July 2–6, 2017
Presented by the
RCCO, & CIOC
Pre & post-festival activities July 1st and 7th
Mélanie Barney is a virtuoso musician and an artist of great sensitivity. With an affinity for the orchestral repertoire as fervent as her attachment to the organ, she has successfully breathed new life into the instrument through her passion for transcriptions and made the organ more accessible to audiences via her frequent detours from the beaten path. For her, the organ is an orchestra in itself, and critics are unanimous in praising her talents as a true colorist: rigor and ingenuity are brought to bear in selecting and blending the various sounds of the organ with a view to exploiting its multiple possibilities.
A 2001 graduate of the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, where the jury unanimously awarded her a first prize with great distinction after her organ studies with Jean Le Buis, she has taken part in masterclasses with Pierre Perdigon, George Bessonnet, Alan Morrison and Jean-Guy Proulx. The recipient of grants from the Wilfrid Pelletier, McAbbie, Les Amis de l’Art and Musicaction foundations, Mélanie Barney has also been a finalist and prize-winner at various musical competitions. Winner of Radio-Canada’s Jeunes Artistes competition in 2003, her recital on the great organ at Montreal’s Très-Saint-Nom-de-Jésus church was broadcast over the network’s Chaîne Culturelle. She also took first prize in organ at the Canadian Music Competition in 2001 and 2002.
An accomplished musician, a soloist and a sought-after accompanist, Mélanie Barney enjoys a thriving career as a concert performer in Canada in addition to appearing in France, Belgium, Germany and the United States, where her recital at prestigious Methuen Memorial Music Hall in 2015 earned critical acclaim. Nominated with the ensemble Buzz for a Classical Album of the Year award at the 2010 ADISQ Gala for their brass and organ version of Holst’s The Planets, she was back in 2012 with The Power of the Organ 2, the first solo disc in her career, which was warmly received by North American critics. Titular organist on the Casavant instrument at Saint-Jérôme Cathedral in the Laurentians, she made a recording there called Après un rêve with violinist Carole Meneghel, a disc of essentially romantic repertoire for violin and organ that was released in 2015.
In 2016 she performed on the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique at Maison Symphonique de Montréal with the Orchestre Métropolitain in Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass under the direction of Austrian conductor Christian Arming. She was also heard at the Notre-Dame de Montréal International Organ Festival as well as on the Beckerath organ at Saint-Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal. On the international scene, Mélanie Barney will be appearing this year in China, France, Italy, Luxembourg and England.