Pierre Simard Artistic Director

Pierre SimardVera Gould, President of the Vancouver Island Symphony has announced the appointment of Pierre Simard to the position of Artistic Director for the 2008-2009 season. Currently in its 13th season, the Vancouver Island Symphony is a professional orchestra that presents a season of seven concerts in Nanaimo at The Port Theatre and in Campbell River at the Tidemark Theatre. Said Gould, “It is a very exciting time for our Symphony; this is the first time the VI Symphony has undertaken an Artistic Director search. It has been a very rewarding experience for our musicians and our audience members. We are thrilled to have Pierre leading our orchestra into the next era.”

Pierre Simard is currently Resident Conductor with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. His career leads him throughout Europe, the USA, the Mauritius and Reunion islands, and Canada. He appears as guest conductor with major North American ensembles, including orchestras in Milwaukee, Tucson, Toronto, Ottawa (NAC), Hamilton, Victoria, Quebec's Les Violons du Roy, and Montreal's Orchestre Metropolitain. All the while fiery and elegant, he shares his passion for music with a contagious enthusiasm. His warm and generous personality, exceptional charisma, and deep knowledge of the orchestral repertoire have granted him repeated praise from critics and audiences alike.

Pierre Simard was awarded the Canada Council for the Arts 2007 Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in conducting. He received two Opus Prizes from the Quebec Music Council while music director with SMCQ-Jeunesse, and grants from the Quebec Arts Council, Montreal's Mayor Foundation and Ville de Laval.

A passionate defender of new music as well as mainstream symphonic repertoire, Pierre Simard dedicates himself to reinventing the concert form, combining his fresh ideas, fantasy, and humour with music. His outstanding creativity and engagement with youth audiences inspire him to write and perform original symphonic shows which are featured across Canada.

Holder of a Master's Degree in Conducting from the Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins University) and five Conservatory Prizes from the Conservatoire de musique de Montreal, Pierre Simard studied with Raffi Armenian, Frederik Prausnitz and JoAnn Falletta.

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