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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 6, No. 5

An Interview with pianist David Jalbert

by Jun Fujimoto / February 1, 2001

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In the March 2000 edition of La Scena Musicale, various music critics were asked to share their thoughts on their favourite pianists, past and present and who they predict will be the pianists of the future. Arthur Kaptainis of The Montreal Gazette chose Glenn Gould (past), André Laplante (present) and Rimouski native David Jalbert (future).

Based on Mr. Jalbert's recent success, Kaptainis' prediction is already becoming a reality. At his rst major international competition, the 22-year old David Jalbert took 4th prize in The AXA Dublin International Piano Competition, performing the Brahms D minor Piano Concerto with the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra. Other recent highlights include a performance of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and conductor Skitch Henderson, Jeunesse Musicale Tour of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick earlier this year, and 2nd Prize in the 1999 CBC Competition. David has also performed solos with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and The National Arts Centre Orchestra.

This year, David is the recipient of the Classical.96 FM scholarship and he is currently nishing his Artist Diploma with Marc Durand, André Laplante and Leon Fleisher at The Glenn Gould Professional School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. David shares with us his experiences at The Glenn Gould Professional School.


Q. Of all your teachers, who would you say has had the most in uence on you?

A. Marc Durand. He made me feel comfortable at the piano by mixing and balancing the physical and musical elements. He made piano playing simpler & logical. Marc also taught me how to approach a piece of music – how to feel it, how to think about it and how the composer composed it. The intellectual aspect is also key in his method.


Q. This past year, you also have been working closely with Andre Laplante and Leon Fleisher. How are they effecting your development as a pianist and artist?

A. Laplante and Fleisher are two pieces of the puzzle that come together and complete what Marc starts. Fleisher covers half of the repertoire and Laplante completes what Fleisher doesn't teach. With these two and Marc Durand, I feel like I'm always going into the right direction, all the time. Not only are they experts in their repertoire, they are also phenomenal performers.


Q. In addition to your teachers, who else has in uenced you pianistically?

A. Here at The Glenn Gould School, I've played in master classes for Claude Frank, John Perry and Marilyn Engle. All three were totally amazing in their own unique ways.


Q. How do you nd your studies at The Glenn Gould Professional School?

A. I am extremely impressed by the high level of the school's student orchestra (The Royal Conservatory Orchestra). It's always enjoyable to hear great orchestra concerts with great conductors such as Simon Streatfeild and Leon Fleisher. I particularly enjoyed Lister Sinclair's "Aspects of Creativity"class. With regard to the academic curriculum, this class was extremely mind-broadening. It's always a joy to have a class with intense discussions about art & science that is both fascinating and relevant to my life as a musician and as a human being. The atmosphere of this school is pleasant - everyone is so friendly [unlike] the highly tense and competitive atmosphere of most schools that I've seen.


Q. What are your plans for the future?

A. After the positive experience at Dublin, I would like to continue entering international piano competitions. Next year I will continue building my concert repertoire, which will include many concertos.

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