A Young Man and his Celloby Jacqueline Vanasse
/ November 1, 2011
Flash version here.
and sensitive, Stéphane Tétreault is, most of all, an enormously generous
musician. He loves his audience and performing. “Going to concerts
and particularly playing in them, means everything to me. It’s very
exciting as everything happens in the present moment and nothing can
be taken back. At the same time, I can put everything into my playing
and get immediate feedback,” he says.
Tétreault began his musical studies at FACE School when he was
five years old. At first, he set his sights on the violin because the
instrument “is smaller for a little guy, easier to hold.” Two years
later, because of a disproportionate number of violinists to cellists,
he changed over to the cello. Since then, the cellist has not touched
a violin. He wouldn’t change his instrument again; his life is now
unimaginable without the cello.
Tétreault was nine
when he first met the person who, 10 years later, is still his mentor
and his inspiration, Yuli Turovsky. At the start of the new school year,
when his regular cello teacher didn’t come back, Tétreault’s parents
asked Turovsky to carry on teaching their son and he accepted.
Over many, many hours,
the young musician listened carefully to his accomplished teacher, “He
was awesome,” he recalls. “Looking back, I knew then that I wanted
to be like this great musician. It’s what got me started.”
Among cellists, while
he particularly admires Jacqueline du Pré, he prefers the little known
and unusual Russian cellist Daniil Shafran. According to Tétreault,
he is one of the greats, if not the greatest of all time: music personified,
along with a perfect technique.
along the way has been the passionate Janine Jansen, who he admits “is
a bit crazy” and who he dreams of performing with one day. He also
dreams of working with the “incomparable” Cecilia Bartoli whom he
has long admired for her amazing agility, striking sensitivity, warmth
and inexhaustible energy and passion. And of Yuli Turovsky, his cello
teacher for nearly 10 years, he believes he has much more to learn from
of the stage with his cello
Tétreault’s cello is of British origin, but the maker is unknown.
The cello dates from the 18th century, generously loaned
by Henno Lattik, who came to Montreal in search of a deserving student
who could use this instrument. Tétrault was in the right place at the
The instrument originally
belonged to Lattik’s father. He had bought it from a homeless woman
looking to sell the cello, or rather the wooden parts of it: the remains
of what had once been a cello. Taking a risk, the gentleman purchased
it and brought it to an instrument maker. Sadly, after its restoration,
he was never able to play the instrument himself and it was stored in
a closet for the next 50 years.
Being at a concert
is “not just about listening to the music, because the audience can
observe how the musician interacts with his instrument.” During his
own performances, the young cellist moves around a lot. “I need to
move” he explains, “and take possession of the stage with my cello.
It’s my way of freeing myself, of living my music, and, as a result,
my performance has more expression and emotion.”
• December 6, 2011, 7 p.m.: OSM pre-concert recital – Maison
symphonique Mezzanine Foyer www.osm.ca
• February 4, 2012, 2 p.m.: recital at the Théâtre Outremont –
Revelations Series – Daniel Poulin Productions www.concert-revelation.com
• April 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 2012: on tour with the Metropolitan
Orchestra, Dvořák Concerto, www.orchestremetropolitain.com
•April 12, 2012, at the Maison symphonique www.pda.qc.ca