The Festival in the words of Dmitri Zrajevski

Taking advantage of its position as an international hub for classical music in Canada, since 2022 the Festival de Lanaudière has offered a mentoring program that enables six young Canadian classical musicians to create privileged professional links with international musicians and cultural partners. Découvrez-en plus sur l’expérience de l’un de mentorés de l’édition 2023 : Dmitri Zrajevski


Titulaire d’une maîtrise en direction d’orchestre du Conservatoire de musique de Québec et d’un baccalauréat en écriture musicale de l’Université de Montréal, Dmitri Zrajevski est professeur d’orchestre, de direction et d’harmonie au Conservatoire de musique de Québec.

Depuis quelques années, il collabore avec l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, les Grands Ballets Canadiens et le Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Dmitri s’est perfectionné au Canada, aux États-Unis et en Europe, notamment auprès des chefs Bramwell Tovey, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Daniel Raiskin et Yoav Talmi.


Dmitri Zrajevski

Tell us a bit about your musical background, about how you got started, up to the present day. We are interested to know what led you to music and to your instrument.

I got a bit of an unusual start for a conductor: I began as a teenager on guitar, playing rock and metal, before going on to study jazz (guitar, composition, and arrangement). Meanwhile, I had begun to play piano and sing in choirs, and I quickly became enamoured with classical music and music for large ensembles. My listening habits always gravitated towards symphonic music, and it was always Romantic and modern Russian composers (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich) who excited me the most.

While continuing my music-writing studies, I began apprenticing as a conductor and I founded a choir, and all this enabled me to gain experience before pursuing a master’s in orchestral conducting. After my master’s, I had several opportunities with the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, which helped me to launch my career.


This summer’s program enabled you to meet with international actors within the cultural sector. What was your takeaway from these encounters? 

The program facilitated some twenty encounters with various mentors: artists, agents, administrators, who were all beyond generous with their time and their expertise. Several discussions emphasized the importance of trusting and remaining true to ourselves, while knowing how to communicate that to others. Other conversations gave us tools for being more proactive and for cultivating connections. Also, the more spontaneous exchanges we got to have, between the Festival team and mentees, were invaluable.


Tell us about a highlight and/or about a concert that stood out for you during your week with the Festival de Lanaudière.

Concert de la Cappella Mediterranea

Two concerts truly stood out for me: the Cappella Mediterranea and Leonardo García Alarcón in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, where I was very moved by the freshness and vitality of the interpretation; and the Orchestre Métropolitain and Yannick Nézet-Séguin in Schumann’s Konzertstück and Strauss’ Eine Alpensinfonie, by Strauss, in collaboration with the International Horn Symposium - the synergy and love that could be observed between conductor and musicians, the power and magnificence of the horns... all these elements contributed to a remarkable evening.


Why would you recommend it to young performers to take part in a mentorship program such as the Festival de Lanaudière’s?

This program lets us step back a little, it allows us to take the time to contemplate our artistic life, our priorities, and our vision. We are led to reflect on the next steps in our career, and on concrete actions we can take to develop that career. The context very much fosters an exchange of ideas among colleagues, and daily talks were a forum for us to hear many points of view, and to broaden our networks.



The Festival de Lanaudière’s mentorship project is made possible thanks to generous support from the Fondation Père-Lindsay and the Jacques Martin Fund.

The mentees stayed at l’Appartement – coliving of Libre Entrepreneur.

Photo credits : Tam Photography & Agence BigJaw