A graduate in performance from Vincent-D’Indy School-Sherbrooke University, he was awarded the Johann Sébastien Bach prize at the end of his studies. For several years, he studied with Françoise Aubut, 1st prize winner of the Conservatoire de Paris, who studied under Alfred Cortot, Marcel Dupré and Olivier Messiaen. He participated at the summer academies of Haarlem in the Netherlands, with André Isoir and Marie-Claire Alain, and at New England Conservatory in Boston, with Yuko Hayashi and William Porter. He also holds a degree in arts education from Sherbrooke University and has been an arts workshop leader for the IBO, an international educational organism. He has over thirty years of experience in music education.
For over ten years, he was principal organist and frequently accompanied the St. Maria Goretti choir of Beloeil (Québec) in concert. His interest for the harpsichord began at McGill University where he studied principaly under Sandra Weeks and also John Grew, Bruce Mather, Alcides Lanza.
In addition, his interest in a historical approach to music led him to play the baroque hurdy-gurdy performing in concerts either as soloist or accompanist. Since 2021, he has been a collaborating musician for the Baroquelyn Ensemble of New York and received a grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
The harpsichord, a plucked string instrument, knows how to be expressive in its own way. All this expression is well defined particularly by François Couperin (Le Grand), in his publication: L’ Art de toucher le clavecin. If the sounds cannot be prolonged as much as one wants, the attention is focused on the articulations as well as on the various ornaments or aggregations which makes it possible to seize the expression. Music for the harpsichord developed in a preponderant way between the 16th and 18th centuries. Consequently, it is the instrument « par excellence » of the baroque period not only for keyboard music but also for chamber music, which was characterized by small ensembles. The harpsichord used by Pierre Lavigne is a reproduction of one of the rare French harpsichords, a Vaudry, dating from 1681 that has come down to us with some original parts and is currently kept at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The hurdy-gurdy appeared around the 11th century. We don’t know precisely its origin but it was used during all the Middle Ages. From 1720, and for forty years, it became the main instrument of court of Versailles. The fact that the queen, Marie Leszczynska played it certainly contributed to this. It became the ideal instrument for a new genre: the Concerts Champêtres, music very much in vogue at the court. On the hurdy-gurdy, the bow is replaced by a wheel and the fingers no longer touch the strings but a keyboard that activates the mechanics for the production of each note. The hurdy-gurdy used by Pierre Lavigne was made by the French maker Jacques Grandchamp.
« Without music, life would be a mistake ». F. Nietzche
NEXT CONCERT: infos to come …