Blake Pouliot

Guest Musician

Winner of the Grand Prize at the 2016 Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition, Blake Pouliot’s 2023/24 symphonic highlights include Shostakovich 1, Bruch 1, Tchaikovsky, Korngold and Sibelius concerti across the US and Canada with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with Roderick Cox, Artis-Naples and NAC Ottawa with Alexander Shelley, Quebec City Symphony and Clemens Schuldt amongst others.

In Europe this season, Pouliot makes his Spanish debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Spain at the Teatro Monumental in Madrid, performing the Tchaikovsky concerto with Rossen Milanov alongside which Pouliot will also play-direct Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons in a separate chamber programme.

During his time as Soloist-in-Residence of Orchestre Métropolitain in 2020/21, Pouliot and Yannick Nézet-Séguin performed Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons (was there anything else?) which led to Pouliot’s 2022 debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Centre, performing John Corigliano’s The Red Violin (Chaconne for Violin and Orchestra) with Nézet-Séguin. Highlights elsewhere include Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in 2022/23, with Angela Hewitt and Bryan Cheng, as well as performances of the Paganini, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns concerti and Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy in subscription concertos across North America.

As a chamber musician and recitalist, Pouliot returns this season to NAC Chamber Festival, San Francisco, Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest where he performed the festival-opening concert last year with conductor Alan Gilbert, and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for his third consecutive year as Artist-in Residence. Previous recitals include the Koerner Hall Toronto, Seattle Chamber Music Society, and the world premiere of Derrick Skye’s God of the Gaps for violin and electronics at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Boston.

Pouliot released his debut album of 20th century French music on Analekta Records in 2019. Featuring Ravel’s Tzigane and Violin Sonata in G, Debussy’s Violin Sonata in G minor and Beau Soir, the recording received critical acclaim including a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine and a 2019 Juno Award nomination for Best Classical Album.

Since his orchestral debut at age 11, Pouliot has performed with the orchestras of Aspen, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Madison, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, and Seattle, among many. Internationally, he has performed as soloist with the Sofia Philharmonic in Bulgaria, Orchestras of the Americas on its South American tour, and was the featured soloist for the first ever joint tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He has collaborated with many musical luminaries including conductors Sir Neville Marriner, David Afkham, Pablo Heras-Casado, David Danzmayr, JoAnn Falletta, Marcelo Lehninger, Nicholas McGegan, Alexander Prior, Vasily Petrenko and Thomas Søndergård.

Pouliot has been featured twice on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series and has been NPR’s Performance Today Artist-in-Residence in Minnesota (2017/18), Hawaii (2018/19), and across Europe (2021/22). Prior to that, he was named First Laureate of both the 2018 and 2015 Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.

Raised in Toronto, Canada, Pouliot studied with Marie Berard and Erika Raum as a graduate of the RCM Taylor Academy, and was then admitted into the studio of the renowned pedagogue Robert Lipsett, with whom he studied at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.

Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù on generous loan from an anonymous donor.