Message from Isolde Lagacé,
General and Artistic Director
Photo : Étienne Bergeron
During this time of confinement, we recognize that art, and in particular music, play an irreplaceable role in the fulfillment of human beings and are a cornerstone of society which cannot be done without.
On March 12, we closed Bourgie Hall following the extraordinary measures implemented by the government to counter COVID-19. It is with great sorrow that we have had to cancel the 33 concerts scheduled until the end of the season. We were also preparing to launch our 10th season with panache. The brochures had been printed - and are now in storage - and we had organized a wonderful celebration with our public to share our many favourite picks from the upcoming season. We are eager to present them to you, but the dates and conditions for reopening concert halls in Quebec remain unknown.
These confinement measures will have major impacts on society as a whole, and we hope that the entire cultural sector will recover from this crisis. During this time of confinement, we recognize that art, and in particular music, play an irreplaceable role in the fulfillment of human beings and are a cornerstone of society which cannot be done without. It is for these reasons that we hope to be able to reopen our doors in the near future.
We are working closely with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, other stakeholders in the cultural sector, and the public authorities to make the best possible decisions for artists, employees, and the public, in circumstances where the health of all is paramount.
In these difficult times for everyone, the Bourgie Hall team and the members of its board of directors hope that you are in good health and that we will have the pleasure of seeing you again very soon.
Perfectly suited to the performance of chamber music, recitals, and concerts by other ensembles such as string orchestras, Bourgie Hall offers music lovers experiences that musically echo the great diversity of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ collections.
Bourgie Hall envelops you; one might say it possesses something undefinable, a combination of simplicity, beauty, and transcendence. It is unique! - « Madeleine, spectator of the Bourgie Hall»
In September 2007, the Montreal businessman Pierre Bourgie created Arte Musica, a foundation in residence at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Its mission was to develop Bourgie Hall within the very heart of the museum. Mr. Bourgie entrusted Madame Isolde Lagacé, who is highly regarded for her vast knowledge and experience of cultural environments, with the general and artistic direction of the new foundation.
The restoration and reconversion into a concert hall of the nave of former Erskine and American Church, designated in 1998 as a “historical site of national interest,” gave way to a vast site for the study and restoration of an exceptional series of stained glass windows adorning the building, and now part of the Museum’s collections.
Photo © Marc Cramer
Among the 81 windows of the stained-glass type that were restored, there were 20 Tiffany windows commissioned at the turn of the 20th century by the American Presbyterian Church (subsequently reinstalled in the Erskine and American Church between 1937 and 1938). They form the most important collection of their kind in Canada and one of the rare series of religious windows by Tiffany to survive in North America.
During reconversion work, the complex labour of turning the magnificent 462-seat concert hall into an acoustical space of the highest standards in today’s ultra specialized venues began. The cherry wood conch considerably aided the hall’s sound quality, among other features.
The hall was named in honour of the Bourgie family.
Photo © Marc Cramer
Bourgie Hall is a marvel of extraordinary acoustics and closeness with the performing artists. As for the choice of concerts, they are relevant without exception! - « Alexandre, a Bourgie Hall member »
Danish String Quartet
Les Violons du Roy
London Haydn Quartet
Trinity Wall Street Choir and Orchestra
The Tallis Scholars
The Instrument Collection
Two Steinway & Sons (New York) grand pianos
Model D: a 9-foot-long concert grand
Model B: a 7-foot-long grand piano for the rehearsal hall
An Historical Érard grand piano
Built in London in 1859, this instrument is entirely representative of the Romantic piano as it was known by Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Schubert, and other performers of that period. The instrument was restored between 2009 and 2011 by Claude Thompson.
An Italian harpsichord
Historical copy of a 17th-century Italian-style instrument with a short octave and large range built by Rodney Myrvaagnes in 1975.
A Flemish harpsichord
Historical copy in the 17th-century Flemish luthier style, build by Keith Hill in 1984.
This instrument is the Montreal harpsichord builder Yves Beaupré’s Opus 100. It was designed in 2002 after a model by Albertus Delin dated 1768 and preserved at the Historical Museum of The Hague. Its particularity is the vertical (upright) position of its case and its single set of strings.
A small chamber organ (Opus 1)
This organ was built in 1958 by Hellmuth Wolff, transformed into a positive organ in 1998. It has a single, 51-key keyboard and 5 register stops.
A large chamber organ (Opus 2)
Built in Montreal by Hellmuth Wolff for the organists Bernard and Mireille Lagacé, this instrument was subjected to a full restoration in 2011 by Wolff himself and François Désautels in conformity with the requirements of Bourgie Hall. It has 12 stops spread over 2 keyboards and 1 pedal board.
Awards and Distinctions
Bourgie Hall has been recognized at several Conseil québécois de la musique Opus Award galas:
Opus Award in 2016–2017
Best Specialized Presenter of the Year
Opus Award in 2015–2016
Best Concert of the Year: Classical, Romantic, Postromantic and Impressionist Music
Dang Thai Son—Inauguration of the Érard piano on February 10, 2016
Opus Award in 2011–2012 (Bourgie Hall’s opening season)
Best Specialized Presenter of the Year
Best Concert of the Year: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical Music
Inaugural Concert at Bourgie Hall on September 28, 2011