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Early Music Pioneer Kader Hassissi has Died, Aged 72

Co-director of the International Baroque and Romantic Opera Festival of Beaune for 40 years, Hassissi passed away from the effects of COVID-19


Kader Hassissi was the co-creator and director of France’s International Baroque and Romantic Opera Festival of Beaune, alongside his wife, musicologist Anne Blanchard.

Once dedicated to the preservation of the Baroque aesthetic, in particular, Hassissi is remembered for his collaboration with and involvement in the careers of renowned artists including René JacobsEmmanuelle Haïm, and Philippe Jaroussk.

Hassissi was also a key figure of the memory of early music in France. “Funny, tender, with a phenomenal intelligence, Kader Hassissi was one of those figures that the world of music never imagined having to do without so soon,” Forum Opera stated on their website. “Our condolences go to Anne Blanchard and the teams at the Festival de Beaune.”

Hassissi contracted COVID-19 at the start of the summer this year. Before then, he had led the 40th edition of the Beaune Festival. According to specialists, as reported by Radio France, the festival will remain, “one of the touchstones of the rediscovery of ancient music in the 20th century.”

Since its inception in 1983, the Beaune Festival has programmed hundreds of baroque operas, over 80 concerts of oratorios and sacred music, over 40 recitals, as well as hosted a Baroque singing Academy.

Our condolences to Mr. Hassissi’s family, friends, and colleagues.

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