Photo credit: Robert Etcheverry
Geneviève Soly is one of the central figures of baroque music in Quebec. She is well-known for her many talents: as a musical performer on the organ and harpsichord; as a musicologist for her major contribution to the rediscovery of Christoph Graupner; as a pedagogue and sought-after speaker and lecturer; and as an arts administrator who has been directing Les Idées heureuses for over 30 years. She sits on several arts sector advisory councils.
Geneviève Soly was nine years old when she realized she was going to be a performer. This revelation came as she listened to an LP recording of Sviatoslav Richer playing Robert Schumann’s Fantasiestücke. Schumann remains one of the composers dearest to her heart.
Her tireless work for the dissemination of baroque music was recognized by the Prix Opus, awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique in the category of La Personnalité de l’année in 1997. She was named La Personnalité de la semaine by the Montreal daily La Presse in its April 2, 2006 edition. She was invited to sign the Livre d’or de la ville de Montreal at an official ceremony on May 6, 2010, in recognition of her international stature as an authority on Graupner.
In 2020, Breitkopf and Härtel will be publishing her edition of the first volume of Graupner’s works for harpsichord. She is the first Canadian editor to work for this publisher.
Geneviève began to learn music at CAMMAC in summer 1962 ; she was then 4 years old. Her parents where then teachers at CAMMAC. When she was 18, in 1976, she took her parent’s place and began to teach. She missed only one summer since then. Summer 2019 will be her 57th summer at CAMMAC and the 42 she will teach.
As a performer, Geneviève Soly has played with gambist Jay Bernfeld and with violinist Viktoria Mullova and harpsichordist Andreas Staier. Since 2006, she has given solo performances at the Centre de musique baroque in Versailles, at the Bruges and Utrecht early music festivals, at BOZAR in Brussels, as well as in Modena, Pontoise, Basel, Frankfurt and Berlin. Her seven recordings of Graupner’s harpsichord music have received international acclaim.
Geneviève Soly is the twin sister of Isolde Lagacé, director of the Bourgie Concert Hall at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She is mother of humorist Arnaud Soly and percussionist Matthias Soly-Letarte.