“immaculate, at once refined and impassioned” (ArtsAtlanta)
“one of those special talents that comes along once in a lifetime” (Toronto Star)
During the pandemic, Pouliot was the Artist-in-Residence at Orchestre Métropolitain, deepening his relationship with the orchestra’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, across a series of concerts and recorded projects. He was also seen in performance with the Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. He curated and led chamber music programs presented by the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and Artis-Naples, and was a featured recitalist as part of ‘the Violin Channel’s Vanguard Series. That summer he made his return to La Jolla Music Society SummerFest.
Upcoming and recent engagements include The Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta, Montreal, Vancouver, Arkansas, Milwaukee, North Carolina and Oregon Symphonies, and recitals in Boston, Miami, Toronto and Philadelphia. He also toured a Beethoven programme throughout Europe as returning Artist-in-Residence with NPR’s Performance Today.Read more
Pouliot’s debut album, released on Analekta Records in 2019, features the works of Ravel and Debussy, and earned a five-star rating from BBC Music Magazine as well as a 2019 Juno Award nomination for Best Classical Album. Adding to his accolades that year, Pouliot won both the Career Development Award from the Women’s Club of Toronto and the Virginia Parker Prize Career Grant from the Canada Arts Council. He has been featured twice on Rob Kapilow’s What Makes it Great? series and was NPR’s Performance Today Artist-in-Residence for the 2017-18 season in Minnesota and the 2018-19 season in Hawaii. In 2016, he was awarded the Grand Prize at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition.
A prolific recital and chamber musician who has performed in Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, Rockport, and Toronto, Pouliot was joined by pianist Hsing-I Huang at McGill University, University of Toronto, and the new RISE series in Miami last season.
Since his orchestral debut at age 11, Pouliot has performed with the orchestras of Aspen, Atlanta, Detroit, Dallas, Madison, Montreal, Toronto, San Francisco, and Seattle, among many. Internationally, he has performed as soloist with the Sofia Philharmonic in Bulgaria, Orchestras of the Americas on its South American tour, and was the featured soloist for the first ever joint tour of the European Union Youth Orchestra and National Youth Orchestra of Canada. He has collaborated with many musical luminaries including conductors Sir Neville Marriner, David Afkham, Pablo Heras-Casado, David Danzmayr, JoAnn Falletta, Marcelo Lehninger, Nicholas McGegan, Alexander Prior, Vasily Petrenko and Thomas Søndergård.
Pouliot studied violin in Canada with Marie Bérard and Erika Raum, and he completed his training as an associate of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He graduated from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Robert Lipsett, the Jascha Heifetz Distinguished Violin Chair.
Pouliot performs on the 1729 Guarneri del Gesù, on generous loan from an anonymous patron.
“Review: Violinist Blake Pouliot wows audience with ASO debut playing Sibelius…Staggeringly sophisticated in his interpretation of French music, Pouliot showed in his Atlanta debut that the demands of the Sibelius Violin Concerto are well within his wheelhouse too. It’s always fun to see just how a violinist will choose to begin this concerto. Pouliot played the opening of the first movement mezzo piano and without vibrato—a gauzy, barely audible thread of sound. His playing throughout was immaculate, at once refined and impassioned and characterized by the full use of his bow. Unreserved, he played the violin lovingly and with technical precision. Pouliot is also visually expressive in a distinctive way. When not playing it’s apparent that he’s listening, looking at the orchestra and responding almost as if he’s hearing their part for the first time.”
“In the hands of Prutsman and young Canadian violinist Blake Pouliot, Ravel’s “Blues” flowed with the freedom of a popular jazz standard. Pouliot’s silvery tone carried weight even in the softest passages of the music, as he floated his melodies with the grace of a blues singer. Prutsman was a more delicate presence at the keyboard, though the duo brought surging intensity to the movement’s closing measures. Though not inspired by jazz per se, the rest of Ravel’s sonata took on a similar zest. In the first movement, Pouliot sculpted each phrase precisely to bring out the colors of Prutsman’s supple harmonies. In the finale, the duo tore through the driving figures with apt gypsy fire to bring the work to a rousing conclusion.”
“Pouliot puts the listener at ease and makes them receptive to what he has to say, -executing the concerto with a superb sound and well-placed sweetness. Passing from admirable to overwhelming, there is even a little something in my ears that I can hardly define, a kind of brilliance, with sharp harmonics, and a singing strength in the upper register to equal that of the lower. ”