Biography

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A virtuoso with a warm, elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians: “Jalbert’s piano playing is remarkable for its sweep, confidence, sensitivity, power and color, what more can we ask?” (Fanfare). Recently named by the CBC among the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time, Mr. Jalbert performs regularly as a soloist and recitalist across North America and Europe. His solo recordings – of the Goldberg Variations, the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, of American and French piano music – have all garnered international praise in venues ranging from Gramophone to France-Culture. An accomplished chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists such as Nicola Benedetti, Jean-Philippe Collard and the Quatuor Alcan and is a member of Triple Forte (along with violinist Jasper Wood and cellist Denise Djokic). A national and international prize-winner, David Jalbert has won four times at the Prix Opus and garnered three Juno Awards nods in recent years. He is a graduate from the Juilliard School, the Glenn Gould School and Université de Montréal and a professor of piano at the University of Ottawa.

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A virtuoso with a warm and elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians, and was recently named by the CBC among the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence, and refined ear, he has wowed audiences and critics everywhere: “a deeply musical pianist” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), “a virtuoso in the best sense of the word” (La Presse), “…wide-ranging musical imagination, phenomenal technique, and an unerring lightness of being” (The Toronto Star). His first solo disc, dedicated to the works of Corigliano and Rzewski (in preparation for which he worked with both composers), was launched to great applause on Endeavor in 2004 and was followed in 2006 by a recording of Fauré’s complete Nocturnes (a winning selection on La Tribune des Critiques de Disques, France-Culture). His 2008 release on the ATMA label, Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues opus 87, drew rave reviews, won an Opus Award, and was nominated for a Juno Award. He followed it up with an album dedicated to works by minimalist greats John Adams and Philip Glass (2010), and his 2012 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was met with unanimous praise.

An accomplished chamber musician in both the hall and the studio, his latest releases include Poulenc’s music for winds and piano (with the woodwind quintet Pentaèdre) as well as the Rachmaninov and Chopin Cello Sonatas with his long-standing musical partner Denise Djokic. With violinist Jasper Wood and cellist Yegor Dyachkov, he is also a member of Triple Forte, a piano trio whose first recording was awarded a 2014 Prix Opus (Album of the Year). Jalbert has also collaborated with violinist Rachel Barton Pine, the Cecilia and Alcan string quartets, double-bassist Joel Quarrington (on another Opus-winning collaboration, the album Brothers in Brahms) as well as with pianists Anton Kuerti, Wonny Song and Jean-Philippe Collard.

As guest soloist, Jalbert has appeared with many orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Bielefelder Philharmoniker, and National Symphony of Ireland and others. He has collaborated with conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Skitch Henderson, Jacques Lacombe, Bramwell Tovey, Mario Bernardi, Peter Kuhn, David Currie, Marc David, Dinuk Wijeratne and others and has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico and Europe. Jalbert’s repertoire is expansive, and he plays Bach, Brahms, Stravinsky or Ligeti with equal pleasure. David Jalbert can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada broadcasts, not only as a pianist, but also as a guest commentator.

A national and international prize-winner, David Jalbert was the 2007 winner of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts, has been awarded four Prix Opus by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique, was nominated for three Juno Awards, and is now an Associate Professor of piano at the University of Ottawa. He holds two Artist Diplomas: one from the Juilliard School in New York, the other from the Glenn Gould Professional School (Toronto). He received his Master’s Degree from the Université de Montréal at age 21, winning the Governor General’s Gold Medal (awarded yearly to the top graduate student of the University). His main teachers have been Jerome Lowenthal, Marc Durand, André Laplante, and Pauline Charron. He has also worked with Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Claude Frank, Gilbert Kalish, and Marylin Engle.