Described in La Presse as being “Clearly. Absolutely. Undoubtedly virtuoso,” and in the Toronto Star as “One of those special talents that come along once in a lifetime,” Violinist Blake Pouliot has quickly become one of Canada’s most celebrated and sought after young artists.
Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Mr. Pouliot originally began studying piano at age five. A little over a year later he fell in love with the violin and began training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he ultimately earned his associate diploma in violin and grade ten piano. Following high school he was accepted at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.
Along the way came many honours and awards, including Grand Prize from the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, First Prize and Grand Prize at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) Manulife Competition, top honouree at the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank Competition, and the prestigious Michael Measures Prize, also from the Canada Council. Mr. Pouliot has been featured on many television and radio broadcasts across North America, including on CBC Radio and NPR’s Performance Today. He has worked with master musicians such as Yo Yo Ma, Pinchus Zukerman, Leila Josefowicz, and James Ehnes, and he gave a private performance for the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper.
Since his solo orchestral debut with the Toronto Trinity Chamber Orchestra at age 11, Mr. Pouliot has performed as a soloist in North America, South America, and Europe with orchestras such as the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, National Arts Center Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Sofia Philhamonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall; and with the conductors Sir Neville Marriner, Nicolas McGegan, Vasily Petrenko, Carl St. Clair, Alain Trudel, and Hugh Wolff.
Mr. Pouliot’s principal teachers have been Marie Bérard, concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company; Erika Raum of the Royal Conservatory; and Robert Lipsett, holder of the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.
In his final year of study at Colburn, Mr. Pouliot signed with Opus 3 Artists of New York as his world-wide representative. He performs this recording on a 1729 Guarneri del Gesù on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts.