Olivier Fortin

Canadian harpsichordist, organist and music director (born in 1973 in Quebec)

Olivier Fortin bridges two cultures. Trained both in Quebec and in Europe, he was able to bring faithfulness to the text and a certain theatrical vision in his approach to music.

Olivier Fortin started playing the harpsichord at age 8. Two years later, he joined the Québec Conservatory, under Anatole Gagnon, and graduated with distinction in 1995. He furthered his training with André Laberge and obtained his Master's Degree from University of Montreal under the direction of Professor Réjean Poirier. He then moved to Europe and worked with Pierre Hantaï in Paris as well as with Bob van Asperen in Amsterdam. In 1997, he reached the finals at the Montreal Bach Competition. With Karoline Leblanc, he was then awarded Second Contest Prize in Organ Duet Music at Bruges' Ancient Music Festival. In 1998, he founded and became director of the music ensemble Masques, composed of six musicians specialised in the 17th and 18th-century repertoire. Quickly receiving attention, the ensemble was awarded the Grand Prize in the Early Music America Competition, and later recorded and was broadcasted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Fortin has been performing throughout the world, not only with Masques but also with ensembles such as Capriccio Stravagante, Tafelmusik, Chanticleer, Les Violons du Roy, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin as well as with soloists like Skip Sempé and Pierre Hantaï. He has performed in many festivals: La Roque-d’Anthéron, Aldeburgh, La Folle Journée in Nantes, but also at the Cité de la Musique and the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles. Since 2004, he has been teaching harpsichord and chamber music at the Conservatoire de Musique de Québec. His discography already includes almost 20 recordings produced and released with specialised labels.

6 key recordings by Olivier Fortin:

Bach et Vivaldi, Concerti & preludia, with Skip Sempé, Astrée, 1998

Jean-Marie Leclair, Récréation en musique, with the ensemble Opera Quarta, ORF, 2007

Une odyssée baroque, with Masques, Analekta, 2008

Johann Heinrich Schmelzer : Sacro-profanus et sonates, with Masques, Zig-zag Territoires, 2013

Bach, two harpsichords, with Skip Sempé, Paradizo, 2015

Romanus Weichlein, with Masques, Alpha, 2015

Biography from Radio France’s document database, October 2015