François Couperin “Le Grand” – 350th Anniversary

I freely admit that I prefer that which moves me to that which surprises me.”
–François Couperin

Along with the Bach family, one of the celebrated musical dynasties in Europe was the Couperin family. Pacific Baroque Festival 2018 will celebrate the 350th anniversary of its greatest member, François Couperin “Le Grand”, whose profound influence transformed French music towards the end of Louis XIV’s reign.

Louis XIV, the “Sun King”, ushered in a glorious cultural enlightenment that would become identified with the Grand Siècle: the court promoted lavish spectacles of Opéra-ballets and Tragédies en musique, as well as religious music at the court chapel and chamber music in the private chambers at Versailles. In Paris and Versailles fine composers such as Mondonville and Rameau were also active. The increasing influence of Italian musical style gave French music added flair, and the advent of public concerts gave virtuosos such as Jean-Marie Leclair and Jean-Féry Rebel a platform for their instrumental and compositional skills.

François Couperin contributed to this artistic expression of France’s power after having been appointed by Louis XIV himself as organist of the royal chapel in Versailles, which complemented his position at the church of St.-Gervais in Paris. Described as a ‘profound musician and true man of genius’, François Couperin, transformed French music beyond the constraints imposed by Jean-Baptiste Lully.  Couperin believed in embracing the best of foreign musical styles, such as the Italian, to create a new French musical expression which would lead to the perfection of music.

Be part of a Festival audience that will discover the brilliance of Couperin, and appreciate the musical world in which it was created.

“Apart from Racine and Molière, no artist presents the values of his time, purified of all merely topical pomposity, with as much precision as Couperin.” – Willfrid Mellers

“If I had a choice, I would have wanted to be Debussy or Couperin. I listen and it is magic. I just can’t understand how they conceived enchantment. I couldn’t so I decided to be a mathematician, the next best thing.” ―Philippe Kahn

Ticket prices have remained constant over twelve years.
Available Online and in selected outlets

Read more on the Festival program

Special Pre-Festival Concerts

Join us in Victoria and Parksville for Two special performances in smaller, intimate venues:

Friday, 9 February – 7:30pm
Chapel of the New Jerusalem, Christ Church Cathedral, Quadra at Rockland, Victoria

Saturday, 10 February – 7:30pm
Knox United Church, 345 Pym St, Parksville

Concert info and purchase tickets on-line. 

“A wonderful festival” – “the Festival was a feast!” – “Extra-special performances” – “The concerts are wonderful” – “Phenomenal performances” – “Bravo. Superb quality.” – “This festival is a delight every year”