Winner of 2016 Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Manulife Competition
Establishing himself as one of Canada’s most promising young artists, 24 year-old violinist Blake Pouliot is the Grand Prize winner of the 2016 Orchestra Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) Manulife Competition. After his performance of the Korngold Violin Concerto at his debut with the Montreal Symphony and conductor Vasily Petrenko in February 2017, he was described by Montreal’s La Presse as “Clearly. Absolutely. Undoubtedly virtuoso.” In 2018, Mr. Pouliot released his debut album featuring the works of Ravel and Debussy.
Since his solo orchestral debut with the Toronto Trinity Chamber Orchestra at age 11, Mr. Pouliot has performed as soloist with the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony, the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Colburn Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and with conductors Sir Neville Marriner, Nicolas McGegan, Tito Muñoz, Carl St. Clair, Alain Trudel, and Hugh Wolff. Mr. Pouliot has performed in recital in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto, and was featured on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series with Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.
A featured performer on CBC Radio Canada on numerous occasions, Mr. Pouliot has received several honors in Canada. In 2013 he received the Canada Council for the Arts’ Michael Measure Prize which gave him the opportunity to tour major Canadian cities with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Mr. Pouliot has also had the honor of performing a private recital for Canadian Prime Minister Stephan Harper in 2012.
He has also performed as narrator in Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Britten’s Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra, and Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, all with the American Youth Symphony at Royce Hall in Los Angeles. Mr. Pouliot also earned first prize for his piano composition, Starlight on Water, at the 2010 Canadian Contemporary Music Festival.
He is currently a Professional Studies Certificate candidate at the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where he studies with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair.