Stéphane Lemelin | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Stéphane Lemelin

Stéphane Lemelin has since distinguished himself with a broad range of talents, earning recognition as a performer, university professor, and artistic director.
Lemelin, Stéphane
Pianist Stéphane Lemelin

Lemelin, Stéphane

Stéphane (Michel) Lemelin. Pianist, teacher, artistic director, b Mont-Joli, Que, 2 Apr 1960; B MUS, M MUS (Peabody Conservatory) 1983, DMA (Yale) 1990, hon LCCM (Conservatory Canada) 2005. Lemelin studied with Yvonne Hubert in Montreal, and later with Karl-Ulrich Schnabel 1978-9 in New York, Leon Fleisher 1979-83 at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, and Paul Badura-Skoda at the University of Music and Dramatic Arts in Vienna. Lemelin obtained his doctorate at Yale University under Boris Berman and Claude Frank. Early on Lemelin achieved recognition with numerous competition awards, winning top honours in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition (1973); second place in the Chopin Youth Pianist Competition in Buffalo (1976); first place in the Canadian Music Competition (International Stepping Stone) (1977); second prize at the CBC National Competition (1979); and winning the Kingsport Symphony Competition in Tennessee (1982). He is also a laureate of the Casadesus International Competition in Cleveland (1983). Lemelin toured with Jeunesses Musicales 1980-1.

Stéphane Lemelin has since distinguished himself with a broad range of talents, earning recognition as a performer, university professor, and artistic director. He has won acclaim from national and international audiences for his performances with chamber music ensembles, as a soloist with orchestras, and as a recitalist.

Performer and Artistic Director

Lemelin is praised for his precision and sensitivity in communicating the beauty and emotional message of music to his audiences, using "poetic concentration." His repertoire covers a wide range of composers, most notably Ravel, Schubert, Schumann, and Fauré. He takes a special interest in early 20th-century French composers such as Gustave Samazeuilh and Guy Ropartz.

Lemelin has played with the major orchestras of Canada, including the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit. He has also worked with conductors James De Preist and Franz-Paul Decker and has appeared in recital at London's Wigmore, the Phillips Collection in Washington, the Ladies' Morning Musical Club in Montreal, and the Vancouver Recital Society.

Lemelin regularly performs in summer music festivals, eg, the Lanaudière International Festival; Parry Sound; Domaine Forget; and Ottawa and Vancouver chamber music festivals. He is artistic director of the Prince Edward County Music Festival. Although predominantly a concert pianist, Lemelin is active in chamber music, having been a member of Trio Hochelaga since 2003. In addition, he has performed with the St Lawrence and Muir string quartets as well as the Vlach and Arthur-Leblanc quartets.


Lemelin taught at the University of Alberta 1990-2001, and became professor of music at the University of Ottawa in 2001. He has also taught at Yale University (1986-90). He served as a visiting professor at the Université de Montréal and was named an honorary patron of the Ontario Registered Music Teachers' Association.

Stéphane Lemelin's recordings include solo works as well as performances with first-class artists such as soprano Donna Brown, violinist Jacques Israeliévitch, clarinetist James Campbell, and cellist Tanya Prochazka. His interest in recognizing neglected French composers of the early 20th century has led him to record works by Samazeuilh, Ropartz, Pierné, Dubois, Migot, and Vierne for the Atma Classique label. In 1999 he was nominated for a Juno award for his recording of works by piano and orchestra by Saint-Saëns, Fauré, and Roussel with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra under Mario Bernardi.

Lemelin's performances and recordings have been broadcast over CBC French and English radio networks and internationally on US National Public Radio and several European radio networks.

In addition to early competition prizes, Lemelin has won grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Council, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Austrian government.

Further Reading