Some of my earliest memories are centered around the piano. I was enthralled with the world of sound and particularly with the vast universe of sound that the piano was able to produce. My formal lessons started with the best teaching available in the area where I grew up. The relation to good teaching continued when I arrived in Montreal. I started my studies here with Mr. Douglas Dahlgren, a former student of Alberto Guererro. Mr. Dahlgren was a part of the great class that Mr. Guererro had developed, which included Glenn Gould, Patricia Parr, Paul Helmer and many others. Mr. Dahlgren helped me develop on the concert stage and on the competition circuit. He guided me to first place in the “Festival de Musique Classique de Montréal” and to the presentation of numerous concerts in the Montreal area.
My desire to continue my musical development led me to audition for Mr. Norair Artinian at McGill University, now the Schulich School of Music. The years with Mr. Artinian were fascinating. His innate musicality and wonderful technique were a continual inspiration. His excellent direction led me to placing first overall in the McGill Faculty of Music. His ongoing support encouraged me to continue to reach for my musical dreams.
I was subsequently able to gain acceptance into the Université de Montréal for my Master’s studies and I had the great fortune to be accepted into the class of M. Claude Savard. I credit M. Savard with helping me understand my ultimate goal, follow ‘Music’ as one would follow the ‘North Star’. This seemingly simple directive, to grow as much as possible in the understanding of music and all else would fall into place, had a profound effect on me and has guided me ever since.
The concept of ‘following music’ has led to a wide array of musical activity. I’ve always harboured a love for teaching and M. Marc Durand’s advice “the first and most important job of the teacher is to inspire the student” has always stayed in my mind. This inspiration has led some students to interesting musical careers, it has led others to local, provincial and national accolades and it has enriched a large number of music lovers in their musical development at the piano. Teaching at the Université de Montréal and CEGEP Vanier; teaching and examining at the McGill Conservatory of Music; and working for many years with a large number of students in my private studio has fed my growing love and appreciation for music and the piano.
‘Following music’ has also led to an interesting performance life which, in addition to numerous solo performances, has provided the opportunity to play with members of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, L’Orchestre Metropolitain and a wide cross section of the world class freelance musicians that populate the Montreal music scene. My journey to understand music has led me to appreciate voice and singing more. My work as Music Director at Christ Church Beaurepaire has given me the opportunity to develop choirs and to present choral concerts which have created more wonderful ways to study and appreciate music.
I am probably happiest that these explorations of music will continue indefinitely into the future. I am currently setting up an extensive concert series for 2013-2014. This series will be aimed at offering performance opportunities for many of our young musicians, rising stars of the musical world in both conventional and non-conventional settings. In addition to somewhat ‘traditional’ concert fare there will be a select number of concerts featuring the music and imagination of some of our younger musical community. This will provide us all an occasion to hear and see where the new waves of music and performance will be heading.
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