Pallade Musica (Athena’s Music) brings together four of Montreal's most promising Early Music performers. Grand Prize winners at the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition in New York and 2nd prize winners in the 2014 International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht, the quartet consists of Tanya LaPerrière, Baroque violon, Elinor Frey, Baroque cello, Esteban La Rotta, theorbo, and Mélisande McNabney, harpsichord. Based on dedicated research and continuous exploration, Pallade Musica’s performances are acclaimed for their expressive and elegant interpretations, earning praise for their “spectacular virtuosity” (Tom Strini Blog) and “tremendous ensemble sense” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).
Ensemble-in-residence at the Conservatoire de Musique Rimouski in 2014-2015, Pallade Musica’s recent and upcoming performances include appearances in Bogotá, Colombia, in Canada at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Festival Montréal Baroque, Festival Alexandria, Toronto Music Garden, Early Music Vancouver, Early Music Society of the Islands (Victoria), Early Music Voices (Calgary), and Early Music Alberta, and in the United States at Early Music Now (Milwaukee), the Chicago Cultural Center, the Connecticut and Indianapolis Early Music Festivals, Renaissance and Baroque (Pittsburgh), and the Early Music societies of Seattle, San Francisco, and Arizona. The members of Pallade Musica regularly appear with leading early music ensembles all over the world, while also pursuing careers as soloists and teachers. In 2014, Pallade Musica released Verso Venezia, featuring music of Castello, Legrenzi, and Merula, its first CD on the ATMA label and nominated for a 2014 Opus Prize.
Graduate of McGill University as a student of Chantal Remillard, Tanya LaPerrièreis a promising young Baroque violinist whose powerful and sensitive playing make her a much-appreciated violinist among her audiences. One can hear her on stages throughout Montreal and abroad with well-known ensembles such as Arion, Ensemble Caprice and Les Boréades de Montréal. She also performs regularly with Les Idées Heureuses and la Bande Montréal Baroque. She has recorded on Analekta and Atma labels including two Juno-award for Ensemble Caprice et Arion. Baroque music, she will say, is nothing less than a confession or rather it speaks about matters in which it is everything! Tanya LaPerrière is currently pursuing a masters in performance at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles studying with of Mira Glodeanu.
Fascinated with the cello’s origins and the creative process of new music, Elinor Frey plays both period and modern instruments. Frey’s honors include a US-Italy Fulbright Fellowship where she studied baroque cello with Paolo Beschi, the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship, and American Musicological Society and Canada Council for the Arts grants facilitating her work on Italian cello music. In recent seasons she has performed with Les Idées hereuses, Tafelmusik, Ensemble Caprice, Studio de musique ancienne, Theatre of Early Music, Les Violon du Roy, Arion, and Bradamante, as well as with her quartet, Pallade Musica, grand prize winners of the 2012 Early Music America Baroque Performance Competition and second prize winners in the 2014 International Van Wassenaer Competition in Utrecht.
Frey’s debut album, Dialoghi, is titled for the solo piece written for her by Steven Stucky. Her two releases on the Belgian label Passacaille include Berlin Sonatas (2015) with Lorenzo Ghielmi on fortepiano and La voce del violoncello (2013), praised for its “careful scholarship and brilliant layering of moods and tempos” (Toronto Star) and for the “honest, reflective beauty of her music making” (Strings). Her performance of this program was the winner of the public prize at the 2013 Utrecht Early Music Festival Fringe. Frey holds degrees from McGill, Mannes, and Juilliard.
player, he studied at the Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano under the guidance of lutenist Paul Beier, and in Montreal with Sylvain Bergeron where he received his doctorate in performance degree in 2008 concentrating on the baroque guitar. Since 2012, thanks to support from the Canada Council for the Arts, he has studied at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis focusing on the repertoire of the late Middle Ages for solo lute under the guidance of Crawford Young. As a specialist in a variety of early plucked instruments, La Rotta has extensive experience with renaissance repertoire as well as with the early Baroque Italian and French repertoire for solo theorbo. He is a regular participant at Festival Montréal Baroque and has performed with ensembles such as the Copenhagen Soloists, Ensemble Gilles Binchois, Les Violons du Roy, Les Voix Humaines, La Nef, the SMAM, and Ensemble Caprice. He has appeared in numerous festivals including Musique Royale, Boston Early Music Festival, Seattle Early Music Guild, Tage Alter Musik (Regensburg), Lamèque Early Music Festival, Stratford Festival, the National Arts Center in Ottawa, and the Orford Music Festival. His performances have been broadcast on the CBC in Canada and the BBC in England. He can be heard on the Atma label, both as a soloist and with Pallade Musica, and on the Passacaille label with the cellist Elinor Frey.
Mélisande McNabney performs keyboard music of all periods, on harpsichord, piano and fortepiano. A Graduate of McGill University and the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Mélisande was granted her Master’s degree from the Amsterdam Conservatory in June 2010, where she studied harpsichord, continuo and fortepiano in the classes of Bob van Asperen and Richard Egarr. She is now pursuing her Doctorate degree at McGill University under the guidance of Hank Knox and Tom Beghin, thanks to the support of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships Program. Currently based in Montreal, Mélisande is regularly invited to play with ensembles such as Les Violons du Roy, Arion Orchestre Baroque, the Theater of Early Music and Ensemble Caprice. She is also the founder and artistic director of the concert series La Dauphine, and a member of Pallade Musica and ensemble Les Songes. Mélisande has received scholarships from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Banff Centre, the FQRSC and the CALQ.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Nov 20, 2013) "The ensemble... made it quite clear why they're generating such excitement in the early music world.
The four musicians brought energy and vigor to their music, playing with technical surety, complete ease in Baroque style, as well as superb musicianship and just enough showmanship.
They worked together with tremendous ensemble sense, slipping seamlessly from foreground to background as dictated by musical lines and supporting each other's ideas beautifully."
Express Milwaukee, Nov. 20, 2013 "All players are wonderfully talented... Together and alone they played with expressive and elegant verve, fluency, style and grace."
Tom Strini, Nov. 17, 2013 "These young players, based in Montreal, brought their spectacular virtuosity and diva passion to bear on music often presented as precious historical objects preserved in a bell jar."