Described as “immaculate, at once refined and impassioned,” (ArtsAtlanta) violinist Blake Pouliot (pool-YACHT) has anchored himself among the ranks of classical phenoms. A tenacious young artist with a passion that enraptures his audience in every performance, Pouliot has established himself as “one of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime” (Toronto Star).
Pouliot ventures into a spectacular 2022/23 season highlighted with debuts at the symphonies of Arkansas, Bangor, Elgin, North Carolina, Oregon, Tacoma, and Westmoreland. He returns to the stages of the Madison and Milwaukee symphonies as well as the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal performing the works of Beethoven, Saint-Saens, and Paganini. Pouliot also brings his recital programming to Temecula, Paris and to his debuts in Boston and at Toronto’s Koerner Hall; He widens his artistic lens in the Boston performance by commissioning the world premiere of Derrick Skye’s solo for violin and electronics, entitled “God of the Gaps”. A prolific collaborator, Pouliot rounds out this season with his debut at the Seattle Chamber Music Society and a return to La Jolla Summerfest. He also returns to the National Youth Orchestra of Canada to embark on his second year as Artist-in Residence, following last season’s inaugural residency in which the organization welcomed him to cultivate a curated program for students and faculty.
Recent highlights include debuts with the Boise Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Plano Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra and Winnipeg Symphony; and being named Artist-in-Residence at Orchestre Métropolitain where he deepened his relationship with the orchestra’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Pouliot released his debut album on Analekta Records in 2019 to critical acclaim including a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine as well as a 2019 Juno Award nomination for Best Classical Album. Adding to his accolades that year, Pouliot won both the Career Development Award from the Women’s Club of Toronto and the Virginia Parker Prize Career Grant from the Canada Arts Council. He has been featured twice on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series and was NPR’s Performance Today Artist-in-Residence for the 2017-18 season in Minnesota the 2018-19 season in Hawaii, and the 2021-22 season across Europe. In 2016, he was awarded the Grand Prize at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition and was named First Laureate of both the 2018 and 2015 Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.
Since his orchestral debut at age 11, Pouliot has performed with the orchestras of Aspen, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Madison, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, and Seattle, among many. Internationally, he has performed as soloist with the Sofia Philharmonic in Bulgaria, Orchestras of the Americas on its South American tour, and was the featured soloist for the first ever joint tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He has collaborated with many musical luminaries including conductors Sir Neville Marriner, David Afkham, Pablo Heras-Casado, David Danzmayr, JoAnn Falletta, Marcelo Lehninger, Nicholas McGegan, Alexander Prior, Vasily Petrenko and Thomas Søndergård.
Pouliot studied violin in Canada with Marie Bérard and Erika Raum, and he completed his training as an associate of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He graduated from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair.
Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù on generous loan from an anonymous donor.