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A Conversation with 2011 CMC Artistic Ambassador and Conductor Alain Trudel

Alain Trudel

Conductor Alain Trudel will head up the Orchestre Métropolitain for the 2011 CMC Gala Concert on July 14. He’s also one of the most visible and active Canadian conductors out there. He recently offered his thoughts on the CMC, the future, and classical music in general.

What would you say is the importance of a competition like the CMC to the development of a young musician’s career?

Competitions can shape character and motivate us to learn new repertoire. What’s more, if young artists keep an open mind, they can create true camaraderie and build lasting friendships out of these kinds of exchanges between different competitors and cultures.

Has the CMC contributed to your own journey?

I didn’t think making a career out of playing my instrument [trombone] was even possible. But seeing audiences appreciate the concerts, and having the help and commentary of the judges really provided me with a lot of motivation to pursue it.

Is classical music still relevant in a modern and techno-centric world? Does it have a future?

Now more than ever, we need those special moments of connection between audiences and musicians, moments which allow us to share the greater human message handed down to us by the great composers.

What’s the best advice for a young musician who wants to make a career in music?

Don’t take anything for granted, nothing is owed to us in life! Your desire and love for your art are the only things that will enable you to get through periods of doubt and discouragement. In fact, periods like that are essential to our evolution.

Talk to us a little about your career and any upcoming projects…

Conducting has taken up most of my time now for about ten years. However, I still like to play the trombone, and it’s essential for any conductor to have direct contact with an instrument. I’m starting in a new position as Artistic Director of Orchestra London Canada. But of course, I will remain at the helm of the Orchestre symphonique de Laval, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and as guest conductor of the Victoria Symphony and the Hannaford Street Silver Band. For more information on the various activities of all these ensembles, you can go on my website at

The Marcel Proust questionnaire…

What is your favourite instrument?

Cello and French Horn

What is your idea of earthly happiness?

Peace and respect for the differences between peoples.

If you could only listen to one musical work (could even be one composer’s entire œuvre) for the rest of your life, what would it be?

All of Mahler, Beethoven and Bach. But if I had to choose just one work, it would be Mahler’s Ninth.

What are your favourite things to do outside music?

Spend as much time as possible with my kids — they’re growing so fast!

If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

Maybe a Golden Retriever like our faithful dog Kovi.

Which famous musician do you most identify with?

I find it a little presumptuous to answer that question… But it might be a mix of Rostropovich/Coltrane/Haydn and Bernstein.

Which musician would you like to meet?

Of the past: J.S. Bach, of the present: Claudio Abbado

What qualities do you most admire in human beings?

Compassion, sensibility, the ability to be moved and to articulate the imaginary.

News posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011