Guest Artist for our concert on Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 8:00pm!
Violinist Blake Pouliot has joined the upper echelons of brilliant soloists, establishing himself as a consummate 21st century artist with the rigor and passion to shine for a lifetime. At only 25-years-old the tenacious violinist has been praised by the Toronto Star as, “one of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime.”
Highlights of the 2019-20 season include Pouliot’s debuts with the Atlanta, Asheville, Rochester, Sarasota and Madison symphonies and a collaborative experience as the featured soloist for the first ever tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada.
The tremendously successful 2018-19 season included his debuts with the Detroit, Dallas, Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Seattle symphonies, dazzling audiences by “[surging] onstage in rock star pants…[presenting] Brahms as a composer of great passion. It was compellingly – indeed, irresistibly – done.” (The Dallas Morning News) In September, Pouliot’s debut album featuring the works of Ravel and Debussy was released (Analekta Records), earning a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine and a 2019 Juno Award nomination for Best Classical Album. Adding to his accolades, Pouliot won both the Career Development Award from the Women’s Club of Toronto and the Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Arts Council.
Pouliot has twice been featured on CBC’s “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30”. He’s also hosted CBC’s This is my Music, was featured on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series, and was NPR’s Performance Today Artist-in-Residence during the 2017-18 season in Minnesota.
As Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition, Pouliot toured across South America during the summer of 2017 as soloist with the YOA Orchestra of the Americas performing Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons with conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto and Paolo Bortolameolli. He later returned to Montreal where he was featured in recital at the Montreal Symphony’s La Virée Classique. A prolific recitalist and chamber musician, Pouliot has performed in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, and Toronto, and performs at Pepperdine University, the Isabel Bader Center in Kingston, and the Ottawa Chamber Music series in the 2019-20 season.
Since his orchestral debut at age 11, Pouliot has regularly performed with the orchestras of Aspen, Calgary, Edmonton, Pacific, Toronto, Vancouver, and the National Arts Centre. Internationally, Pouliot has performed as soloist with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, and Orchestras of the Americas on their South American tour. He has collaborated with musical luminaries such as conductors Sir Neville Marriner, David Afkham, Pablo Heras Casado, David Danzmyer, Nicolas McGegan, Brett Mitchell, Vasily Petrenko, Alexander Shelley, and Hugh Wolff.
Pouliot studied violin in Canada with Marie Berard and Erika Raum, and completed his training as an associate of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He graduated from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair.
Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù, on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank as First Laureate of both their 2018 and 2015 Competition.