With its team of internationally recognized performer-educators offering top-level teaching, the Université de Montréal Faculty of Music is an essential reference in the training of pianists. Its reputation is such that more than half of our piano students come from abroad, a number of them choosing to do a master’s or a doctorate in performance at the Faculty after studying at leading schools in Europe or in America.
Exceptional teaching and supervision
Having trained some of the most important artists and teachers of the new generation, the Faculty piano teachers are renowned for their experience, the excellence of their teaching, their passion and their commitment to the different facets of their discipline. As they progress, students are assured of being supported in a pertinent manner and with great humanity.
A proven pedagogical approach for shaping complete musicians
Recognized for their activities as soloists, recitalists and chamber musicians on the Canadian and international scenes, the Faculty performer-educators in piano are also deeply involved in a teaching philosophy built on well-proven foundations of the psychology of learning.
The approach to the instrument taught here has developed and is realized constantly in an awareness of the body and of movement. Pianists can moreover familiarize themselves with certain aspects of the process in a class like La santé corporelle du musicien (The physical health of the musician).
To develop expertise in their field, pianists must devote countless hours to the instrument ‒ which is why we offer our graduate-level pianists practical workshops on different themes that propose tools designed to improve the quality of the work carried out during individual practice.
Concerts, competitions and masterclasses for a deeply formative experience
In addition, opportunities to perform in concert in one of the Faculty halls are numerous. Every year the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal concerto competition crowns three prizewinners from the different Faculty of Music performance programs, who appear in concert with the orchestra at Salle Claude-Champagne.
In a context such as this, Faculty students in piano are very much in a position to develop their profession and to become true musicians, fully accomplished – an asset that enables them to regularly make a name for themselves in national and international competitions. Many Université de Montréal graduates today pursue remarkable careers as performers and teachers.
Finally, thanks to philanthropic funding and to collaborations with Montreal music organizations, the Faculty regularly invites pianists of great renown to give masterclasses. In recent years, student pianists have had the chance to work with among others Roy Howat, Benedetto Lupo, Lucas Debargue, Boris Berezovsky and Stephen Hough.
Piano duo and accompaniment teaching
It should be noted that piano duo teaching is also one of the Faculty of Music’s recognized specialties. Under the auspices of Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt, a well-known teacher of chamber music, our students can thus be part of faculty ensembles that may then distinguish themselves on the professional scene.
Programs in piano accompaniment are also offered at the Faculty of Music.
The Faculty of Music’s piano collection consists of more than 130 instruments carefully maintained by Marc St-Pierre and Charles Gauvin, two resident technicians who combine experience and expertise.
The Faculty of Music prides itself on housing a piano repair workshop, founded in 2004 by Denis Brassard, now retired. That workshop has made it possible to restore and return to the rehearsal studios more than 20 instruments that were showing signs of wear and were able to enjoy a second life. The workshop also allows for first-rate maintenance of the instruments while offering pianists the very best of conditions.
Among the Faculty of Music’s 60 or so grand pianos, it should be mentioned that Salle Claude-Champagne is equipped with a brand new Hamburg Steinway, inaugurated in April 2019, and with a New York Steinway.
The Faculty additionally has at its disposal two other recital halls, one of which, Salle Serge Garant, is home to two excellent pianos: a Fazioli model 212 and a Yamaha model CF6. Along with these, the Faculty owns a wonderful French piano made by Érard – dating from the early 20th century – in perfect condition.