The Palais Montcalm celebrates its 90th anniversary this year. American organist Alcée Chriss III will kick off the festivities on Sunday with a free concert.
Originally from Texas, the virtuoso, considered one of the best organists of his generation, will offer music that will highlight the Casavant organ in the Raoul-Jobin room.
Classical pieces, transcriptions of works for symphony orchestra and a jazz component will be on the program. The event will start at 2 p.m. and reservations are not necessary. It’s first come, first served.
Historian Réjean Lemoine will tell the story of the Palais Montcalm and anecdotes and highlights during a talk with Nicolas Houle, director of programming, before the concert by Alcée Chriss III.
Inaugurated in 1932
The Palais Montcalm was inaugurated on October 21, 1932. The City of Quebec wanted to provide its citizens with modern sports and cultural equipment.
The Société symphonique de Québec, which later became the Orchester symphonique de Québec, was featured in an inaugural concert that featured tenor Raoul Jobin.
The musical ensemble gave performances there before moving to the Grand Théâtre in 1971. The Opéra national du Québec presented productions there between 1948 and 1952 with Faust, Lakme, Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, Rigoletto and Bohemian.
Radio-Canada lived in the Palais Montcalm between 1944 and 1974. There was also a swimming pool and the library of the Canadian Institute.
Renovation work took place in 1961, 1991 and then, in the summer of 2004, at a cost of 23 million dollars, in order to make it a Maison de la musique and the residence of the Violons du Roy. The inauguration took place on March 17, 2017.