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Famous harpsichordist coming to Belleville church

Photo courtesy

Luc Beausejour is bringing his harpsichord all the way from Montreal to play a concert at St. Thomas’s church on Sunday.

“I don’t think there are really lots of harpsichord concerts going around so it would be really unique to have one of those in Belleville. It’s original. It’s something new, and it’s also something that you cannot get very often: to hear a live harpsichord recital. And it’s also for people to be able to discover the beauty of that instrument and the music that it can make,” said director of music at the church Francine Nguyen-Savaria.

A harpsichord is a keyboard instrument that plucks strings instead of hitting them when a key is pressed, creating a different sound than a piano.

Beausejour has won numerous awards for his baroque music on the harpsichord and organ, and has played concerts all around the world.

His Sunday recital is part of St. Thomas’s music series program, which brings one concert per month (every third Sunday) to the church between October and April.

The concerts are a ‘pay what you can' event.

“There’s no set price. We just ask people to contribute so we can keep producing,” Nguyen-Savaria said.

They start at 4:30 p.m. and take place at St. Thomas’ church.

Nyguyen-Savaria said the concerts consist of either choirs (such as their own church choir) or guest musicians, like Beausejour. Previous concerts from the series have featured a harpist, violinist and cellist, guitarist, pianist, organist and chamber choir.

When she and her husband, Mathieu Lapreille (co-director of the music program at St. Thomas') started the series in 2014, Nguyen-Savaria said they only had one guest musician come in, but since it was a success they have been able to bring in several more. She said they typically get over 100 people in attendance, both from, and outside of their church.

The idea to start a music series program came from California, where Nguyen-Savaria and her husband lived for two years while she acquired her masters.

“Mathieu and I had a music series in California. And it’s something that’s often done in churches where culture and classical music are valued and seen as importance, so we were used to that idea and we just decided to bring it to St. Thomas’,” she said.

Getting Beausejour as a guest musician came to mind because Nguyen-Savaria and Lapreille were both taught by him and had attended some of his concerts.

“We just decided to try and invite him and see if he could bring his harpsichord because that’s a major detail. And he said he could,” she said.

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