Hubert, Yvonne

Yvonne Hubert. Pianist, teacher, b Mouscron, Belgium, 28 May 1895, d Montreal 8 Jun 1988; premier prix piano (Lille Cons) 1906, premier prix piano (Paris Cons) 1911, honorary LLD (Concordia) 1981. She first took lessons at the Lille Cons. After her exceptional gifts were noticed by Alfred Cortot, Gabriel Fauré, and André Gédalge, she enrolled at the Paris Cons in 1906 and studied piano with Marguerite Long and in 1908 with Cortot. She also studied theory with Maurice Emmanuel and chamber music with Camille Chevillard. Under the guidance of Fauré, who entrusted her with the performance of several of his works, she undertook a career in France, Belgium, Canada, and the USA as soloist, chamber player, and accompanist to her brother Marcel, the cellist.

She settled in Montreal in 1926 and founded the Alfred-Cortot Piano School in 1929 to promulgate the French tradition generally, as well as Cortot's method in particular. She taught 1945-70 at the CMM, where her students included Suzanne Blondin, Michel Dussault, Serge Garant, Gilles Manny, William Stevens, and Ronald Turini. She also worked 1952-79 at the École Vincent-d'Indy and other institutions; several of the pianists she trained won national and international competitions: Henri Brassard, Réjean Coallier, Marc Durand, Janina Fialkowska, Marc-André Hamelin, Claude Labelle (b 12 May 1960, d 27 Mar 2002), André Laplante, Louis Lortie, William Tritt, and others. Considered one of the most distinguished educators in Canada, Hubert has exerted a decisive influence on several generations of pianists. Her strong personality, her drive and the exceptional quality of her teaching have profoundly influenced her numerous students, many of whom perpetuate her teaching, her style, and her ideas in all areas of music. She was awarded the Canadian Music Council Medal and a Diplôme d'honneur by the CCA in 1979, and also received the 1987 Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée. The PDA honoured her in 1989 by naming its large rehearsal hall after her.