Olivier Godin, Artistic Director and
Caroline Louis, Executive Director
Fortified by the confidence placed in us, in a spirit of continuity as well as an optimistic and enthusiastic vision for the performing arts, we commenced six months ago our mandate as Executive Director and Artistic Director of Bourgie Hall, a major centre for music in Montreal. Its national and international reputation allows it to both promote highly talented musicians from Quebec and welcome artists of diverse horizons and cultures from around the world. Our four-handed management provides us with the opportunity to continue and reinforce the association between Bourgie Hall and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, all while bringing concert music, visual art, and education to the forefront. We are extremely pleased to initiate this collaboration in order to continue the adventure of this acclaimed Montreal institution, envisioned by Pierre Bourgie and led to exceptional heights by Isolde Lagacé, Director Emeritus (2007-2022), and her team. We are very excited to share the 2023-2024 season’s programming with you, which will be our first. Until then, we invite you to join us and enjoy the current season’s wonderful concerts!
Isolde Lagacé, General and Artistic Director Emeritus of Arte Musica
Stemming from a musical family, Isolde Lagacé has devoted her life to the promotion and dissemination of classical music, leaving a lasting and profound impact on the Quebec music scene. Having acquired a solid experience as a manager, musician and teacher, she has been General and Artistic Director of Arte Musica for 15 years, from 2007 to 2022. Dynamic and visionary, she was the ideal person to masterfully lead this project for a new concert hall, dreamed and then realized jointly with philanthropist Pierre Bourgie. Under her direction Bourgie Hall has earned an international reputation, becoming one of the most popular venues for concert music in Canada. We also owe her several ambitious projects, including the presentation of the complete sacred cantatas of J.S. Bach, a first in Canada.
Prior to her mandate at Bourgie Hall, Isolde Lagacé was director of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal from 2000 to 2007 and, previously, director of the concert and publicity department of the Schulich School of Music at McGill University from 1992 to 2000, managing both Pollack and Redpath concert halls. Very involved in the musical community, she was president of the Conseil québécois de la musique in 1997 and 1998, and was a member of numerous committees and boards of directors within several musical organizations. Furthermore, she regularly sits on the juries of various arts councils.
Pierre Bourgie, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts staff as well as the entire team at Bourgie Hall wishes to warmly thank Isolde for her passion and tireless work, and hope that she enjoys a most happy, well-deserved retirement.
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.
Bourgie Hall's history
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.
Inside Bourgie Hall - 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.
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.
The Instrument Collection
An Historical Érard grand piano (1859)
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.
A pianoforte made in 2020 by Rodney J. Regier
This instrument is based on examples by Viennese makers Conrad Graf and Ignaz Bösendorfer, between the late 1820’s and 1840. The lighter frame, entirely made of wood, strings, and keyboard mechanism produce an articulate sound with a sharp attack.
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 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