Artistic Direction

Jean MacRae, A.R.C.T., A.V.C.M.

Jean MacRae_2Born in Victoria, British Columbia, Jean studied violin, piano and voice at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. She was a recipient of many awards and scholarships for excellence; frequent winner in the Victoria Music Festival and most notably winner of its Senior Championship; winner of the Madeleine Till Competition; recipient of the highest marks in the final exams of the Victoria and Toronto Conservatories of Music. In 1976 she received a grant from the Canada Council to study violin with the renowned teacher Frederick Grinke in London, England.

Upon returning to Canada in 1978, Jean continued her studies with Sydney Humphreys and became a member of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, where she played for eleven years. She also played in the Faculty Chamber Music Series of the Victoria Conservatory of Music, and performed as soloist with the Victoria Civic Orchestra. After deciding to switch to the viola, Jean studied with Rivka Golani and Kent Teeple in Toronto, where her activities included teaching, performing in chamber music concerts for CBC Arts National broadcasts, and collaborating with young Canadian composers for the world premier performances of their works for viola. Jean was a member of l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec between 1987 and 1991, then performed with l’Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal for 12 years. At the same time, she was member of La Pietà with Angèle Dubeau and was principal viola of the Montreal Chamber Players. She has played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec, l’Orchestre Baroque de Montréal, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, as well as in the Allegra Chamber Music Series.

Jean has built a solid reputation as a pedagogue, teaching violin, viola and chamber music at the Victoria Conservatory of Music between 1978 and 1986, and from 1992 to 2008 at École Secondaire Pierre Laporte in Montréal. She currently teaches violin and viola at CEGEP Vincent D’Indy, as well as directing their chamber orchestra, and has a full class of private students. Jean has also taught at the Victoria Conservatory of Music Summer Camp, Camp Musicale Tutti, Camp Musicale Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean and at Le Camp musical Père Lindsay. Jean devotes herself to the development of programmes for young musicians and shares her passion and enthusiasm for music with young musicians of all levels. Her students have gone on to study in Europe and the United States, some winning national and international competitions, some becoming members of professional orchestras. In 2006, Jean was director of the Youth Programme at the International Viola Congress and she is a Consulting Music Educator for the Norman Burgess Memorial Fund of the Canadian Music Centre.