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JEAN-MICHAËL LAVOIE is an outstanding young French-Canadian conductor who is rapidly establishing an international reputation.
Engagements this season include his debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a 2010 Dudamel Conducting Fellow in a residency that includes youth concerts (Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique) and a concert of works by George Crumb on the LA Phil’s Green Umbrella series. He also makes a return to his native Canada to conduct the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble at the Pollack Hall, Montreal in a program of works by Boulez, Mantovani, and Unsuk Chin. Other engagements this season include re-invitations to the Ensemble Intercontemporain and Orchestre de Bretagne as well as debuts with Opéra de Rennes, Orchestre d’Auvergne, and the Israel Contemporary Players.
In the 2009/10 season Lavoie established his presence in Europe, making debuts with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Orchestre de Bretagne (with whom he also recorded his first CD for the French label Naïve) and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. He was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Ensemble Intercontemporain from 2008-2010, where he worked in close association with Pierre Boulez and with whom he continues to enjoy a regular association – and who also appointed him First Assistant Conductor at the 2010 Lucerne Festival Academy. Other collaborations include Orchestre de Paris with Esa-Pekka Salonen, as well as an ongoing relationship with Accentus; he was their Associate Conductor for the Festival Musica in Strasbourg and Venice Biennale, and with other projects in planning. He also regularly collaborates with Susanna Mälkki; plans include the premiere of a new opera by Luca Francesconi – Quartett – at Teatro alla Scala Milan in the spring of 2011.
Jean-Michaël Lavoie is the 2010 laureate of Prix Opus’ New Artist of the Year, a prize awarded in recognition of his international achievements and which includes a residency with Radio-Canada.
Born in Quebec in 1982, Jean-Michaël Lavoie completed his musical studies in Montreal at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University. He studied first as a pianist before specializing in orchestral conducting, musical analysis, and music history. A highly talented pianist, he was the winner of several prizes and competitions. He was Assistant Conductor of the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble from 2003-2007 and Assistant Conductor at Opera McGill in 2005 and 2006. He also conducted two North American premieres during the Montreal/New Music International Festival in March 2007, and was Associate Music Director of the Radio-Canada Chorus in the 2007/08 season.