Jacques Forestier, violin, Shean Competition

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“I’m very interested in politics, current affairs, travel and fine cuisine (oysters in particular),” says 16-year-old Edmontonian Jacques Forestier, who’s evidently worldly beyond his years. And yet, when asked whether he could picture himself pursuing a career outside music, he concedes, “it’s depressing to think of a life without my violin.” In May, he and that beloved violin won first prize at the annual Shean Strings Competition in Forestier’s hometown — “a dream of mine for years” — which came with $8,000 cash and an engagement to play a concerto with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

 

Forestier spent the summer in New York, studying in person with Itzhak Perlman at the Perlman Music Program in Shelter Island for the third time — “one of my favourite places in the world, being surrounded by music, beauty and friends.” Forestier admires the late American cellist Lynn Harrell (“his sound just gushes with passion”), says Rachmaninoff is a constant obsession (“the Romanticism and angst within his music are second to none”) and admits that expensive shoes are a guilty pleasure. (No shame in that, Jacques. Every journey begins with a single, well-shod step.)

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Robert Rowat, CBC Music, reprinted with permission from Top 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30, 2021, 2021 edition

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