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J.-Alexandre Gilbert

(Joseph) J.-Alexandre Gilbert. Violinist, teacher, b Quebec City 8 Sep 1867, d there 5 Jan 1950; honorary D MUS (Laval) 1922. Gilbert began his musical studies at the Collège de Lévis and with A.E.

Gilbert, J.-Alexandre

(Joseph) J.-Alexandre Gilbert. Violinist, teacher, b Quebec City 8 Sep 1867, d there 5 Jan 1950; honorary D MUS (Laval) 1922. Gilbert began his musical studies at the Collège de Lévis and with A.E. Courchesne (violin) and continued them 1888-94 at the Liège Conservatory, Belgium, with César Thomson, acquiring, in the words of his pupil J.-Robert Talbot, 'a classical education... strict and solid' (La Musique, August 1919). Returning to Canada in 1894, Gilbert began an active career as a violinist and teacher. One of the early members of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, he served it as concertmaster 1903-34 and was president 1903-6 and 1912-13. For more than 30 years he was the first violin of the Gilbert String Quartet, which he founded in 1911.

Gilbert taught at the Académie commerciale de Québec, the Collège de Lévis, Jésus-Marie de Sillery Convent, the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre-Dame boarding school in Bellevue, and the Séminaire de Québec. He joined the teaching staff of the Laval University Music School when the school opened in 1922. Besides Talbot, his pupils included Edwin Bélanger, Maurice Bernier, and Arthur LeBlanc.

Gilbert served 1918-20 and 1941-4 as president of the Académie de musique de Québec, which made him an honorary member in 1948.

Further Reading

  • Magnan, Odile. 'Joseph-Alexandre Gilbert,' Le Lutrin, vol 2, Oct 1980

    Guay, Bertrand. Un siècle de symphonie à Québec (Sillery, Que 2002)

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