Monique Poitras began playing music at the age of 5. She and her 6 siblings were encouraged to do so by their father, a lifelong amateur musician. Monique played the piano until the age of 9, when she fell in love with the violin while listening to OSM performances. In Cegep, she decided to devote herself entirely to the instrument and soon after began studying in the class of Raymond Dessaints in Quebec City. She will always remember Henryk Szeryng’s performance of Brahms’ Violin Concerto as well as joining the OSM in September 1982 to play in Brahms’ Symphony no. 4. Monique Poitras considers herself fortunate to be able to practise her art as a member such a magnificent orchestra as the OSM. She will never forget her first collaboration with Kent Nagano in Schubert’s Symphony no. 9, as well as the inaugural concerts at the Maison symphonique and of the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique.
Model of instrument: Giuseppe Fiorini (Bologna) built in 1927
Academic institution attended: Conservatoire de musique de Montréal
First musical love: Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major
Prizes and scholarships: Canada Council for the Arts for a year of advanced training with Ştefan Gheorghiu in Bucharest (Romania)
Favourite composers: Richard Strauss, Mahler, Brahms
Favourite works: An Alpine Symphony and Thus Spake Zarathustra, and A Hero’s Life, Richard Strauss, Mahler’s symphonies nos. 1, 3, 4 and 5, and all of Brahms’ symphonies
Other interests: Sports, including downhill skiing, Nordic hiking, swimming and tennis. Also, being a grandmother!
If you could play another instrument, you would choose …: Cello
If you hadn’t chosen to become a musician, you would be …: A horticulturalist