Biography

Canadian violinist Marc Destrubé is equally at home as a soloist, chamber musician, concertmaster or director/conductor of orchestras and divides his time between performances of the standard repertoire on modern instruments, and performing baroque and classical music on period instruments. His exceptional versatility stems from a wish to reflect the composers’ intentions as genuinely as possible and his view of the violin as a tool of expression, whatever the musical form at hand.


His teachers include Harry Cawood, David Zafer and Steven Staryk, the great Hungarian pedagogue and quartet leader Sandor Végh, and Norbert Brainin of the Amadeus Quartet.


He is first violinist with the Axelrod String Quartet, quartet-in-residence at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., where the quartet plays on the museum’s exceptional collection of Stradivari and Amati instruments. He has also performed and recorded with L’Archibudelli (Vera Beths, Jurgen Küssmaul, Anner Bijlsma) and is a member of the Turning Point Ensemble in Vancouver, specializing in 20th century music and new music. He appears regularly in chamber music performances on the Early Music Vancouver series and summer festival as well as at MusicFest Vancouver. He is also first violinist with the recently-formed string quartet Microcosmos in Vancouver.


He has appeared as soloist and guest director with symphony orchestras in Victoria, Windsor, Edmonton and Halifax as well as with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Portland Baroque Orchestra and Lyra Baroque Orchestra. He led the Belgian ensemble Anima Eterna in acclaimed recordings of the complete Mozart Piano Concertos with Jos van Immerseel. A founding member of the Tafelmusik Orchestra, he has appeared with many of the leading period-instrument orchestras in North America and Europe including as guest concertmaster of the Academy of Ancient Music and of the Hanover Band.


As a concertmaster he has played under Sir Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Helmuth Rilling, Christopher Hogwood, Philippe Herreweghe, Gustav Leonhardt and Frans Brüggen. He is co-concertmaster of Brüggen’s Orchestra of the 18th Century with whom he has toured the major concert halls and festivals of Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, including directing the orchestra in performances at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts and appearing as soloist in Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in concerts in Holland, Austria and Belgium for the Haydn-year. He was concertmaster of the CBC Radio Orchestra from 1996 to 2002, and concertmaster of the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra.


From the concertmaster’s chair he has directed orchestras in much of the standard baroque and early classical repertoire as well as in performances of larger scale works such as Beethoven’s First Symphony, Mozart’s G Minor Symphony K.440 and the Tchaikovsky Serenade.


As founding director of the Pacific Baroque Orchestra he was responsible for commissioning works for the orchestra from a number of Vancouver-based composers, as well as instigating other innovative projects such as a program of French baroque and Aboriginal dance and music. He has also directed several Modern Baroque Opera productions, including the premiere of Peter Hannan’s 120 Songs for the Marquis de Sade. Other innovative projects include a performance for Vancouver New Music in 2008 combining a Beethoven string quartet, 5 songs performed by Pissed Off Wild, a post-punk hip-hop band, and a new work by Peter Hannan for amplified violin, percussion and live electronics.


A highly respected teacher, he has been a visiting artist/faculty at the Paris, Moscow and Utrecht Conservatoires, Indiana University, Case Western University, Australian National University, Sydney Conservatorium, the MacPhail School, the Banff Centre and the University of Victoria, and has presented children’s concerts at the Cité de la Musique (Paris). He was co-director of the Early Music Vancouver Baroque Instrumental Program and on the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin College, and has recently been named to the faculty of the Berwick Academy at the Oregon Bach Festival.


His recording of Haydn Violin Concertos on the ATMA label has been praised by the Strad Magazine (London) for the “stylish solo playing..., individual yet unselfconscious” and by Whole Note Magazine (Toronto) for its “bold and daring solo playing”. He has also recorded for Sony, EMI, Teldec, Channel Classics, Hänssler, Globe and CBC Records as well as being broadcast regularly on the CBC.


He is artistic director of the Pacific Baroque Festival (Victoria, Canada), and Artistic Advisor to the New York City ensemble Dorian Baroque.

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