Favourite of Kim Lajeunesse

Programming Director of the Orchestre Métropolitain

Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto


My first encounter with the work…

When I was in high school, I had the good fortune to hear a young cellist play Barber’s Cello Concerto with the Orchestre du Conservatoire at a concert performed in Montreal’s Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church. She performed the second and third movements. The second’s melodic line stopped me in my tracks and Barber’s musical writing – tonal yet, to my young ears, harmonically innovative – turned me upside down. Today it remains one of the works I find most moving. You hear every facet of the cello: the instrument plays in both the low and high registers, the three movements present the cello as a melodist but also as an accompanist and, with all the pizzicatos, almost as a member of the percussion family. The cadenzas are especially virtuosic and put the performer’s agility and talent on display.


My favourite passage

Hard to say. I like all the movements for different reasons. I would say that I’m especially fond of the repeat of the theme after the harmonic and melodic build-up in the second movement. The orchestral accompaniment is both simple and dense. It’s so beautiful!


My favourite recording

My favourite version is with Ralph Kirshbaum playing the cello, accompanied by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Jukka-Pekka Saraste on the Warner Classics label.





First movement: 


Second movement: 


Third movement:



A cellist by training, Kim Lajeunesse holds a bachelor’s in music from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, which she obtained in 2001. Her passion for arts and culture led her to study cultural organization management at HEC Montréal, from which she obtained at MBA in 2007. She held several positions in the music sector in Quebec City and Montreal, most notably marketing director for Les Violons du Roy, before joining the Orchestre Métropolitain’s administrative team as Programming Director in 2018, where her main role is to work with the OM’s artistic director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to come up with the programs of the concerts to be performed every season.

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