Renée-Paule Gauthier, Violin
When did you begin to play your instrument?
When I was seven. Both my parents were music teachers, so I guess you can say there wasn’t much of a choice!
Do you play any other instruments?
Unfortunately, no. I dream of picking up the viola one day (I truly love that instrument!), and I’m hoping to learn some piano as I help my two kids practice for their piano lessons.
Where did you study your main instrument; with whom?
I studied at the Quebec Conservatoire, the University of Montreal and the Eastman School of Music; I earned my Doctorate degree from Northwestern University. My main teachers were Jean-Francois Rivest, Zvi Zeitlin, Phil Setzer, Gene Drucker and Gerardo Ribeiro.
When did you join ESO?
I joined the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in 2016.
What other orchestras have you played with/do you play with now?
In Canada I played with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Calgary Philharmonic. Now that I’ve settled in Chicago, I frequently appear with the Lyric Opera Orchestra, the Chicago Philharmonic, the Joffrey Ballet Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in addition to being a member of the Elgin Symphony.
What was your most memorable ESO performance?
One of my favorite ESO moments is actually one during which I was not playing! The orchestra played Copland’s “Appalachian Spring” a couple of seasons ago and, because of the reduced number of string players required by the score, I was not onstage for this piece. Instead, I got to sit in the hall and listen to my colleagues play it brilliantly – with such finesse and brio! It was a real treat to hear them, and it’s a great honor to play among them!
What are some of your interests, and how are you passing the time?
As time goes by, I seem to be returning to my roots and combining interests I’ve always had into hobbies. My mother always said that, as a child, I loved to tell stories to whomever wanted to listen. I also dreamed of being a journalist, and I loved to get together with my friends and “geek out” about music. Therefore, it makes complete sense that my biggest hobby of the past two years has involved producing a podcast about classical music -The Mind Over Finger Podcast – during which I sit with classical musicians and discuss mindful music-making. It has been tremendously inspiring for me and I’ve loved every minute of it. Lately, with no performances nor much driving around, I’ve been able to indulge in another love of mine: long walks.