to settle in Vancouver, they didn’t let the distance stop them from continuing their collaboration, still motivated by their love of the repertoire and the enjoyment they felt in sharing it.

Johannes Brahms holds a very special place in the hearts of these musicians: his music is infused with intelligence and disarming sincerity. There are moments when it reveals the suffering and tenderness of his unrequited love for Clara Schumann, the combativeness of a man who began his career at a very young age playing the piano in cabaret music festivals, before he was recognized as Beethoven’s successor, and also in later works, his acceptance of human nature and of death. His three sonatas for violin are no exception: composed during his mature years (the first in 1878-79, the other two in 1886), they show great mastery of the genre, as well as a vast register of expression, which makes them such important works in the repertoire. The first sonata, sometimes called the Regensonate for its citations from the songs Regenlied and Nachklang, is unified by the use of recurring motifs in the three movements. The second, shorter sonata is known as the “Sonata for piano and violin” rather than the more common epithet “Sonata for violin and piano”, a choice that emphasizes the equal importance of the two instruments. The third, most imposing sonata highlights the virtuosity of the two instruments with a denser and more flamboyant composition style.  After having dreamt for years of presenting these sonatas as an integral concert, Jean-Sébastien and Victor finally have the joy of sharing them with the public.

Jean-Sébastien Lévesque (piano) 

Jean-Sébastien recently moved to Vancouver from Montreal where he had completed his Bachelor’s degree at the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal with André Laplante (2nd prize of the 1978 International Tchaikovsky Competition) and his Master’s degree at the Université de Montréal with Jean Saulnier. He studied conducting with Raffi Armenian and took part in masterclasses with many illustrious pianists and teachers including Jean-Philippe Collard, Jacques Rouvier, Louis Lortie, John Perry, and Marc Durand. In 2010, he founded the Chœur du Brouhaha, which now has more than 60 choral members. Until 2019 he taught at the Lanaudière School of Music, the Camp Musical Fernand Lindsay and the Université de Québec in Montreal. Still very active as a pianist, he has performed with many famous musicians and singers.

Victor Fournelle-Blain (violin) 

Violinist and violist Victor Fournelle-Blain leads an active career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher. As Associate Principal Viola of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, where he also holds a section and 2nd assistant position, he has also been viola soloist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Passionate about teaching, he has been on faculty at the University of Toronto and the Université de Montréal and now at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. In the summer, he offers advanced refresher training at festivals including the Concerts aux Îles du Bic, Orford Music, the Camp musical des Laurentides and the Formandi Festival, in Guadalajara, Mexico.

After studying violin at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal under Johanne Arel, and the Yale School of Music with Ani Kavafian, he studied viola under André Roy at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. Winner of the 2014 Golden Violin Award at McGill, the 2012 Prix d'Europe and second prize at the 2010 OSM Standard Life competition, Victor Fournelle-Blain has performed as guest soloist of several orchestras including the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Orchestre Symphonique de Drummondville. Violinist in the Grand-Duc Trio, he regularly performs chamber music with colleagues in the orchestra as well as guest soloists, including Jean-Philippe Collard, Alexandre Tharaud and Vadim Repin. Victor Fournelle-Blain currently plays a Carlo Tononi violin and a Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi viola, generously on loan to him from Canimex.

 

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