Since his appointment as Music Director of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra in 1990, Claude Lapalme has made his mark as a superb conductor, an exceptional arranger and an outstanding Music Director. As a conductor, Paris newspaper Le Figaro has called him “remarkable and superb”; the Toronto Globe & Mail, “assured and highly effective”; the Havana Granma, “surprisingly dexterous, warm and sincere”; the Edmonton Journal, “a breath of fresh air”; and the Calgary Herald, “vigorous and attentive to detail.” A 1991 Laureate of the Besançon International Conducting Competition, he has conducted orchestras around the world, including the Moscow Radio and Television Orchestra as well as numerous ensembles in Hungary, the United States, Cuba, France and the Netherlands. His Canadian credits include the Edmonton Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Winnipeg Symphony, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, the Hamilton Philharmonic and numerous others. His own Red Deer Symphony has been featured on several CBC broadcasts, and has collaborated with, among others, Alberta Ballet, Edmonton’s Pro Coro and Calgary’s Early Music Voices. The orchestra has also toured the province of Alberta as far north as Fort McMurray.
Mr. Lapalme has become an eminent orchestrator and arranger, having composed orchestra charts for the likes of Ian Tyson and Marvin Hamlisch. His arrangements, noted for the precision of their composition as well as their expressive lushness, have been performed by top Canadian, American and Australian orchestras where they have been called “gorgeous” and “spine-chilling.” His orchestral arrangement of Ian Tyson’s Four Strong Winds, an exclusive composition for the Edmonton Symphony, was premiered to a standing ovation by an audience of over five thousand people. He also wrote five exclusive arrangements of Canadian popular songs for the Edmonton Symphony’s “Great Canadian Songbook” project.
Maestro Lapalme has also a strong connection with baroque music, having been trained at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag. He is the founder and Music Director of the newly minted Alberta-based period instrument ensemble, Rosa Barocca.
For his achievements, Claude Lapalme has received recognition awards from both the City of Red Deer and the Government of Alberta. He resides in Red Deer with his wife, cellist Janet Kuschak.
Born in Montreal but a Red Deer resident since 1990.
University of Toronto & Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag, Netherlands
Favourite book, Artist, and movie
L’eau des collines by Marcel Pagnol; Jan Vermeer; and Moonstruck.
One fun item on my bucket list
I’d like to go to Nepal. I’d even like to make it to Everest base-camp, but at this point I have to admit I would need three sherpas to carry me there…