by Louis-Philippe Marsolais
I first attended the Domaine Forget Academy when I was 18 years old. It seems like so long ago! It’s a magical site, with the Charlevoix mountains on one side and the St. Lawrence River on the other, where I evolved as a musician, performer and human being. In the following years at Domaine Forget, I experienced some of the most beautiful musical moments of my youth: I met Hermann Baumann, John Zirbel, Vincent Cichowicz, and Roger Bobo, worked with Guy Carmichael and Eugene Rittich, and played chamber music with Lance Nagels and Geoff Thompson. I also bonded with young, talented, and passionate musicians who would later become my colleagues, including Julie-Anne Drolet and Gabe Radford.
For many young (and not so young) musicians, Domaine Forget is more than just a place where you take lessons. Its location—away from major city centers (with intermittent internet), where the river transforms day after day from a reflection of golden lights to a dense fog—connects us with the force of nature and its beauty. The culinary experience at the cafeteria is indescribable (!) and allows us the chance to initiate newcomers to the famous Chez Ginette poutine (poutine is a very popular dish in Quebec made of French fries, cheese curds, and gravy). Evenings spent around the bonfire or in the “party barn” are perfect for socializing with musicians from around the world while, in the background, a low brass quartet is playing the last movement of Bruckner 8 late into the night. Whether or not you stay awake to watch the sunrise, you always manage to have a productive next day full of masterclasses, lessons, chamber music rehearsals, symphony readings, concerts, and other workshops. And at the end of the session, you certainly need a few weeks to fully assimilate all the new things you’ve learned.
I have been teaching at Domaine Forget since 2013 alongside Guy Carmichael, who has seen me grow in this incredible environment. In the last few years, we have had the pleasure to work with many great masters such as Radovan Vlatković, Frøydis Ree Wekre, Bill VerMeulen, Gail Williams, Ab Koster, Denise Tryon, and Frank Lloyd. This year, we are very exited to welcome Bruno Schneider, who was my teacher during my time in Freiburg. I am sure a few good stories will come up! I am really looking forward to meeting this year’s horn studio.
This year’s brass session at the Domaine Forget Academy is from June 10 to 17, 2018, in St-Irénée, located in the Charlevoix region of Québec (1.5 hours from Québec City). You can find all the information here: https://www.domaineforget.com/en/academy/session-brass-horn/
Please note that the session is usually two weeks long at the beginning of June. The G7 summit in the area forced us to shorten this year’s edition.
I look forward to seeing you there sometime!
Tanslation by Marie-Michèle Bertrand