The Festival in the words of Élise Poulin

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’une de mentorés de l’édition 2023 : Élise Poulin.


Élise Poulin highly active on the Quebec music scene and has been a member of the renowned Pentaèdre wind quintet since 2019. This ensemble has recorded several albums on the ATMA-ClassiqueIn addition to holding the position of Principal Oboe of the Orchestre de l’Agora, Élise plays regularly with various Quebec orchestras as a supernumerary, including the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Violons du Roy, the Orchestre symphonique de Laval and the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne.

Élise is a recipient of grants from the Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM), the Fonds Pierre-Rolland, the Prix Étoiles Stingray, whose mission is to support excellence of up-and-coming Canadian musicians, as well as the Fondation du Père Lindsay,

Élise Poulin

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 started playing music at the age of 4. It was my kindergarten music teacher who spotted my interest in music and suggested I take piano lessons. I pursued my studies at Le Plateau elementary school in Montreal, and my high school, École Joseph-François Perrault, offered an Arts/Study program known for training many musicians! It was at this point that I took up the oboe. I loved the timbre of this somewhat little-known instrument. They let me try it out, and there I was! I entered Lise Beauchamp’s class at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, and then went on to complete my college, undergraduate and master’s degrees.

I left Quebec for a year to perfect my skills in Paris at the CRR de Boulogne-Billancourt with Olivier Doise, Principal Oboist of the Orchestre de Radio-France. Then, I returned to Quebec—permanently—and am currently completing my doctorate in performance at the Université de Montréal under the supervision of musicologist Caroline Traube and oboist Vincent Boilard.

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

What struck me most about these encounters was the musicians’ desire to make music, not to achieve an ideal of perfection, but to move and touch the audience. The values of sharing, exchange and great humanity that emerged from these encounters truly inspired me.  


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

I was completely enthralled by the concert Everything Bach of Angela Hewitt. Her musicality, immense control, simplicity and great humility moved me deeply.

Angela Hewitt

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

I highly recommend the mentorship program à tous les interprètes qui désirent avoir une réflexion sur sa carrière et qui souhaite réaliser des projets précis. Ce programme est l’occasion de prendre le temps pour réfléchir sur les prochaines étapes de sa carrière. C’est aussi l’endroit idéal pour faire des rencontres (avec les autres participants ainsi qu’avec les différents musiciens qui viennent se produire au festival) afin d’échanger, discuter de musique, de carrière, et de tous les aspects qui entourent la vie de musicien. Le support et la générosité du Festival (entre autres de Xavier, Renaud et Jannick) sont inestimables dans le parcours d’un musicien.



    • Élise aura le poste de hautbois solo pour deux concerts avec l’Orchestre de l’Agora. Ils feront un concert de création en partenariat avec le Vivier et joueront des Cantates de Bach dans le cadre du Festival Bach ; 
    • In December, she will perform with Les Violons du Roy : l’Oratorio de Noël de Bach ; 
    • In January, the Pentaèdre wind quintet will perform Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante with Les Violons du Roy;
    • In 2024, Élise will take part in several concerts with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières ainsi qu’I Musici.


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.

Crédits-photos : Martin Girard & Richard Termine