Consolidating tradition and renewal, the Festival de Lanaudière announces its programming under the theme The Thrill of Enchantment, and joyfully reconnects with its audiences this summer from July 17 to August 8.

“The Festival exists for the public and therefore reconnecting with audiences is a profoundly emotional event. In addition to celebrating this reunion, this edition is an occasion for us to reflect on what we experienced and what we were deprived of during the pandemic: live music, beauty, but especially our connection with others and the freedom to share,” explained Artistic Director Renaud Loranger.

As such, the region will resonate to the sounds of ten large-scale concerts at the Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay, five recitals given in some of Lanaudière most beautiful churches, as well as fifteen or so free performances in parks and public spaces in the Greater Joliette Area. Four online webcasts of large-scale outdoor summer concerts (available for purchase) and four outdoor screenings of musical films (free of charge) complete the programming.

Reconnections and new discoveries

Like all event organizers, the Festival team has juggled with numerous scenarios over the past few months and even in recent days, with the aim of offering concerts commensurate with customary high-standard programming. While festival-goers will be able to enjoy the distinguished soloists and ensembles who are regulars at Joliette, they will also discover several musicians of the younger generation.

“This edition is unlike any other and would not be possible without the enthusiasm and flexibility of our Canadian artists and ensembles. We are extremely grateful to them,” remarked Mr. Loranger. Depending on the evolving timetable for reopening borders, the Festival retains the option of adding concerts to its programming in the coming weeks.

Programming at the Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay

First weekend

Saturday, July 17: the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal opens the season with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Leonore Overture No. 3, as well as Strauss’ Metamorphosen, all under the direction of Jacques Lacombe, who returns to the Festival for the first time in 10 years. Presented by Hydro-Québec.

Sunday, July 18: the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Chorus performs an a cappella program under the direction of its Chorusmaster Andrew Megill. An afternoon of choral singing that covers several centuries of music, with love and nature as a backdrop. Presented by Tourisme Québec.

Second weekend

Friday, July 23: Les Grands Ballets Canadiens return to the Amphithéâtre after the resounding success of their 2019 performance, to give the world premiere of the choreography Requiem by Andrew Skeels, to the music of Brahms’ A German Requiem. A meditative evening in homage to victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Presented by La Presse.

Saturday, July 24: under the direction of Nicolas Ellis, Les Violons du Roy join forces with virtuoso Canadian violinist Kerson Leong for his Festival debut in an eclectic concert bringing together Vivaldi, Boccherini, Durante … and Piazzolla’s famous Seasons of Buenos AiresPresented by Groupe Canimex.

Sunday, July 25: Quebec soprano Karina Gauvin, one of the planet’s most sublime voices, teams up with Les Violons du Roy and Nicolas Ellis to perform arias by Gluck and Mozart. Completing the program is Haydn’s Symphony No. 39 and Mozart’s Symphony No. 25. Presented by Desjardins.

Third weekend

Friday, July 30: under the baton of Jacques Lacombe, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal presents Poulenc’s rarely heard Concert Champêtre for harpsichord and orchestra, featuring Quebec harpsichordist Mélisande McNabney making her debut as a soloist at the Festival. Prokofiev’s First Symphony and Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 will conclude this evening. Presented by Desjardins.

Saturday, July 31: French music takes the spotlight with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, conductor Jacques Lacombe and Canadian cellist Bryan Cheng, also making his Festival debut. On the program: Fauré’s suite from Pelléas et Mélisande, Bizet’s Symphony in C and Saint-Saëns’s Cello Concerto No. 2, performed on the very same instrument it was premiered with in 1902! Presented by the City of Joliette.

Fourth weekend

Friday, August 6 and Saturday, August 7: pianist Marc-André Hamelin, a favourite of Lanaudière audiences, will once again join with Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain. After tackling Brahms in 2019, this time they will explore Beethoven, with the complete cycle of this composer’s five piano concertos in two concerts. A double feature and musical feat by musicians that never cease to amaze! Presented by Ratelle (August 6) and Yamaha (August 7).

Sunday, August 8: to close the Festival, Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Orchestre Métropolitain perform one of the most popular works of the entire repertoire, Dvorák’s Symphony “From the New World,” the premiere of a work by Canadian composer Barbara Assiginaak, as well as Martinu’s Frescoes of Piero della Francesca. A grand conclusion to a season like no other! Presented by the Fondation Sandra et Alain Bouchard.

Concerts in churches

  • Wednesday, July 21, at the Église Saint-Sulpice: the Molinari Quartet and Catherine Perrin (harpsichord and narration) perform La Fontaine’s Fables, with works by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Samuel Barber and Denis Gougeon.
  • Tuesday, July 27, at the Église de Saint-Alphonse-de-Rodriguez: harpsichordist Mélisande McNabney engages in an intimate recital of French Baroque music (D’Anglebert, Rameau, Forqueray), that includes some of her own transcriptions.
  • Wednesday, July 28, at the Joliette Cathedral: irresistible Joliette-born pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin performs Chopin’s complete Preludes, following works by Mozart.
  • Wednesday, August 4, at the Église de Saint-Paul: Canadian soprano and pianist Rachel Fenlon gives a highly unique recital, accompanying herself on piano in art songs by Schubert, Debussy, Grieg and Messiaen.
  • Thursday, August 5, at the Église de Saint-Barthélémy: the outstanding duo of Charles Richard-Hamelin and Andrew Wan (OSM Concertmaster) presents Schumann’s complete violin sonatas.

In parks and public spaces

Alongside its regular programming, the Festival will offer fifteen concerts in the parks of Lanaudière, featuring an exceptionally lively range of artists that includes Vincent Lauzer, Ariane Brisson, Elinor Frey and many more.

“Thanks to the Festival, every summer, the region of Lanaudière becomes the hub of classical music in Canada. To further enliven the region, we wish to present music public spaces and reach out to people in their day-to-day lives. Music enthusiasts will have the opportunity to discover exceptional performances while strolling along the banks of the Assomption River, around a campfire in the park, or in the comfort of their own homes with our four webcasts,” affirmed Executive Director Xavier Roy.

Ticket officesTickets to the 2021 edition are on sale now! Amphithéâtre Fernard-Linsday ticket office
450-759-4343 / 1-800-561-4343
Can be purchased in person as of July 13

The Festival in times of social distancing

This summer, the Amphithéâtre will be able to accommodate about 1,500 spectators: 455 under its roof and 1098 on its lawn. On the lawn, spaces for audience members will be clearly delineated by numbered bubbles. It is highly recommended to reserve your space online (for example, even though outdoor film showings are free of charge, they too require online reservations). 

In order to limit movement and physical contacts, concerts will be presented without intermission. As always, audience members on the lawn may bring a picnic and their own chairs (no chairs will be available to lend on the site). Doors will open two hours before concerts begin. A limited food supply will be available onsite and in the vicinity. For the most up-to-date information, consult the COVID-19 section on