Bourgie Hall: Music at Heart

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HALL<br />


Cover<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>, interior view<br />

Photo: Julia Marois<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> and the Claire and Marc <strong>Bourgie</strong> Pavilion<br />

of Quebec and Canadian Art of the MMFA<br />

Photo: Paul Boisvert


4.<br />



6.<br />



12.<br />



14.<br />


18.<br />



20.<br />


30.<br />


Texts: Claudine Jacques<br />

Project coordin<strong>at</strong>ors: Claudine Jacques and Coralie Baudet<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> directors: Caroline Louis and Olivier Godin<br />

Texts revisions: François Zeitouni, Claude Nadon and Trevor Hoy<br />

Transl<strong>at</strong>ion: Le trait juste<br />

Graphic design: Corinne Bève

4<br />




<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>, interior view<br />

Photo: Julia Marois

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

5<br />

Inaugur<strong>at</strong>ed in<br />

September 2011<br />

465-se<strong>at</strong> capacity<br />

divided between orchestra<br />

and balcony levels<br />

Loc<strong>at</strong>ed in the heart<br />

of one of Canada’s most<br />

culturally and artistically<br />

dynamic cosmopolitan cities<br />

Conceived and<br />

designed for solo<br />

recitals and chamber<br />

music<br />

Outstanding acoustics<br />

for voice as well as for instruments<br />

Develops a varied<br />

and accessible<br />

programming,<br />

offering rich and surprising<br />

encounters to a wide range of<br />

audiences<br />

Builds bridges<br />

with the visual arts<br />

in conjunction with the Montreal<br />

Museum of Fine Arts<br />

Presents over<br />

100 concerts annually<br />

Is home to the largest<br />

collection of religious<br />

Tiffany stained-glass<br />

windows in Canada<br />

Highlights a unique<br />

collection of valuable<br />

keyboard instruments<br />

Fe<strong>at</strong>ures a wide variety<br />

of musical genres:<br />

classical music from all eras, jazz,<br />

music of global cultures, crossover<br />

performances between various art<br />

forms, as well as concerts for youth<br />

audiences<br />

Provides the public<br />

with a high-quality<br />

cultural offer <strong>at</strong><br />

affordable prices

6<br />





A key venue on the Quebec<br />

music scene<br />

Since its opening, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> has enjoyed exceptional<br />

beginnings and revolutionized the concert scene in the city<br />

by offering the public outstanding performances. It was<br />

initially expected th<strong>at</strong> some thirty concerts per year would be<br />

presented, but the venue’s qualities quickly made it one of the<br />

most sought-after halls in Quebec: today, it hosts almost 200<br />

events each season. <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> is known for the diversity<br />

of musical genres it presents, and the quality and originality<br />

of its programming—designed for both seasoned and new<br />

music lovers. Combined with its close ties with the Museum’s<br />

exhibitions and collections, the support and opportunities it<br />

provides to young performers, and the cre<strong>at</strong>ion of new music,<br />

it has established itself as one of Canada’s most important<br />

concert music presenters.<br />

Due to its intim<strong>at</strong>e <strong>at</strong>mosphere, its size perfectly suited to<br />

recitals and chamber music, and its exceptional acoustics, the<br />

hall is an ideal venue for soloists, small ensembles, and chamber<br />

orchestras. For its jazz and world music concerts, the hall also<br />

boasts a st<strong>at</strong>e-of-the-art sound system.<br />

The Tallis Scholars<br />

December 13, 2022<br />

Photo: Claudine Jacques

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

7<br />

“When <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> opened its doors in 2011,<br />

we did not yet guess how much it<br />

would change musical life in Montreal.(...)<br />

We could no longer imagine Montreal<br />

without <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>.”<br />


8<br />


The Arte <strong>Music</strong>a<br />

Found<strong>at</strong>ion<br />

Diversity, Excellence<br />

and Accessibility<br />

The Arte <strong>Music</strong>a Found<strong>at</strong>ion, established<br />

in September 2007 by philanthropist and<br />

businessman Pierre <strong>Bourgie</strong>, has the mission to<br />

organize and present musical activities within<br />

the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA),<br />

specifically in <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>. Programming<br />

follows three main axes: the production and<br />

present<strong>at</strong>ion of concerts, the support to<br />

promising young artists and the development<br />

of audiences through educ<strong>at</strong>ional and<br />

medi<strong>at</strong>ion activities. It draws its inspir<strong>at</strong>ion<br />

from the various art forms present <strong>at</strong> the<br />

MMFA, relaying the encyclopaedic world th<strong>at</strong><br />

it contains. Surprising encounters, as well as<br />

links nurtured with other artistic disciplines<br />

such as liter<strong>at</strong>ure, the visual arts, dance, and<br />

film have been an integral part of <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>’s<br />

programming since its opening. This has made<br />

it possible to present an innov<strong>at</strong>ive and unique<br />

programming to the public, sometimes in the<br />

exhibition rooms themselves. In fact, several<br />

musical activities had already taken place<br />

in situ a few years before <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> was<br />

inaugur<strong>at</strong>ed.<br />

Since its opening, the hall has relied on<br />

a varied and audacious programming of<br />

exceptional artistic quality, quickly forging its<br />

own distinctive personality and developing<br />

a compelling branding. The concerts offered<br />

cover many centuries of music, enabling<br />

music lovers to enjoy a gre<strong>at</strong> variety of musical<br />

trends.<br />

The quest for excellence has always guided<br />

programming choices <strong>at</strong> <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>. Whether<br />

rising stars or firmly established and critically<br />

acclaimed musicians, they are selected by<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> on the basis of their immense<br />

talent. Its programming comprises 50 % of<br />

Canadian artists and 50 % of intern<strong>at</strong>ional<br />

artists: thus today, almost the entire Montreal<br />

and Quebec musical milieu is linked in one<br />

way or another to the activities taking place <strong>at</strong><br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>. The venue has had a considerable<br />

impact on the musical scene in Montreal,<br />

Quebec and Canada, as well as on the careers<br />

of many artists.<br />

Offering affordable concerts to a large number<br />

of listeners from diverse backgrounds, enabling<br />

them to enjoy the venue’s musical offerings is a<br />

priority for <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>’s directors. Well-rooted<br />

in its community through accessibility and<br />

educ<strong>at</strong>ional programmes, it has established<br />

numerous partnerships with various cultural<br />

organiz<strong>at</strong>ions and social groups, thus ensuring<br />

th<strong>at</strong> <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> remains accessible to all.<br />

Djely Tapa, voice<br />

2022-2023 season launch, May 3, 2022<br />

Photo: Frédéric Faddoul


10<br />


Prestigious Partners<br />

Daring Projects<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> works with a vast network of<br />

recognized artistic partners, both from<br />

Quebec and Canada as well as intern<strong>at</strong>ionally,<br />

to diversify its collabor<strong>at</strong>ions. It joins forces<br />

with the Palazzetto Bru Zane, <strong>Music</strong>ians<br />

from Marlboro, the Queen Elisabeth <strong>Music</strong><br />

Chapel (Belgium), the Royaumont Found<strong>at</strong>ion,<br />

Koerner <strong>Hall</strong> of the Royal Conserv<strong>at</strong>ory of<br />

<strong>Music</strong> in Toronto, Early <strong>Music</strong> Vancouver, the<br />

Club musical de Québec, the Festival Bach<br />

Montréal, the Intern<strong>at</strong>ional Festival of Films<br />

on Art (Le FIFA), the Orchestre symphonique<br />

de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain, and<br />

the Festival intern<strong>at</strong>ional de la littér<strong>at</strong>ure (FIL),<br />

among many other productive collabor<strong>at</strong>ions.<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> hosts the annual Opus Awards<br />

Gala organized by the Conseil québécois de<br />

la musique, an important event th<strong>at</strong> brings<br />

together key players in the music industry<br />

and rewards musical excellence in Quebec.<br />

Furthermore, since its opening in 2011,<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> has welcomed the Concours<br />

musical intern<strong>at</strong>ional de Montréal every year.<br />

This renowned event, which showcases some<br />

of the world’s most talented young artists<br />

in voice, violin and piano, has proven to be<br />

a veritable stepping stone for many highly<br />

talented performers. For some, including<br />

Charles Richard-Hamelin, Philippe Sly and<br />

Be<strong>at</strong>rice Rana, the competition proved to<br />

be the beginning of a brilliant intern<strong>at</strong>ional<br />

career.<br />

Many inspiring projects have emerged over<br />

the years. They include the performance in<br />

concert of all of J.S. Bach’s over 200 sacred<br />

cant<strong>at</strong>as, in 77 concerts spread over eight<br />

seasons between September 2014 and March<br />

2023. A first in Canada, this multi-year project<br />

was a formidable adventure as well as an<br />

exceptional showcase for Montreal, reflecting<br />

its st<strong>at</strong>us as a musical metropolis. Involving<br />

numerous acclaimed artists and ensembles<br />

from the Quebec and intern<strong>at</strong>ional musical<br />

communities, these concerts fe<strong>at</strong>ured 33<br />

musical ensembles (22 from Quebec, one<br />

Canadian, four American and six European)<br />

and four professional choirs, as well as 158<br />

vocal and instrumental soloists and 321<br />

instrumentalists, under the direction of 29<br />

conductors from here and abroad. Other<br />

large-scale projects include the performance<br />

by Canadian pianist Louis Lortie of Beethoven’s<br />

32 piano son<strong>at</strong>as.<br />

Left picture<br />

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal<br />

Conductor: Rafael Payare.<br />

September 25, 2022. Part of the<br />

complete J.S. Bach cant<strong>at</strong>as cycle.<br />

Photo: Frédéric Faddoul<br />

Right picture<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> lobby<br />

2022-2023 season launch, May 3, 2022.<br />

Photo: Frédéric Faddoul

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

11<br />

<strong>Music</strong>al Cre<strong>at</strong>ion<br />

<strong>at</strong> <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong><br />

Wh<strong>at</strong> are the benefits<br />

for artists?<br />

Already beginning in the 2013–2014 season,<br />

the Arte <strong>Music</strong>a Found<strong>at</strong>ion established a<br />

new fund for musical cre<strong>at</strong>ion, enabling music<br />

inspired by a visual work on display in the<br />

Museum to be cre<strong>at</strong>ed in <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>, on a<br />

regular basis. Acting, so to speak, as a vessel<br />

for the cre<strong>at</strong>ion of new works, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> has<br />

initi<strong>at</strong>ed several contemporary music cre<strong>at</strong>ion<br />

projects through commissioned works, thus<br />

allowing the public to hear pieces by both<br />

emerging and established Canadian, Quebec<br />

and intern<strong>at</strong>ional composers, including Elliott<br />

Carter, Maxime McKinley, Nicole Lizée, and<br />

Julien Bilodeau. This initi<strong>at</strong>ive strengthens the<br />

ties th<strong>at</strong> bind music to the visual arts, while<br />

offering musical experiences th<strong>at</strong> reflect the<br />

diversity of the MMFA’s collections. In recent<br />

years, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> has commissioned works<br />

by Barbara Assiginaak (Odawa First N<strong>at</strong>ion),<br />

Luna Pearl Woolf (Canada), Nicole Lizée<br />

(Canada), Ana Sokolovic (Canada/Serbia), and<br />

Adina Izarra (Venezuela), and has presented<br />

several concerts in tribute to Quebec composer<br />

Rachel Laurin.<br />

For artists, performing <strong>at</strong> <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> has<br />

numerous advantages. <strong>Music</strong>ians appreci<strong>at</strong>e<br />

the human scale of the venue, its conviviality,<br />

its inspiring <strong>at</strong>mosphere, and the direct<br />

rel<strong>at</strong>ionship with the audience th<strong>at</strong> it fosters,<br />

gener<strong>at</strong>ing unforgettable moments of sharing.<br />

A skilled and dynamic team ensures the<br />

success of events taking place in the venue.<br />

The proximity of various services in the city’s<br />

downtown area, as well as numerous cultural<br />

and tourist activities, enhance <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>’s<br />

<strong>at</strong>tractiveness.<br />

Wh<strong>at</strong> about our public?<br />

Montreal audiences make a significant<br />

difference: <strong>at</strong>tentive, interested, fond of<br />

culture and the performing arts, curious and<br />

knowledgeable, they are proud of this hall<br />

where they feel <strong>at</strong> home. Several audience<br />

members are deeply <strong>at</strong>tached to <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong><br />

and return on multiple occasions during the<br />

same season, which confirms the community’s<br />

interest in this unique venue. Because of close<br />

audience-performer proximity, visibility is<br />

optimal throughout the entire hall. In addition,<br />

sound quality is excellent on both the orchestra<br />

and the balcony levels.

12<br />





Stéphanie-Marie Degand<br />

James Ehnes<br />

Isabelle Faust<br />

Gidon Kremer<br />

Antoine Tamestit<br />

Andrew Wan<br />

CELLO<br />

Emmanuelle Bertrand<br />

Christophe Coin<br />

Steven Isserlis<br />

Johannes Moser<br />

Jean-Guihen Queyras<br />

Stéphane Tétreault<br />

PIANO<br />

Pascal Amoyel<br />

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet<br />

Michel Béroff<br />

Christian Blackshaw<br />

Yefim Bronfman<br />

Kh<strong>at</strong>ia Buni<strong>at</strong>ishvili<br />

Philippe Cassard<br />

Jean-Philippe Collard<br />

David Fray<br />

Marc-André Hamelin<br />

André Laplante<br />

Louis Lortie<br />

Benedetto Lupo<br />

Anne Queffélec<br />

Be<strong>at</strong>rice Rana<br />

Charles Richard-Hamelin<br />

Alexandre Tharaud<br />



Kristian Bezuidenhout<br />

Ronald Brautigam<br />

Jean Rondeau<br />

Andreas Staier<br />

VOICE<br />

Ian Bostridge<br />

Julie Boulianne<br />

Karina Gauvin<br />

Philippe Jaroussky<br />

Marie-Nicole Lemieux<br />

Anne Sofie von Otter<br />

Andreas Scholl<br />

HARP<br />

Xavier de Maistre<br />

Valérie Milot<br />


Avi Avital<br />

Pepe Romero<br />

Anne Sofie von Otter, mezzo-soprano and<br />

Kristian Bezuidenhout, fortepiano<br />

November 7, 2022<br />

Photo: Claudine Jacques

13<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> has <strong>at</strong>tracted some of today’s most outstanding<br />

intern<strong>at</strong>ional artists and ensembles; some have become regular<br />

guests over the years. The following is a list of renowned soloists<br />

who have performed <strong>at</strong> <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>*:<br />


Evelyn Glennie<br />


Jordi Savall<br />


Emmanuel Pahud<br />

Maurice Steger<br />


Rinaldo Alessandrini<br />

Jon<strong>at</strong>han Cohen<br />

Reinhard Goebel<br />

Bernard Labadie<br />

Kent Nagano<br />

Yannick Nézet-Séguin<br />

Hervé Niquet<br />

Rafael Payare<br />

Christophe Rousset<br />


Camer<strong>at</strong>a RCO (Royal<br />

Concertgebouw Orchestra)<br />

Concerto Italiano<br />

Ensemble Correspondances<br />

Les Talens Lyriques<br />

Les Violons du Roy<br />

London Handel Players<br />

Orchestre Métropolitain<br />

Orchestre symphonique<br />

de Montréal<br />

Orlando Consort<br />

Tafelmusik<br />

The Gesualdo Six<br />

The King’s Singers<br />

The Philip Glass Ensemble<br />

The Tallis Scholars<br />



Kinan Azmeh<br />

Rémi Bolduc<br />

François Bourassa<br />

Lorraine Desmarais<br />

Chet Doxas<br />

Liu Fang<br />

Jacques Kuba Séguin<br />

Ranee Lee<br />

Lúnasa<br />

Charles McPherson<br />

Jean-Michel Pilc<br />

Marc Ribot<br />

Zal Sissokho<br />

Taurey Butler Trio<br />

Stéphane Wrembel<br />

Karen Young<br />

Camer<strong>at</strong>a RCO and<br />

Geoffroy Salvas, baritone<br />

March 28, 2023<br />

Photo: Pierre Langlois<br />

*This is not a comprehensive list.

14<br />




1.<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> houses and<br />

maintains a valuable collection<br />

of keyboard instruments,<br />

which are kept in top condition<br />

by experienced technicians.<br />

These instruments are heard<br />

in concert several times a year.<br />

Steinway Pianos<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> houses two<br />

excellent Steinway pianos,<br />

ideal for recitals.<br />

Steinway Model D:<br />

9-foot Concert Grand Piano<br />

(2.74 m)<br />

for performances.<br />

Steinway Model B:<br />

7-foot Classic Grand Piano<br />

(2.11 m)<br />

for the rehearsal room.<br />

Fig. 1<br />

Steinway Model D<br />

Concert piano (9 ft)<br />

Photo: Claudine Jacques

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

15<br />

2.<br />

The Érard Piano<br />

Manufactured in London in 1859,<br />

this Érard piano is fully represent<strong>at</strong>ive<br />

of the Romantic piano of the time of<br />

Schumann, Liszt, Wagner, Saint-Saëns<br />

and Fauré. This historical instrument was<br />

completely restored between 2009 and<br />

2011 by Claude Thompson and boasts an<br />

exceptional sound.<br />

3.<br />

The Fortepiano<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>’s fortepiano was built in 2020<br />

in Maine (USA) by Rodney J. Regier.<br />

The instrument has proven to be highly<br />

popular with performers, who praise both<br />

its sound and its technical possibilities.<br />

The instrument is based on Viennese<br />

models by Conrad Graf and Ignaz<br />

Bösendorfer between 1820 and 1840,<br />

and which were known to Beethoven and<br />

Schubert. Its light, all-wood structure,<br />

strings and keyboard mechanism produce<br />

a clear, bright sound.<br />

Fig. 2<br />

Historical Érard grand piano<br />

(London, 1859), restored in 2009-2011<br />

by Claude Thompson (Montreal).<br />

Photo: Maxime Brunet<br />

Fig. 3<br />

Fortepiano<br />

built by Rodney J. Regier (2020, Maine),<br />

after instruments by Viennese makers<br />

Conrad Graf and Ignaz Bösendorfer (1820-1840).<br />

Photo: Tam Photography

16<br />


4. 5.<br />

Two Harpsichords<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> also owns two remarkable harpsichords:<br />

A 17th-century Italian-style instrument with a short octave<br />

and large compass built in 1975 by Rodney Myrvaagnes;<br />

An instrument in the 17th-century Flemish style of<br />

harpsichord-building made in 1984 by Keith Hill.<br />

Fig. 4<br />

Italian harpsichord<br />

built by Rodney Myrvaagnes<br />

(Boston, 1975), after a 17th-century<br />

Italian-style instrument by<br />

Johannes de Perticis (Florence).<br />

Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest<br />

Fig. 5<br />

Flemish harpsichord<br />

built by Keith Hill (Michigan, 1984),<br />

after an instrument by Ruckers<br />

(Antwerp), inspired by the<br />

17th-century Flemish style.<br />

Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

17<br />

6.<br />

The Clavicytherium<br />

The Opus 100 of Yves Beaupré, one of<br />

Canada’s most reputable makers of early<br />

keyboard instrument, this clavicytherium<br />

was designed in 2002 after an instrument<br />

by Albertus Delin from 1768, housed in the<br />

Kunstmuseum in The Hague. This unusual<br />

instrument has the particularity of being<br />

upright and has a single set of strings.<br />

7.<br />

Two Chamber Organs<br />

Finally, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> also houses two<br />

magnificent chamber organs both built by<br />

Hellmuth Wolff:<br />

A small chamber organ, built in 1958 and<br />

transformed into a positive organ in 1998. It<br />

has 51 keys and five registers;<br />

A large chamber organ with 12 stops, two<br />

manuals and a pedalboard. Built in Montreal<br />

for the organists Bernard and Mireille<br />

Lagacé, it was completely restored in 2011<br />

by Hellmuth Wolff and François Desautels to<br />

adapt it to the requirements of <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>.<br />

Fig. 6<br />

Clavicytherium (“upright harpsichord”)<br />

by Yves Beaupré, Op. 100 (Montreal, 2002).<br />

After an instrument by Albertus Delin<br />

(1712-1771), built in 1768 and preserved <strong>at</strong><br />

the Kunstmuseum in The Hague.<br />

Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest<br />

Fig. 7<br />

Small chamber organ (Op. 1)<br />

built by Hellmuth Wolff (Switzerland, 1958),<br />

restored in 1998 by Hellmuth Wolff,<br />

Jens Petersen and Steve Sinclair.<br />

Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest

18<br />


8. 9.

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

19<br />




Among the hall’s 81 stained glass windows,<br />

which were fully cleaned and restored, 20<br />

come from the workshops of the Tiffany<br />

Glass and Decor<strong>at</strong>ing Company, including<br />

four huge windows nearly four metres high,<br />

which accentu<strong>at</strong>e <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>’s spectacular<br />

look. These windows were commissioned in<br />

1896 for the American Presbyterian Church<br />

on Dorchester Street (today René-Lévesque<br />

Boulevard) and were produced mainly<br />

between 1897 and 1904, during the heyday<br />

of the famous New York firm. Following the<br />

merger of the two Presbyterian communities<br />

(Erskine and American) in the 1930s, and<br />

the subsequent demolition of the American<br />

Presbyterian church which housed them, the<br />

stained-glass windows were reinstalled in the<br />

Erskine and American Church in 1937 and 1938.<br />

These stained-glass windows carry the name<br />

of the founder of the studio, New York artist<br />

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), a leader in<br />

American design who became famous for his<br />

Art Nouveau cre<strong>at</strong>ions and the striking light<br />

effects of his pieces.<br />

A large team worked under Tiffany’s leadership<br />

to cre<strong>at</strong>e them, including Frederick Wilson, the<br />

studio’s artistic director for nearly 30 years.<br />

At least five of the windows can be safely<br />

<strong>at</strong>tributed to Wilson. The <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> Tiffany<br />

windows constitute one of only two of the<br />

firm’s commissions for Canada and one of<br />

the few surviving religious series by Tiffany<br />

in North America. They are characterized<br />

by a milky glass with iridescent, opalesque<br />

reflections. An innov<strong>at</strong>ive permanent<br />

backlighting system has been added—a first,<br />

on this scale—allowing audiences to admire<br />

the beauty of the windows during concerts.<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> is an exceptional setting in which<br />

to display these stained-glass windows, which<br />

are part of the collections of the Montreal<br />

Museum of Fine Arts. Their value in the visual<br />

arts and their importance in the history of<br />

art are undeniable. They contribute to the<br />

architectural beauty and unique <strong>at</strong>mosphere<br />

of <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>. In 2010, they benefitted from<br />

an unprecedented restor<strong>at</strong>ion by Françoise<br />

Saliou, under the supervision of the MMFA.<br />

Fig. 8<br />

Angel<br />

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), designed by<br />

Frederick Wilson (1858-1932), Angel, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>, MMFA<br />

(formerly the Erskine and American Church), 1904-1905,<br />

leaded glass, made by Tiffany Studios, New York.<br />

MMFA, purchase.<br />

Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest<br />

Fig. 9<br />

Charity<br />

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), designed by<br />

Thomas Calvert (1873- after 1934), Charity, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>,<br />

MMFA (formerly the Erskine and American Church),<br />

about 1901, leaded glass, made by Tiffany Glass and<br />

Decor<strong>at</strong>ing Co., New York. MMFA, purchase.<br />

Photo: MMFA, Christine Guest



THE HALL<br />

Origins:<br />

Historical Milestones<br />

Before it became a concert venue, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> was a place of worship named<br />

Erskine Presbyterian Church. Built in the l<strong>at</strong>e 19th century in the architecturally<br />

massive and powerful Romanesque Revival style complete with a gre<strong>at</strong> nave,<br />

the building recalls Europe’s medieval churches. Designed by Scottish-Canadian<br />

architect Alexander Cowper Hutchison and inaugur<strong>at</strong>ed in 1894, the church was<br />

an important locus for Montreal’s Scottish community, and a testament to its<br />

prosperity.<br />

The imposing facade is unique in its combin<strong>at</strong>ion of two types of m<strong>at</strong>erials th<strong>at</strong><br />

cre<strong>at</strong>e a very interesting chrom<strong>at</strong>ic effect: roughly squared grey limestone and<br />

finely carved brown sandstone from Miramichi, New Brunswick. The large central<br />

vault frames a huge half-arched window. Following the 1934 merger with the<br />

American Presbyterian Church, substantial renov<strong>at</strong>ions and remodeling of the<br />

interior spaces were carried out.<br />

This church is an invaluable witness to the destiny of various English-speaking<br />

Protestant communities th<strong>at</strong> once settled in downtown Montreal. It was<br />

design<strong>at</strong>ed a historic site of n<strong>at</strong>ional importance in 1998 by the Department of<br />

Canadian Heritage due to its evolution, transform<strong>at</strong>ions, and history, bearing<br />

witness to the growing prosperity of the Montreal community of Scottish origin.<br />

Faced with a declining number of worshippers, the church permanently closed<br />

its doors in 2004 and was abandoned for a few years thereafter.<br />

Erskine and American Church, interior view,<br />

before its restor<strong>at</strong>ion and transform<strong>at</strong>ion into a concert hall<br />

Photo: MMFA

Une histoire à partager

22<br />


Founding Figures:<br />

Bernard Lamarre and Pierre <strong>Bourgie</strong><br />

Bernard Lamarre, Chairman of the Board of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,<br />

appreci<strong>at</strong>ed the solidity of the former church’s architecture, its sumptuous<br />

stained-glass windows and its grandiose nave. Having immedi<strong>at</strong>ely understood<br />

the possibilities of the site, he had wished to acquire it for several years. As early<br />

as 1991, when digging for a tunnel linking the two MMFA pavilions on either side of<br />

Sherbrooke Street was underway, Mr. Lamarre requested th<strong>at</strong> the plans include<br />

a possible link with the church. The MMFA, wishing to preserve its voc<strong>at</strong>ion as<br />

a public space, seemed best placed to preserve and enhance the building. At<br />

about the same time, Pierre <strong>Bourgie</strong>, a Quebec benefactor and art collector who<br />

was highly involved in Montreal’s cultural scene, dreamt of a new concert hall for<br />

the city. He was eager to endow a disused church with a new musical voc<strong>at</strong>ion,<br />

and learned of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ plan to integr<strong>at</strong>e the former<br />

Erskine and American Church in a Canadian art pavilion. Mr. Lamarre and Mr.<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> would soon discover th<strong>at</strong> their dreams cre<strong>at</strong>ed a perfect m<strong>at</strong>ch.<br />

The project of a new pavilion including the concert hall totalling an investment<br />

of more than 42 million dollars, obtained thanks to contributions from the<br />

Government of Quebec, the Government of Canada and several priv<strong>at</strong>e donors,<br />

enhances this architectural and heritage site. It provides an opportunity to<br />

carry out a truly original project unique in Canada: a Canadian art pavilion and<br />

a concert hall combined in the same loc<strong>at</strong>ion. This corresponded to a real need:<br />

there was no medium-sized hall in Montreal ideally suited for chamber orchestra<br />

performances and for those of similar ensembles.

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

23<br />

This architectural and heritage site<br />

provides an opportunity to carry out<br />

a truly original project unique in Canada:<br />

a Canadian art pavilion and a concert hall<br />

combined in the same loc<strong>at</strong>ion.<br />

Thus, the two men conceived the project for the new pavilion together. The<br />

exhibition rooms would be housed in a new section <strong>at</strong> the back of the church (the<br />

nave did not meet intern<strong>at</strong>ional standards for museum institutions and could not<br />

be used as an exhibition space). Mr. <strong>Bourgie</strong> suggested th<strong>at</strong> it be converted into<br />

a concert hall. The project immedi<strong>at</strong>ely appealed to N<strong>at</strong>halie Bondil, the MMFA’s<br />

executive director <strong>at</strong> the time, and Paul Lavallée, the Museum’s administr<strong>at</strong>ive<br />

director responsible, among other things, for the construction of the Claire and<br />

Marc <strong>Bourgie</strong> Pavilion.<br />

A page of history was turned in 2008, when the MMFA officially acquired the site.<br />

A year earlier, in 2007, the Arte <strong>Music</strong>a Found<strong>at</strong>ion was cre<strong>at</strong>ed by Mr. <strong>Bourgie</strong>.<br />

This non-profit organiz<strong>at</strong>ion’s objective is to implement and financially support<br />

the musical programming of the new concert hall and the artists who perform<br />

there. Arte <strong>Music</strong>a, which guarantees the oper<strong>at</strong>ing capital and is responsible<br />

for the management of the venue, is an organiz<strong>at</strong>ion in residence <strong>at</strong> the MMFA.<br />

From the outset, Pierre <strong>Bourgie</strong> entrusted the general and artistic direction of<br />

Arte <strong>Music</strong>a to Isolde Lagacé, then director of the Conserv<strong>at</strong>oire de musique<br />

de Montréal, highly esteemed for her skills, experience and thorough knowledge<br />

of the musical milieu. It is thanks to her vision, foresight and dynamism th<strong>at</strong> <strong>Bourgie</strong><br />

<strong>Hall</strong> has become one of Canada’s most sought-after venues for concert music.<br />

Arte <strong>Music</strong>a has recognized her exceptional contribution by naming her General<br />

and Artistic Director Emeritus following her retirement in November 2022.

24<br />


Conversion Work<br />

The impressive conversion of the church followed the construction by the<br />

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts of the Claire and Marc <strong>Bourgie</strong> Pavilion of Quebec<br />

and Canadian art, which met both museum and musical needs. A new five-storey<br />

section for the exhibition rooms and an underground gallery linking the building<br />

to the other pavilions of the MMFA were built. The pavilion, which was grafted<br />

onto the back of the building, adds a modern touch to the architectural ensemble.<br />

The management of the work, which began in January 2009, was entrusted to<br />

the Montreal architectural firm Provencher_Roy. During the complex conversion<br />

of the church into a concert venue, massive efforts were made to transform the<br />

site, with its highly resonant acoustics, into a magnificent 465-se<strong>at</strong> concert hall,<br />

while preserving its historical, heritage and cultural wealth.<br />

Restor<strong>at</strong>ion of the nave of the<br />

Erskine and American Church, now <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong><br />

Photo: Bernard Fougères

<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

25<br />

The facade of the church was completely restored. Damaged stones were<br />

replaced, and a new entrance was built in front. Inside, the basement was<br />

excav<strong>at</strong>ed <strong>at</strong> ground level to give it more space and make it a real foyer connected<br />

to the underground gallery, while the choir was redesigned for staging purposes.<br />

The original church pews in the orchestra level were removed and replaced<br />

with movable chairs designed by Michel Dallaire, to ensure the vers<strong>at</strong>ility of the<br />

new se<strong>at</strong>ing arrangements. The pews in the balcony level, once restored, were<br />

retained.<br />

To prepare <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> for its musical voc<strong>at</strong>ion, permanent sound and lighting<br />

install<strong>at</strong>ions were added. Go Multimedia (stage and electronics) and Legault<br />

& Davidson (acoustics consultants) provided <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> with professional<br />

equipment to meet the high standards of today’s st<strong>at</strong>e-of-the-art venues. The<br />

cherry wood acoustic shell, the wood floors, the addition of sound-absorbing<br />

m<strong>at</strong>erial on the rear walls and the acoustic reflectors in the centre of the ceiling<br />

all enhance the sound qualities of the hall and maximize its intrinsic qualities.<br />

Although the<br />

acoustics of the<br />

church have always<br />

been excellent,<br />

these improvements<br />

have ensured th<strong>at</strong><br />

the sound remains<br />

optimal whether the<br />

audience is se<strong>at</strong>ed<br />

in the orchestra or<br />

the balcony levels.<br />

Construction of the Claire and Marc <strong>Bourgie</strong><br />

Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art of the<br />

MMFA and restor<strong>at</strong>ion of the Erskine and<br />

American Church, now <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong><br />

Photo: Bernard Fougères

26<br />


<strong>Music</strong> At <strong>Heart</strong><br />

27<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>, interior view<br />

Photo: Marc Cramer

28<br />

A Valuable Alliance with<br />

the Montreal Museum of<br />

Fine Arts<br />

In the arts, union is strength! A remarkable<br />

example of the integr<strong>at</strong>ion of various cultural<br />

uses, such a project can serve as a model for<br />

other museums and cultural institutions. The<br />

link with the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts,<br />

a world-renowned cultural institution, is an<br />

invaluable asset, as <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> is one of the<br />

few exclusively musical halls to be part of a<br />

museum’s premises. Numerous projects can<br />

be developed in common, notably concerts<br />

presented in conjunction with the exhibitions<br />

on display <strong>at</strong> the MMFA.<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong>: A <strong>Hall</strong><br />

for the Future<br />

In just a few short years, <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong> has<br />

achieved a profound transform<strong>at</strong>ion of<br />

the Montreal music and arts scene, while<br />

acquiring an enviable intern<strong>at</strong>ional reput<strong>at</strong>ion.<br />

The quality of its musical programming,<br />

its prime loc<strong>at</strong>ion in one of Canada’s most<br />

dynamic cities, and its acoustic qualities have<br />

ensured th<strong>at</strong> the hall now occupies a key<br />

position in the Quebec and Canadian musical<br />

environment. Loyal audiences know they<br />

can <strong>at</strong>tend concerts there with confidence.<br />

The hall remains one of the most important<br />

presenters of classical music in Quebec, and<br />

has provided a new component to the MMFA,<br />

further strengthening the synergy between<br />

music and the visual arts.<br />

Night view of the Claire and Marc <strong>Bourgie</strong><br />

Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art of the<br />

MMFA and of <strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong><br />

Photo: MMFA, Denis Farley

30<br />



PLAN<br />

Balcony<br />

Orchestra<br />


Du Musée Av.<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong><br />

<strong>Hall</strong><br />

Sherbrooke Street West<br />

De la Montagne Street<br />

Crescent Street<br />

Montreal<br />

Museum of Fine Arts<br />

Main Entrance<br />

Bishop Street<br />

Maisonneuve Boul. West<br />

<strong>Bourgie</strong> <strong>Hall</strong><br />

Claire and Marc <strong>Bourgie</strong> Pavilion<br />

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts<br />

1339 Sherbrooke Street West

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