Olivier Thouin took up the violin at the age of four. His fi rst teacher was Hratchia Sevadjian, and he received a Prix avec gran de distinction from the Conservatoire de Montréal, where he was a student of Sonia Jelinkova. He then travelled to Prague, where he studied with Ivan Straus at the Academy of Arts. He also took part in master classes with Igor Ozim in the Swiss cities of Bern and Blonay.
Mr. Thouin won the 1997 Prix d’Europe competition from the Académie de musique du Québec, and he was awarded the Prix Cécile – Mesnard-Pomerleau for his work as concert master of the Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra during tours in Asia, Europe and Israel. In the United States, his festival appearances have included Tanglewood, where he received the Jules C. Reiner Violin Award, and the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival. He was subsequently invited to perform in New York, Philadelphia and Boston to mark the 50th anniversary of the Marlboro Festival. In 2002, he received the Young Canadian Musicians Award (Toronto), which helped him develop his career in Canada.
An avid chamber musician, Olivier Thouin performs with artists such as Anton Kuerti, Marc-André Hamelin and Rudolf Jansen. He performed the complete sonatas of Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, and Fauré with pianists Suzanne Blondin and François Zeitouni; was a member of Trio Contrastes (1998–2003); and performs frequently with the Magellan Ensemble. He gave critically acclaimed recital debuts in Toronto and Calgary. As a soloist, Mr. Thouin has performed with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Violons du Roy, and the McGill Chamber Orchestra. He was formerly the associate concertmaster of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, and has taught violin and chamber music at McGill University in Montréal. He is currently associate concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
Olivier Thouin plays a 1754 Michele Deconet violin, which has been generously lent to him by Canimex.