Welcome to the Molinari Quartet Quebec Video Library

This site is intended to be a place of discovery and a source of information on works for string quartets by Quebec composers. In the months and years ahead, recordings will be added regularly to make this site a lively and vibrant venue.

The video library

About the Molinari Quartet's Video Library

Founded in 1997, the Molinari Quartet (MQ) dedicates itself to the performance of string quartets from the 20th and 21st centuries. It has also given itself the mandate to play and promote Quebec and Canadian music for string quartet. Over the years, the MQ has premiered no less than 71 works by Quebec composers, half of which were commissions. The Quebec repertoire has grown to be substantial and is constantly expanding, as a result of the many new works being commissioned each year. The MQ now wishes to make these magnificent works available through this video library.

This site is intended to be a place of discovery and a source of information on works for string quartets by Quebec composers. In the months and years ahead, recordings will be added regularly to make this site a lively and vibrant venue.

The works listed and available on this site have mostly been commissioned and created by the Molinari Quartet. The video recordings featured here were recorded as live performances, that is to say without any cuts or editing.

The site provides a wealth of information about the works, including program notes, brief biographies of the composers, as well as links to their own sites, if any.

In order to promote the videos to the largest audience, we have made their screening free of charge. We want this digital archive to be a working tool, facilitating research and archiving. If you enjoyed the videos, you are welcome to support us by making a donation. Whatever the amount of your contribution, we will be most grateful!

The Molinari Quartet named itself after the famous Quebec painter Guido Molinari (1933-2004). The MQ chose the name Molinari because the artist was at the vanguard of visual arts in Quebec for more than forty years, as is the Quartet in the musical field. He was a model for musicians and for our artistic director, who befriended him. We chose to showcase Molinari's works in parallel with the string quartets. In this manner, each recorded string quartet is paired to a work by the painter Molinari. This work is displayed behind the musicians during the recording and information about it is provided, along with information pertaining to the string quartet. We therefore invite you to discover this great Quebec artist while discovering Quebec quartets.

The recordings take place at the Guido Molinari Foundation, now located in Guido Molinari’s former Montreal studio. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Guido Molinari Foundation (lien) and its Director Margarida Mafra for their great generosity in providing us access to the Foundation and to Guido Molinari’s paintings. Olga Ranzenhofer, translation : Marc Hyland

Quatuor Molinari 2018 photo

About Molinari Quartet

Quartet in residence at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal

Olga Ranzenhofer – violin, artistic director
Antoine Bareil – violin
Frédéric Lambert – viola
Pierre-Alain Bouvrette – cello

Internationally acclaimed by the public and the critics since its foundation in 1997, the Molinari Quartet has given itself the mandate to perform works from the 20th and 21st centuries repertoire for string quartet, to commission new works and to initiate discussions between musicians, artists and the public.

Récipiendaire de vingt-et-un Prix Opus décernés par le Conseil québécois de la musique pour souligner l’excellence de la musique de concert, le Quatuor Molinari est qualifié par la critique canadienne d’ensemble « essentiel » et « prodigieux », voire de « pendant canadien aux quatuors Kronos et Arditti ». Le Quatuor Molinari s’est imposé comme l’un des meilleurs quatuors au Canada.

In addition to many Canadian works, including the 13 quartets by R. Murray Schafer, the Molinari Quartet’s repertoire includes among others, quartets by Bartók, Berg, Britten, Corigliano, Debussy, Dutilleux, Dun, Glass, Gubaidulina, Kancheli, Kurtág, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Martinu, Penderecki, Prokofiev, Ravel, Rihm, Schnittke, Schoenberg, Shostakovich and Webern.

The Molinari Quartet has commissioned Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer’s 7th and 12th quartets and has also premiered his 8th, 10th and 13th Quartets, written also for the Molinari. The Quartet has commissioned and premiered several works from Canadian composers such as Otto Joachim, Nicolas Gilbert, Michel Gonneville, Marc Hyland, Éric Champagne, Michael Matthews, Kelly-Marie Murphy, Pat Carrabre, John Rea, Denis Gougeon, Laurie Radford and Ana Sokolovic as well as giving North-American premieres of many works.

Quatuor Molinari Salle Bourgie

The Molinari Quartet was heard twice as soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit and in April 2018 premiered the Concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Samy Moussa with the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montréal under the direction of Nicholas Carter. The Quartet has been invited to perform in numerous concert series and festivals including IJsbreker (Amsterdam), Présences (Radio-France, Paris), Festival Octobre en Normandie (France), Les détours de Babel festival (Grenoble, France), IXth International Festival of contemporary music Musica Nueva (Mexico), Brand-New Music in Katowice (Poland), Akademia Muzyczna Karola Szymanowsky (Poland), Musiques au présent (Québec), Festival Vancouver, Vancouver New Music, Banff Centre, Music Toronto, New Music Concerts (Toronto), Toronto Summer Music Festival and Academy, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, National Arts centre of Ottawa, New Music Edmonton, Tonus Vivus (Edmonton), Neworks Calgary, Orford Festival, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques, Musimars (Montréal), Festival Domaine Forget, Festival international de Lanaudière, GroundSwell (Winnipeg), Arte Musica series (Montréal), Five-Penny concert series (Sudbury), Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Society, etc. In November 2013, the Molinari Quartet performed a 7 concert tour in China including concerts in Shanghai and Beijing and in November 2016, it toured Poland and Armenia.

The Molinari Quartet is the only quartet to have all of R. Murray Schafer’s thirteen string quartets in its repertoire. Its recordings on the ATMA Classique label (complete quartets by Schafer, Schnittke, Kurtág, Gubaidulina) have received international critical acclaim including two Editors’ Choices by Gramophone magazine and rave revues from, among others, The Strad, Fanfare, Diapason, etc. Its recording of the complete Kurtág quartets has received a Diapason d’Or in December 2016 and the Echo Klassik award for 20th and 21st century chamber music in July 2017.

Launched in October 2001, the Molinari Quartet International Competition for Composition has had an enormous success. Over its six editions it has received over 850 new quartet scores from 69 countries.

logo Quatuor Molinari

Website : https://quatuormolinari.qc.ca/en/

Guido Molinari

About Guido Molinari

Guido Molinari was born in Montreal in 1933. The son of a musician, he developed an interest in the arts at a very early age. At the age of fifteen, he took his first art classes at the École des Beaux-Arts in Montreal (1948-50) under the direction of Marian Scott and Gordon Weber, and then went on to study at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ School of Art and Design (1951).

Molinari founded and headed the Galerie l'Actuelle in 1955, the first gallery in Canada to be devoted exclusively to abstract art. During this period, Guido Molinari was heavily influenced by the works of Mondrian and Malevich, and became involved with the Automatistes. The fifties brought him closer to the Plasticiens, a group interested in simple geometric forms. He participated in the Montreal Place des artistes exhibit, exhibiting three paintings, a few poems, and his first sculpture. Molinari’s works were also included in the Espace 55 exhibit, organized by Gilles Corbeil at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in April 1955. The following year, he founded the Non-figurative Artists Association. He taught at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ School of Art and Drawing from 1963 to 1965. From 1970 to 1997, he taught painting and drawing at Montreal’s Concordia University.

Molinari represented Canada at the Second Coltejer Biennial in Medellin, Colombia. In 1970, he participated in the third Salon international des Galeries pilotes in Lausanne, Switzerland and, on December 12, 1970, was one of eight Canadian artists to participate in the Canadian exhibit at the Tel-Aviv Museum. Molinari presented his series of paintings entitled Oppositions Triangulaires at the Canadian Cultural Centre in November 1974, as well as at the London Canada House Gallery in February 1975. In 1976-77, the National Gallery of Canada organized a retrospective of his works (1951-1973), which then toured to Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal. Molinari participated in the Symposium des peintres du Québec in La Rochelle, France in 1980. A retrospective of his drawings was organized in 1981 by the Agnes-Etherington Art Gallery at Queen’s University (Ontario) and was also displayed at Montreal’s Musée d’art contemporain in 1982. This same museum put on an important retrospective of Molinari’s works in the summer of 1995 that later toured to Guelph, Regina and Halifax. In 1998, the Musée de Grenoble invited Molinari to mount a major retrospective, which was also exhibited at the Musée de Château-Villeneuve in Vence, France. In October 1998, a series of dynamic recent works (the checkerboards and homages to Mondrian) was displayed at Toronto’s Wynick Tuck Gallery, and the exhibit was remounted at Montreal’s Galerie Eric Devlin in May 1999. Since the foundation of the Quatuor Molinari in 1997 and until just before is passing in 2004, Guido Molinari has opened his studio to the public three times a year for the Dialogues à l'Atelier, which bring together the painters, composers and musicians of Montreal’s contemporary art scene.

Numerous and important honours have been bestowed upon Guido Molinari: he has received the Jessie Dow Award at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Spring Salon (1962), the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts Award (1965), the Guggenheim Foundation Scholarship (1967), and the David E. Bright Foundation Award at the 1968 Venice Biennial. From 1967 to 1968, he was Vice-President of the Association des artistes professionnels du Québec and member of the Société internationale d'esthétique expérimentale. Molinari was elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 1964 and received the Government of Quebec’s Paul-Emile Borduas prize in 1980.

Also a writer and a poet, Molinari’s writings on art were published by the National Gallery of Canada in 1976. The year 1979 saw the publication of Nul Mot, a volume of Molinari’s poems and etchings. In April 1999, he published a second collection of poems entitled Ça.

Jean Portugais, based on documents provided by Claire Molinari.

LOGO fondation Molinari
Website : https://fondationguidomolinari.org/en/

Links and partners

Centre de musique canadienne au Québec : https://cmcquebec.ca
Centre de musique canadienne : https://cmccanada.org/fr/
Circuit, musiques contemporaines : https://revuecircuit.ca/apropos/qui/
Conseil québécois de la musique : http://www.cqm.qc.ca/fr/accueil.aspx?sortcode=1
SQRM (Société québécoise de recherche en musique) : https://www.sqrm.qc.ca/mission/
RCMN (Réseau canadien de musique nouvelle) https://www.reseaumusiquesnouvelles.ca/a-propos/organisation/