Stephen Fentok

Stephen Fentok. Guitarist, teacher (born 6 November 1930 in Montréal, QC; died 25 February 2016 in Montréal, QC). Of Ukrainian origin, he began studying electric guitar at 14 at the Montreal YMCA. He eventually joined an amateur group where he developed an interest for jazz improvisation, a discipline he studied with Jimmy D'Abate in 1946.

Fentok, Stephen

Stephen Fentok, guitarist, teacher (born 6 November 1930 in Montréal, QC; died 25 February 2016 in Montréal, QC). Of Ukrainian origin, he began studying electric guitar at 14 at the Montréal YMCA. He eventually joined an amateur group where he developed an interest for jazz improvisation, a discipline he studied with Jimmy D'Abate in 1946. He discovered classical guitar through his harmony teacher, Frank Mella. From 1952 to 1955, he travelled to New York regularly to study this instrument with Alexander Bellow. He became thereafter one of the first Canadians to pursue a professional career as a classical guitarist. Beginning in 1950, he took part in numerous radio and television broadcasts for the CBC, with Félix Leclerc in particular. After meeting Ida Presti and Alexandre Lagoya in 1959, he studied with the couple at the Académie internationale d'été in Nice during two consecutive summers. In 1963, a scholarship from the Canada Council enabled him to study at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena with Alirio Diaz and Emilio Pujol. Back in Montréal, he performed in many recitals and chamber music concerts, appearing in the USA, in Toronto and in Québec. He wrote arrangements for the Olympic Pavilion at Expo 67. He taught at the École Vincent d'Indy (1964-65), McGill University (1967-86), and at the CMM (1972-82), and he was an adjudicator for the RCMT (1967-69). Michel Cardin, Robert Lemieux and Peter McCutcheon were among his students. Early in his career, Jean-Pierre Ferland also studied with him. Fentok accompanied Jacques Labrecque on an LP of French-Canadian folk songs (RCI 162).