‘’For the early birds, there was a half hour chamber music performance by students of the Glenn Gould School. Jean-Luc Therrien, in his final year of the Artist Diploma program, performed seven of the nine movements from Robert Schumann’s Waldszenen (Forest Scenes) Op. 82. It was easy to find oneself in the haunted forest of Schumann’s imagination. His playing was absolutely exquisite.’’
TORONTO CONCERT REVIEWS
Finalist and prizewinner of several competitions including the Concours Prix d’Europe and the Sendai International Piano Competition in Japan, Canadian pianist Jean-Luc Therrien believes his job as a musician is to cross barriers - of language, of culture, of time. That work has taken him throughout Canada, Europe and Asia. And wherever he goes, he creates a shared musical experience that for him is a form of spirituality.
Jean-Luc was named one of Canada’s 30 hot classical musicians under 30 for 2020 by CBC Music. And his first solo album Piano Preludes, released on the Label Orpheus Classical in 2021, was chosen as one of the best classical releases of 2021 by CBC Music.
Recently, he was part of The Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program at The Glenn Gould School in Toronto. He also made his national radio debut on CBC Music with the broadcast of a virtual recital recorded in Toronto in the summer of 2021. In February 2022, he performed with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra before going on tour across 7 European countries with French violinist Jean-Samuel Bez to launch their first album. And then, it was back to Canada for 16 solo performances in the Maritimes with Debut Atlantic.
Jean-Luc started lessons at 6. By 7, he was giving his first recitals and starting to win regional competitions. He fell in love with classical music attending his first ever symphonic concert with the Montreal Symphony. There, he was enchanted by the magic of being one of thousands in a concert hall, deeply connected, watching and listening in silence.
After graduating from the Conservatoire de Musique de Trois-Rivières in the studio of Denise Trudel, Jean-Luc headed for Europe and the University Mozarteum in Salzburg to complete a Master of Arts Degree in Piano Performance. Then, he stayed in Europe to pursue further musical projects, thanks to a major grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Later, he returned to Canada and entered The Ihnatowycz Piano Program at The Glenn Gould School in Toronto where he worked with another important musical mentor - Marietta Orlov.
Over the years, the recognition has poured in: among other awards, he’s won several prizes in competitions such as the Mauro Paolo Monopoli Prize Competition in Italy, the CMC Stepping Stone and, with violinist Jean-Samuel Bez, the Chamber Music Grand Prize at the Luigi Zanuccoli International Competition in Italy.
Besides performing, Jean-Luc also enjoys sharing his passion and knowledge for his instrument. In addition to his position as a piano instructor at the online music school Virtu.Academy, he has given masterclasses and workshops around the world including in Spain, Japan and Canada.
Jean-Luc compares the work of a musician to that of an architect, using some of the same skills to ‘’design” and structure a musical interpretation.
“With music, I can spend hours and hours working on a piece and decide which aesthetic, colours, sound and emotions I want to express with it,” he says. “Music feels like the best way to express myself. And classical music has always touched me the most - I want people to know that, yes, it is still relevant today.”