March 1, 2017


Pianos en liberté kicks off CMIM piano 2017

This spring, expect the unexpected ! On April 26 at 7:30 pm, the CMIM (Concours musical international de Montréal) presents Pianos en liberté, a piano improvisation concert at Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie Hall. This unique event will feature two world-renowned pianists, Frenchmen Jean-François Zygel and Bruno Fontaine, who will take turns in performing the improvised piano part of Fantaisie pour piano-fantôme et orchestre by Canadian composer François Dompierre. Directing the I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra from the keyboard, the improviser will lead musicians in a once-in-a-lifetime performance ! It’s a musical feat that has never been done before, and Montrealers will be the first to witness this improvised world premiere !

“Musical improvisation is as worthy and noble an art form as the performance of composed music; liberated from all restrictions, the improvising musician is a truly free artist,” explains François Dompierre.

As a prelude to this double musical creation, pianist Serhiy Salov, winner of the 2014 Richard Lupien Improvisation Prize, will perform a selection of Dompierre’s Préludes for piano, providing insight into the composer’s style and aesthetics. The public can also expect solo and duo improvisations from Zygel and Fontaine in the first part of the concert. Mrs Elaine and Mr. Réal Raymond serve as honorary presidents of this special evening.

Composer, conductor, arranger and broadcaster François Dompierre has held a prominent spot on the Canadian cultural landscape for fifty years now. He has composed the music for some sixty films, television programs and documentaries. He has also composed music for theater and orchestras. In 2016, Dompierre received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Cinéma québécois.

A pianist and composer, Jean-François Zygel is also a very well-known and talented improviser. He teaches improvisation at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris and is recognized for raising awareness for classical music on TV and on the radio. For the 100th anniversary of the masterpiece L’Argent, by Marcel L’Herbier, the first ever original film score, Zygel wrote and performed the piano accompaniment.

Concert pianist, conductor, arranger and composer Bruno Fontaine is a complete and unclassifiable artist. He was the arranger and musical director of American soprano Julia Migenes, before acting in the same capacity for Johnny Hallyday and Mylène Farmer. Many of his arrangements and compositions have been nominated for a/at the Victoires de la musique and Césars.


Winner of the CMIM First Prize in 2004 and Richard-Lupien Improvisation Prize in 2014, Serhiy Salov enjoys a successful career as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed extensively with major orchestras in Europe, Asia and North America. His album recordings were met with critical acclaim.

Mrs Elaine and Mr. Réal Raymond serve as honorary presidents of this special evening. As the CMIM celebrates its 15th anniversary along with Montreal’s 375th and Canada’s 150th anniversaries, Pianos en liberté is a great way to kick-off celebrations!

Tickets for Pianos en liberté can be purchased through the Bourgie Concert hall box office (Website:; Telephone: 514-285-2000, option 4). Tickets for CMIM’s piano competition which runs from May 2 to 12 can also be purchased:
• Finals and Gala Concert – Place des Arts box office: |  514 842-2112  | 1 866 842-2112. 
• First and semifinal rounds – Bourgie Concert Hall, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: | 514 285-2000, option 4.

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