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Montreal's Jacques Marquis new Cliburn head

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(Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram photo)
(Paul Moseley/Fort Worth Star-Telegram photo)

Jacques Marquis, who headed the revival of the Montreal International Musical Competition a decade ago, was today named the new president and CEO of the Van Cliburn Foundation, which runs prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Tex.

Marquis had joined the organization last fall as interim executive director. He will now be responsible for all of the Cliburn’s activities, including an amateur piano competition, a local concert series and musical outreach programmes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The 14th Van Cliburn Competition runs May 24 to June 9 this year. Its 30 competitors were announced recently — there are no Canadians in the running this time.

Marquis was a formidable presence in Montreal before leaving for Texas last fall. He was artistic administrator and later the general director of the Orchestre Métropolitain before joining Jeunesses Musicales Canada in 2002 as both its administrative and artistic head. He had trained as a pianist at the Université de Montreal before becoming an arts administrator.

It was in this capacity that he brought the Montreal International voice, piano and violin competitions back to life, overseeing 11 of them, which rotate every year.

Marquis was also instrumental in raising the profile of Jeunesses Musicales Canada in Quebec, and more recently in English Canada. He was behind the establishment of the Jeunesses Musicales Ontario office in Toronto, which continues to develop ways of connecting young professional performers with communities outside the big cities.

Marquis and I chatted last fall, and he expected to be in Texas only on an interim basis. But he is a man bursting with ideas and energy, pre-empting what the Cliburn’s board had expected would be a long international search.

Jeunesses Musicales Canada, which is turning 60 this year, had already replaced Marquis with the promotion of Danièle LeBlanc to the position of executive and artistic director a few months ago. This year’s Montreal competition features the violin and runs May 6 to 17.

You can find out more about the Cliburn here.

John Terauds

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