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Je donne


Ariane Brisson

Doctoral student in performance (flute)

  • Talk to us a little about your background

I completed a DCS, a bachelor’s degree and an artist diploma, in performance, at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. Then I went to DePaul University in Chicago to start a master’s in performance, a degree that I finished at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Music in 2016. Since 2017 I’ve been a Ph.D. candidate in performance at the Faculty of Music. I’d never have thought about doing doctoral studies before I discovered the Faculty and its teaching staff during my years studying for a master’s.

  •  Why choose performance at the Faculty of Music?

As soon as I arrived at the Faculty of Music, I felt right at home. I was given space to experiment at different levels, with the emphasis on creativity and personal development.

  • What do you like best about the Faculty?

I appreciate the space given over to creativity, autonomy and freedom for students.

  • Which teacher inspires you?

My two thesis directors – Jean-François Rivest and Michel Duchesneau – but also Ana Sokolović and Marie-Hélène Benoit-Otis, two women who recently took part in the creation of inspiring new research chairs.

  • For you, performance is what, exactly?

It’s a means of expression, it’s a way of learning to discover yourself and to develop; it’s a way of communicating and touching people beyond words.

  • Which is your favorite artist (composer, musician, etc.), and why?

The artists who inspire me the most all have one characteristic in common: authenticity. Normand Forget, Barbara Hannigan, Marina Piccinini…

  • What are your inspirations?

These days I really like getting away through literature and discovering Québec authors. Also, a little trip to the museum never hurt anyone…

  • In what way is your stay at the Faculty of Music influencing your life?

It was my years of studying for the master’s at the Faculty that gave me the desire to continue my studies and do a Ph.D.; and the doctorate in turn has led me to want to incorporate research into my professional and artistic process.

  • In your time at the Faculty of Music, you must have interacted with memorable people who had an impact on your development. Could you talk to us about one (or some) of them?

Jean-François Rivest, whom I first met when I was playing under his baton with the OUM during my master’s. I’ve always considered that he was important in my development as a musician: he entrusted me with a lot of responsibility, but also gave me freedom and had faith in me. I found it important to continue my development under his guidance, which is what I’m doing with my doctorate.

  • Describe an ambitious (or completely crazy) project you’ve worked on.

My doctorate! When I enrolled in it – totally on a whim! – I would never have believed anyone who told me one day I’d be doing studies of this sort, or believed everything this process would bring me.

  • Is there a particular experience you’ve had at the Faculty of Music that in your view is unforgettable?

Without hesitation, my participation in the opera productions of the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal and the Atelier d’opéra when we presented Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Chabrier’s L’étoile. I love playing  operas (or ballets) as part of an orchestra; it gives me the feeling that what I’m doing is dedicated to something – a story, a staging, with costumes, singers, dancers, and so on – that transcends us all, individually.

  • What advice would you give to a first-year student?

Take advantage of these years of study to devote yourself entirely to what you enrolled in the Faculty for and what you’re passionate about – your instrument, composition, chamber music, the orchestra – because these are wonderful years that go by so quickly!

  • What are the three most important qualities for a musician?

Curiosity, perseverance and constancy in work.

  • Beyond music, what are your interests or passions?

I love knitting. Unfortunately, I’ve been short of time these last few years, but recently I took up knitting again, and it reminded me how much I love doing it!

  • What are your aspirations?

To lead a varied career as a musician, performer, researcher and teacher in order to share my love for music as much as possible.

  • What are your plans for the future?

To continue developing terrific projects with my colleagues in the Pentaèdre wind quintet, an ensemble that incidentally is in residence at the Faculty of Music. Also, some recording ventures are in the works.


April 2022