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Bringing romantic music back to life.

Through Romantic improvisation and ornamentation, as well as utilization of period instruments, Schola Cantorum alumni Pascal Valois brings back the magic of Romantic music to life. Valois is a pioneer in the revalorization of the French Romantic guitar repertoire. His new CD of Victor Magnien's works for guitar recorded in World Premiere is available on the Centaur Records Label.

 

Biography

The romantic guitar in all its splendour.
— Magazine Guitare Classique

Pascal Valois is dedicated to reviving enthusiasm for the guitar scene during the Romantic era. He performs music from the nineteenth-century repertoire by using various period instruments, ornamentation, stylistic practices of the period, as well as improvisation, which was customary in that era.

After graduating with honours at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal under Jean Vallières, and receiving the award Pierre J. Jeanniot during his studies at Université du Québec à Montréal with Alvaro Pierri, Valois studied romantic guitar with Hopkinson Smith at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and with David Starobin in New York. He has also received a doctorate in Performance Practice from Université Laval. Recently, he has played in Basel, Paris, Riga, San Francisco, New York, Ottawa, and Toronto. He has been a soloist with many ensembles, among them Rigas’s Ensemble Samsara and Montreal’s Les Idées Heureuses. He has also given master-classes in many institutions, including the Manhattan School of music, the San Francisco Conservatory, and the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.

Pascal Valois has received the most renowned bursaries in Canada for guitar performance (Canada Council for the Arts) as well as Musicology (FQRSC and SSHRC). He has also been awarded scholarships from the Desjardins Foundation, the Wilfrid-Pelletier Foundation, the Laval University Foundation, and the Université du Québec à Montréal Foundation.


Students of Pascal Valois have won national music competitions and were awarded gold medals in national guitar exams. You can contact him for private lessons or university-level teaching: pascalvalois@hotmail.com.

Pascal is an engaging musician with clear lyric inspiration and a sense of poetry that can bring the logic and expression of the romantic music he plays to perfection.
— Hopkinson Smith
Pascal Valois and his instrument are united in an absolutely masterful and rigorous delivery.
— Journal Le Métropolitain de Toronto
Valois played with grace, elegance, and élan. His phrasing was similarly remarkable, as he imbued each melody with a beautiful vocal quality. It was light, effortless, and full of spirit.
— Giacomo Fiore, Classicalguitar.org
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Concerts

 Concert Programs + Workshop 2018-2019

During the first half of the 19th century, “Guitaromanie” was at its height in the French capital. Whether for Fernando Sor’s new fantasia or Louis-Ange Carpentras’s arrangements of operas, the French were very fond of new guitar works. Thanks to its clarity, precision, richness, and diversity, in addition to its dramatic twists and turns, Parisian music still charms us today. Click here for concert details + press kit. Click here to see a video sample.

Violonist Jacques-André Houle joins Pascal Valois for this new program. “Au Concert Spirituel!” explores the music for guitar and violin composed by those who were at the forefront of the hub of musical performance in Paris between 1725-1790: the Concert Spirituel. It includes musical gems by Gaviniès, Vidal, Lhoyer and Gluck.  Concert details + press kit.

A workshop on improvisation, ornementation and the performance practices of romantic guitar. Click for details.

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Victor Magnien

GUITAR WORKS OF VICTOR MAGNIEN

Pascal Valois, romantic guitar

Available on Centaur Records and iTunes

"The result is outstanding, thanks to Pascal Valois's rigorous historical approach, as well as his exuberant expressivity. It is an exemplary hommage to Victor Magnien's music (recorded for the first time). The romantic guitar in all its splendour." 
-Guitare Classique (France)

"Timely revival of a deserving legacy. Pascal Valois gives a tidy and understated reading of all 19 pieces." 
-Classical Guitar Magazine (UK)

"I like Valois’ interpretation. He captures Magnien’s contrasting moods with well-shaped phrases and a variety of tone colour, just right for an appreciative salon audience. He plays a guitar by Cabasse-Bernard made in about 1830. It has a clear, bright tone well suited for Magnien’s music." 
-Early Music Review (UK)

"An homage to the romantic guitar." 
-Françoise Davoine, Radio-Canada

"A groundbreaking recording. The combination of instrument, music, technique, and performer results in something of time capsule of Paris in the 1830's." 
-Early Romantic Guitar (USA)