October 1, 2014

Stéphane Tétreault: Man with the Golden Cello

Caroline Rodgers, La Scena Musicale

For some years now, Stéphane Tétreault has been capturing the hearts of Quebec’s music lovers thanks to his immense talent. The precious Stradivarius entrusted to him in 2012 made him known in Canada and beyond. While pursuing his master’s degree at the University of Montreal, he is preparing to become the first soloist-in-residence in the history of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain.

“It’s my big project for the year,” says the young musician, particularly excited by the prospect. “It’s an honour for me, but it’s more than that: the OM was one of the first orchestras to invite me to play. At sixteen, I played Khachaturian’s Concerto as part of the Youth Spirit series. It was an extraordinary experience to play with an orchestra for one of the first times, but especially because of the warm welcome the musicians gave me.”

In 2012, he performed again with the OM as part of a tour, this time in Dvořák’s Cello Concerto under the baton of Julian Kuerti.

“When they asked me to be their soloist-in-residence, I was really touched. Yannick Nézet-Séguin said that he wanted to invite not just a musician the orchestra liked, but a musician who also liked the orchestra.”

His role as soloist-in-residence also entails a pedagogical component. “They plan to organize masterclasses with primary and secondary students in Montreal. I love working with young people and sharing what I know with them.”

Europe and a New Album

Stéphane Tétreault’s international career hasn’t yet quite taken off (let’s not forget that he’s only 21), but he has given a few concerts in Europe this year.

“What I want is to be an international soloist,” he notes. “For the moment, it’s a good start and projects are starting to get under way. My career made an important gain when I got my Stradivarius, as the instrument has generated an enormous amount of attention, especially in Canada. But I want to go even further. I keep working on it.”

This past June, his recital at the Flâneries Musicales de Reims festival with pianist Marie-Ève Scarfone was filmed and broadcast on the medici.tv site, which gave him a lot of visibility. He was also invited to perform at three events at the tenth Wissembourg International Music Festival in Alsace in August.

“I gave a recital with a piano, a recital in a duo with an organist, and another with a string quartet. We did Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major [D. 956, Op. posth. 163, also known as the “Cello Quintet”]. It was one of the last works he composed. For me, it was a dream come true to play this quintet; it’s a work that’s close to my heart,” he says.

Next March, he will give a recital with a piano at the Louvre. Three days later, he will perform at the Museum of Grenoble. For both recitals, he will play Brahms’s Cello Sonata No. 1, Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata, and Hadyn’s Divertimento for Cello in D Major. “These works appear on my second album with Analekta, which will come out in March – the same time as my European recitals,” he adds.

Read on La Scena Musicale