Christmas Celebration


Sunday, December 22, 2024
4 pm


Church of
St. Andrew & St. Paul

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Anna-Sophie Neher, Soprano Stéphane Beaulac, Trumpet Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal (Andrew Gray, Director)
Jean-François Rivest, Conductor

If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas concert, this one – just two days before the celebrations – is the one that has it all. A children’s chorus, candles, processions, trumpets and chimes. As well as Bach, Vivaldi and the Mozarts (father and son) and Christmas carols, of course. Plus the must-see Toy Symphony and the fabulous voice of soprano Anna-Sophie Neher, winner of the 2023 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium.

– Jean-François Rivest


Gloria in D Major, RV 589 (Selections)
(14 minutes)

1. Gloria (Chorus)
2. Et in terra pax (Chorus)
6. Domine Deus (Soprano solo)
12. Cum Sancto spiritu (Chorus)

J.S. Bach

Cantata BWV 51, “Exult in God in Every Land” (Soprano Solo and Trumpet)
(16 minutes)

L. Mozart

Toy Symphony
(10 minutes)

W.A. Mozart

Ave verum corpus, K. 618 (Chorus)
(3 minutes)

W.A. Mozart

Exsultate, Jubilate (Soprano Solo – Selections)
(7 minutes)

1. Exsultate jubilate
4. Allelujah

F. Vallières

Medley de Noël pour I Musici (Christmas Medley)
(10 minutes)


Christmas Carols (Chorus and Soprano Solo)                          
(13 minutes)

Concert without intermission
Anna-Sophie Neher



Laureate of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition, German-Canadian soprano Anna-Sophie Neher has been praised internationally for her “gleaming tone and excellent agility.” She made her debut with the Opéra de Paris in Enescu’s opera Œdipe in 2021 and came back to the Palais Garnier this year for Britten’s Peter Pears.

A proud graduate of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio in Toronto, Anna-Sophie has sung several roles in that city, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel), Micaëla (Carmen) and Marzelline (Fidelio).

Winner of the first prize for voice at the 2017 OSM-Manuvie Competition, the 2017 Wirth Vocal Prize, a Stingray Rising Star (2017), and the Christina and Louis Quillico (2019) prizes Anna-Sophie has also had the opportunity to perform quite a lot of the orchestral repertoire—of which she is very fond—ranging from Bach and Mozart to Pärt and Williams. She has sung as a soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal directed by Bernard Labadie, the Orchestre Métropolitain directed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and the Toronto and Calgary symphony orchestras.

Stéphane Beaulac




Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal

Andrew Gray, director



Jean-François Rivest



Québec conductor Jean-François Rivest is renowned for his energy, his extremely precise technique, his style, which is passionate, moving and deeply involved, and his great communication skills. His discography serves as proof to the ease with which he masters a large variety of musical genres ranging from the baroque eraup to today.

Regularly invited by orchestras in Montreal, in Canada and around the world (USA, Mexico, Peru, France, Switzerland, Spain, Russia, and South Korea), he has been Artistic Director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, (10 years) and of Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings Ensemble, (5 years), as well as Conductor in Residence of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) where his tenure has been particularly significant.  In the last months of 2021, while the Pandemic was widespread, he conducted at the Opéra de Lausanne and Opéra de Fribourg, in Switzerland, followed by 8 concerts with the Orchestre Symphonique du Pays Basque, in France. 

Nominated as Principal Guest Conductor at first, in 2021, he was just recently appointed Artistic Director of the prestigious chamber orchestra I Musici de Montréal.  As Christophe Huss said in Le Devoir, it is ‘a logical nomination because since his arrival, the symbiosis has been great between the conductor and the musicians’.

Jean-François Rivest firmly believes that the next generation of musicians must rely on performers that are also active as pedagogues. He has worked for several institutions and has been teaching violin, orchestral conducting as well as a variety of advanced performance classes at Université de Montréal. He is the founder, Artistic Director and principal conductor of the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal (OUM).

From 2009 to 2015, he has been Artistic Director of the Orford Arts Centre, (now Orford Music), nearbyMontréal where he presided over the destiny of Orford’s prestigious International Academy and Festival. His period at the head of the Arts Center is unanimously seen as a time of tremendous artistic renewal and growth. In the 2012 Opus Prizes Awards ceremony, he was given the Opus Prize for the Artistic Director of the year (2011).

Mr. Rivest, who trained at the Conservatoire de Montréal and at the Juilliard School in New York, quickly established himself as one of the foremostQuebec violinists of his generation. His main teachers were Sonia Jelinkova, Ivan Galamian and Dorothy DeLay.

Being the father of four children, family is at the center of his life. He is passionate about nature and outdoor activities, such as scuba diving, kayak, climbing, trekking and photography. He has even participated in several expeditions of a challenging level. He holds a Private Pilot License and flies his good old Cessna regularly. Jean-François Rivest believes that the many facets of nature are a vital source of artistic inspiration!

Julie Triquet plays on a Giuseppe Odoardi 1726 violin, generously loaned by Mr. David B. Sela.
Christian Prévost plays on a Rafelle and Antonio Gagliano violin, Naples (ca.18xx) and a Jean Joseph Martin bow (ca.1880), kindly lent by CANIMEX.
Amélie Benoit Bastien plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin, Paris, ca. 1845, number 1672, Stradivarius model and a Eugène Sartory bow, Paris, ca. 1935, courtesy of CANIMEX.
Annie Guénette plays on a Josef Gagliano 1768 violin and a Lamy bow, generously loaned by CANIMEX.
Tim Halliday plays the 2014 Kolia cello by Mira Gruszow and Gideon Baumblatt, generously on loan from Mr. David B. Sela.


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