Gabrielle Després, violin

Gabrielle Després

Praised for her musical integrity and artistry, Canadian violinist Gabrielle Després has garnered numerous awards, including First Prizes in the Irving M. Klein International String Competition and the Juilliard Concerto Competition. She also earned top prizes in the Michael Hill, Elmar Oliveira and Washington International Violin Competitions, as well as awards at the Schiermonnikoog Festival and Verbier Festival Academy. In 2020, she was included in CBC’s list of “30 Canadian Classical Musicians under 30.”

As a soloist, she has performed with the Juilliard Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Edmonton, the Lynn Philharmonia, the Peninsula Symphony, and Kollective366. She has been presented in recitals by the St. Albert Chamber Music Society, Gualala Chamber Music, the Kelowna Chamber Music Society, the Schiermonnikoog Festival, the Peninsula Symphony’s AllStars@Home series, and the University of Alberta’s Virtual Prism series. She also served as Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra for two years, during the 2021 and 2022 seasons, including a performance of Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben under the baton of Sir Antonio Pappano.

An avid chamber musician, she recently performed at Music in the Vineyards, Schiermonnikoog Festival, and the Edmonton Summer Solstice Music Festival as well as with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and If Music Be the Food NYC. Passionate about expanding the reach of music, Gabrielle spent 2021-2022 performing as a Gluck Community Engagement Fellow, working to create interactive programs that merge music and theatre to share across various hospitals and nursing homes throughout New York City. In 2024, as a member of the Edith String Quartet, she worked with Project: Music Heals Us in their “Music for the Future” program, performing and teaching during residencies at the Jericho Project and the Sonoma County Detention Centre.

Gabrielle received a Bachelor of Music at the Juilliard School where she studied with Masao Kawasaki and Joseph Lin. She is currently pursuing her Master of Music at Juilliard as a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship, studying with Catherine Cho and Donald Weilerstein. Additionally, she studied the baroque violin under the direction of Robert Mealy.

She is very grateful to her former teachers, Robert Uchida and James Keene, for their guidance during her earlier years of study. Gabrielle has won major awards from the province of Alberta, Canada, including the Queen’s Jubilee Award, the Anne Burrows Music Foundation Award, the Ranald and Vera Shean Memorial Scholarship, and the Winspear Fund Scholarship, which have helped support her studies.

Gabrielle has spent her summers studying at the Orford Summer Music Academy, Morningside Music Bridge, the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival, the Domaine Forget de Charlevoix International Music Academy, the Aspen Music Festival as a New Horizons Fellow, Kneisel Hall, and the Verbier Festival Academy.

Gabrielle currently plays on a violin of Zosimo Bergonzi and a bow of Étienne Pajeot, graciously provided to her by CANIMEX INC., from Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. She gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the Sylva Gelber Music Foundation in supporting her education and career development.