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    • David Jalbert

      • University of Ottawa Musical Instrument: Piano
    • David Jalbert à l'Académie Orford Musique

      A virtuoso with a warm, elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of his generation of classical musicians, and was named by the CBC among the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence, and refined ear, he has wowed audiences and critics everywhere: “Playing that oozes hedonistic charm” (Gramophone); “In an age of knucle-busting keyboard technicians fixated on a single era, composer or concerto, it is a great pleasure to encounter an artist of Jalbert’s stature for whom the piano is simply a transcendent means of human expression” (WholeNote); “A virtuoso in the best sense of the word” (La Presse); “Wide-ranging musical imagination, phenomenal technique, and an unerring lightness of being” (The Toronto Star).

      His first solo disc, dedicated to the works of Corigliano and Rzewski (in preparation for which he worked with both composers), was launched to great applause on Endeavor in 2004 and was followed in 2006 by a recording of Fauré’s complete Nocturnes (a winning selection on La Tribune des Critiques de Disques, France-Culture). His first release on the ATMA Classique label, Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues opus 87, drew rave reviews, won an Opus Award, and was nominated for a Juno Award. He followed it up with an album dedicated to works by minimalist greats John Adams and Philip Glass (2010), and his 2012 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was met with unanimous praise. He returned to his beloved early 20th-century repertoire for Le Comble de la distinction (Poulenc and Satie, 2015) and Stravinsky-Prokofiev Ballet Transcriptions in 2017, another Juno-nominated outing. He recorded the keyboard version of Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ in 2019 and is now at work on an ambitious 3-disc set of the complete Prokofiev Piano Sonatas.

      An accomplished chamber musician in both the hall and the studio, he has collaborated with Pentaèdre on recordings of Poulenc and Hindemith’s music for woodwinds and piano, and with his long-standing musical partner Denise Djokic on many projects, among which the Chopin and Rachmaninov Cello Sonatas. His piano trio, Triple Forte, with Ms. Djokic and violinist Jasper Wood, has toured extensively and won the 2014 Prix Opus (Album of the Year). Jalbert has also collaborated with violinists Nicola Benedetti and Rachel Barton Pine, the Cecilia and Alcan string quartets, double-bassist Joel Quarrington (on another Opus-winning collaboration, the album Brothers in Brahms) as well as with pianists Anton Kuerti, Wonny Song and Jean-Philippe Collard.

      As guest soloist, Jalbert has appeared with many orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Bielefelder Philharmoniker, National Symphony of Ireland, Les Violons du Roy and others. He has collaborated with conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Skitch Henderson, Jacques Lacombe, Bramwell Tovey, Mario Bernardi, Peter Kuhn, David Currie, Christoph Campestrini, Dinuk Wijeratne, Tania Miller and others and has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, South Africa and Europe. Jalbert’s repertoire is expansive, and he plays Bach, Brahms, Stravinsky or Ligeti with equal pleasure. He has been heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada broadcasts, not only as a pianist, but also as a guest host or commentator for special events.

      A national and international prize-winner, David Jalbert was the 2007 winner of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts, has been awarded six Prix Opus by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique, was nominated for four Juno Awards, and is now Full Professor and Head of Piano at the University of Ottawa and on faculty at the Orford Music Academy. He holds two Artist Diplomas from the Juilliard School in New York and from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto. He received his Masters Degree from Université de Montréal at age 21, winning the Governor General’s Gold Medal (awarded yearly to the top graduate student of the University). His main teachers have been Jerome Lowenthal, Marc Durand, André Laplante, and Pauline Charron. He has also worked with Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Claude Frank, Gilbert Kalish, and Marylin Engle.

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