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Renowned cellist to play benefit concert at Royal Vale
Stéphane Tétreault gives back to his community
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 15 novembre 2012

Photo courtesy of Stéphane Tétreault

Stéphane Tétreault with his Stradivarius cello

Stéphane Tétreault has fond memories of his alma mater, Royal Vale High School, even though he didn’t spend much time in class because of his devotion to the cello. Practicing, rehearsals and concerts kept him busy.

That didn’t leave much time for the regular school curriculum. But the Royal Vale administration allowed him to work on his own and make it to class whenever he could. He managed to graduate on time.

“My fellow students were extremely welcoming and understanding,” Tétreault says in an interview. “They could have said ‘who does he think he is to come here once a week?’ but they were extremely accommodating.”

That leeway allowed him to pursue his childhood dream of becoming a professional cellist and touring prestigious musical circuits.

He’s only 19 years old but has already played with l’Orchestre Métropolitain under the acclaimed maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin. He was selected to participate in the coveted Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow and was the youngest member of an international orchestra to perform at Carnegie Hall. In 2007 he won first place in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Standard Life OSM competition.

His instrument is a 1707 Stradivarius cello, among the most valuable in the world, on loan to him from a Montreal arts patron. “I’m always quite thrilled when I open the case and play it like it deserves to be played,” Tétreault says.

That’s what he’ll be using when he takes to the stage in the Royal Vale High School auditorium on Nov. 23 for the ‘Dream a Little Dream With Us’ concert that will benefit The Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. “When Royal Vale called and asked if I would do it, I said yes because of my particular attachment to the school,” Tétreault says. He will not be paid any fees for his performance. The benefit concert also features Montreal’s Opera da Camera singing popular arias from Bizet and Mozart.

Today Tétreault studies music under the guidance of acclaimed conductor-cellist Yuli Turovsky at the Université de Montréal. When he graduates in about a year he wants to pursue his dream of playing the cello around the world.

As for the immediate future, he’s working on getting his driver’s licence, something he didn’t have time for before.

[ Gerri Barrer ]

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