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Louise Bessette to receive Canada's highest performing arts honour / Global News

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Montreal-born Louise Bessette has been renowned over her 35 year career for the excellence of her performances and for her commitment to promoting contemporary music. Numerous organizations and international competitions have seen fit to reward her talent, and her reviews are constantly laudatory. She has recorded a wide variety of repertoire both as a soloist and with chamber ensembles, appearing the world over with distinguished orchestras and by invitation to many first-rate festivals. Many composers write especially for her. Beyond her exceptional performance career, Mrs. Bessette is a significant figure in the musical world, promoting contemporary music every chance she gets, and creating the opportunity for composers to showcase their talents alongside performers, in activities and collaborations that essentially enrich our cultural panorama.

Prizes and honours have accompanied Louise Bessette throughout her career. She took top honours in the Eckhardt-Gramatté Canadian Music Competition (1981), First Prize at the Concours International de Musique Contemporaine in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France (1986), both the First Prize and the Special Prize for Piano at the Rotterdam 1989 International Gaudeamus Competition for Contemporary Music, and the 1991 Flandre-Québec Award in recognition of her contribution to contemporary music. The Conseil Québécois de la Musique awarded her the Opus Prize 1996-1997 in the "conductor or soloist of the year" category, for her recital of Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant-Jésus. In January 2010, she received two Opus Prizes : "Performer of the year", and "Musical event of the year" for Automne Messiaen 2008, and in January 2012, the Opus Prize "Record of the Year - Modern and Contemporary Music" for the CD Serge Arcuri - Migrations (ATMA Classique). In 2013, she won the Opus Prizes "Concert of the Year - Montreal" and "Concert of the Year - Modern and Contemporary Music" for the event Louise Bessette, 30 ans de carrière. In January 2015, Louise Bessette was listed as one of Canada's top 25 pianists by CBC Music. She also received, in 2015, the Opus Prize "Performer of the Year" for the concert series 25 ans de musique québécoise avec Louise Bessette. In February 2016, Louise Bessette received her eighth Opus Prize with the Molinari Quartet in the category "Record of the Year, Modern and Contemporary Music" for Sofia Gubaidulina - Chamber Music (ATMA Classique). The Montréal daily La Presse named Mrs. Bessette "Personality of the Week" in 1986, while in 1989 the Salon de la Femme de Montréal named her "Woman of the Year" in the Arts category. In October 2001, she was received as a Member of the Order of Canada and appointed, in June 2005, Officier of the Ordre national du Québec. In November 2009, she was named Ambassador of Canadian Music by the Canadian Music Centre.

Bessette is receiving Canada's highest honour in performing arts. She meets Global's Andrea Howick to talk about her worldwide career as a performer and promoter of 20th and 21st century music.    WATCH THE Global News VIDEO