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Transfigured Romanticism 2024-2025

Embark on a journey through the depths of late Romanticism with two Viennese masters, as Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night and Johanna Müller-Hermann’s richly harmonic compositions ignite passion and rediscovery.

Presenting Season Partner

The two works featured on this program belong to late Romanticism, and their composers, both Viennese, studied under Alexander von Zemlinsky. Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night is a passionately dramatic setting of a poem by Richard Dehmel. Johanna Müller-Hermann, whose works reveal astonishing harmonic and melodic breadth, was widely renowned in her time and is a composer to rediscover.


Olivier Thouin, violin

Jean-Sébastien Roy, violin

Victor Fournelle-Blain, viola

Sofia Gentile, viola

Anna Burden, cello

Sylvain Murray, cello


Johanna Müller-Hermann, String Quintet in A minor, op. 7 (42 min)

Arnold Schoenberg, Verklärte Nacht [Transfigured Night], op. 4 (29 min)

Total duration75minutes

Olivier Thouin


Olivier Thouin dreamed of becoming a violinist for as long as he can remember. At age 8 or 9, he began practising tirelessly to fulfill his dream. He studied in Joliette with Hratchia Sevadjian from 1981 to 1987, then in Montreal with Raymond Dessaints and Sonia Jelinkova from 1987 to 1995. He pursued his training with Ivan Straus in Prague and Igor Ozim in Bern. His fondest musical memories date back to his years as a student, when he played Schumann’s Quintet with Isidore Cohen, and to his performance of Brahms’ First Symphony as Concertmaster with the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra at the Berliner Philharmonie. His first time playing with the OSM musicians was in 1997 and a few years later, in 2001 and 2004, he performed with the Orchestra as a soloist. He officially joined the Orchestra in 2008. That same year, during the highly acclaimed Automne Messiaen in Montreal, he was deeply moved by the intensity with which Maestro Nagano directed Messiaen’s epic opera Saint François d’Assise, a work whose total performance time stands at more than 5 hours!

Victor Fournelle-Blain

OSM Principal viola

The versatile violinist and violist Victor Fournelle-Blain leads an active career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Associate Principal Viola of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, he also teaches viola at McGill University and orchestral studies at Université de Montréal. After studying violin at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal under Johanne Arel, he went on to work with Ani Kavafian at the Yale School of Music, and subsequently joined the class of André Roy as a viola student at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University. Winner of McGill’s 2014 Golden Violin Award, the 2012 Prix d’Europe, and Second Prize winner of the 2010 OSM Competition, Victor Fournelle-Blain has performed as a guest soloist with various orchestras including the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil. As violinist of the Grand-Duc Trio, he regularly collaborates with renowned musicians including Charles Richard-Hamelin, Andrew Wan and Brian Manker. Victor Fournelle-Blain currently plays a violin by Carlo Tononi and a viola by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, both generously loaned to him by Canimex.

Anna Burden

OSM Associate principal Cellist

Associate principal cellist of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 2011, Anna Burden has performed throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad as a soloist, chamber player, and orchestral musician. Solo appearances include performances with the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Washington Chamber Symphony, the Juilliard Orchestra, the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra, the Oak Park Symphony Orchestra, and with musicians of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. A native of Chicago, Anna Burden studied with Hans Jensen, Joel Krosnick, Alan Stepansky, Richard Aaron, Darrett Adkins, and Nell Novak. She holds a Bachelors degree from Northwestern University, a Masters degree from The Juilliard School, and a Professional Studies diploma from the Manhattan School of Music. She plays a cello made in 1929 by Carl Becker of Chicago.