Barachois Summer Music is one of the pillars of south-eastern New Brunswick’s artistic environment. Founded 35 years ago, year after year, the event presents classical music concerts of the highest level in the enchanting setting of the Barachois Historic Church, a heritage site erected in 1824. To date, more than 250 concerts have taken place within the walls of this Acadian cultural treasure, in the Viola-Léger hall, allowing the public to discover and appreciate brilliant musicians from here and abroad in a warm atmosphere and incomparable acoustics.
Over the years, thanks to the series, the Barachois Historic Church has been privileged to host musicians of an international calibre such as the Alcan Quartet, the Arthur-LeBlanc Quartet, Stéphane Beaulac, Luc Beauséjour, Daniel Bolshoy, Leslie-Ann Bradley, Dominique Côté, Lorraine Desmarais, Chantal Dionne, Denise Djokic, Marc Djokic, Jonathan Estabrooks, the Hochelaga Trio, David Jalbert, the John Roney Trio, Miriam Khalil, Marianne Lambert, Renée Lapointe, Vincent Lauzer, Suzie LeBlanc, Suzanne Lemieux, Marie-Josée Lord, Roger Lord, Nathalie Paulin, Richard Raymond, the Wanderer Trio, Jasper Wood and Brian Yoon.
Eager to promote emerging talents, the series has also served as a stepping stone for a number of young Acadian and New Brunswick artists, allowing them to experience some of their first performances on a professional stage. Notable names among this group include Christianne Bélanger, Jaeyoung Chong, Terri Croft, Alain and Patrick Gaudet, Carl Philippe Gionet, Julien LeBlanc, Carol Léger, Dion Mazerolle, Lance Ouellette and the Phi brothers.
Barachois Summer Music is now one of Atlantic Canada’s most important musical events. Its concerts have often been recorded and broadcast on Radio-Canada and Espace musique. In 2014, the series received the Event of the Year Éloize in recognition of its 31st and 32nd seasons, Twilight Dreams and A Fresh, Blazing Summer. Emboldened by this success, the event hopes to keep growing and evolving, always striving to nourish the region’s cultural life.
A virtuoso whose enthusiasm is genuinely contagious, Canadian pianist Julien LeBlanc is renowned for his great musical sensibility and his talent as a communicator. Based in Montreal, Julien is a well sought-after soloist, chamber player and accompanist.
His remarkable qualities as a pianist, coupled with his innate musical sense, have allowed him to master the solo repertoire with distinctive flair. His CD entitled Mélancolies is dedicated to the works of Dutilleux, Franck, and Poulenc. The Rutland Herald praised his interpretation of this repertoire, stressing that he played “with warmth, clarity and flowing lyricism, all with a natural sense of rhythm".
Julien has recorded a striking trio of CDs. It includes two discs with the Trio Arkaède: Tour de France, and a second album devoted to little-known French compositions. As well, he has recorded a disc of French and Spanish songs with soprano Marianne Lambert, which was released in 2020 under the Fidelio label.
Since 2012, Julien has been Co-Artistic Director of the Barachois Summer Music concert series in New Brunswick. He has taken part in many concert tours across Canada for Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and Debut Atlantic. He is a part-time teacher at the University of Ottawa. He has given master classes in several universities across Canada and is frequently asked to sit on juries for music competitions.
Renowned for his vivid soundscapes and the musicality inherent to his texts, pianist and writer Pierre-André Doucet is a leading voice among Canada’s newest generation of artists.
He has been hailed for “the emotion of his playing and his impeccable control” (Audiophilia), and was recognized by CBC Radio 2 as one of the best Canadian classical musicians under 30 (2015). Recently, he has performed in Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Spain, South Africa, and the United States, as well as across Asia, Central America, Europe and the South Pacific as one of the inaugural Lincoln Center Stage artists aboard Holland America Line ships. Several of his performances have been broadcast on Radio-Canada, CBC Radio and NPR.
Winner of the Knigge Music Competition, as well as the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (with soprano Alexandra Smither), Mr. Doucet has also been awarded top prizes for his performances of contemporary works, namely at the Prix d’Europe, and the Ibiza International Piano Competition. He holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from l’Université de Montréal, where he studied with Maneli Pirzadeh, and where he has also been a visiting professor. Further, he has benefited from masterclasses at the Toronto Summer Music Academy, Franz-Schubert-Institut, the Gijón International Piano Festival, Songfest, the Music Academy of the West, and the Tanglewood Music Center with such luminaries as Elly Ameling, Julius Drake, Margo Garrett, Marilyn Horne, Graham Johnson, Warren Jones, Kiri Te Kanawa, Martin Katz, Robert MacDonald, Dawn Upshaw and Roger Vignoles.
A prize-winning writer, Mr. Doucet is the author of Sorta comme si on était déjà là (Prix Éloizes in the Discovery of the Year category, 2014) and Des dick pics sous les étoiles, both published by Éditions Prise de parole. He was recently named Interim Executive Director of the Frye Festival, Atlantic Canada’s largest literary event. Alongside pianist Julien LeBlanc, he has also been Co-Artistic Director of Barachois Summer Music since 2012.