Symphonic Harmonium |  Harmonium always under the stars

Inspirational Dinah Gilbert

Dina Gilbert walked into the Pista cafe where we had a date with her backpack and two suitcases that she pushed in front of her. The driver was about to take the bus to go to Trois-Rivières where she directs until Saturday. symphonic harmonium.

Teacher, certainly, but not a diva for five cents, this woman, I told myself.

He ordered a bowl of yogurt filled with fruit, and as soon as I asked him the first question I discovered his tempo: music specialists would probably say aAllegromolto.

Originally from Beauce, Dina Gilbert grew up in a family of six daughters. Her father was a bus driver and her mother was a high school teacher. “My sisters and I take music lessons. For my father, who came from a farming background, it was as important as school. »

While her sisters easily choose their careers, young Dina swims in a certain vagueness. Without a specific goal, she began studying piano at the Cégep Marie-Victorin. Then she will be a bachelor of music at the University of Montreal.

One of her teachers, Paolo Bellomia, detected a talent for directing in her. “He told me that she had a good ear and that my hands talked a lot. He takes her under her wing and prepares her for the master’s degree, where only one student is admitted each year. She will be the lucky one.

He became a familiar face to music librarians as he constantly borrowed sheet music and records. Later, he continues with his doctorate. “I recruited musicians in the cafeteria to form the orchestra that I had to conduct during my exams. I thanked them with a beer after the concerts. »

After his training, he founded the Ensemble Arkea where he had to take on all the tasks. Then, in 2017, she was appointed director of the Kamloops Symphony and the Orchester symphonique de l’Estuaire (OSE). She later became the regular director of the Grands Ballets Canadiens. Added to this were invitations to other parts of the world.

Dina Gilbert has worked hard to build her reputation. To do this, she accepted several challenges. She has become an expert in “unconventional” projects. That’s how a French producer asked him to direct a hip-hop concept with MC Solaar, IAM, and others.

Dina Gilbert, 37, is part of a new generation of directors. I asked him to name me the models of her. She talked about Lorraine Vaillancourt, Véronique Lacroix, Barbara Hannigan and Marine Alsop.

We addressed the issue of sexism in this environment that was for a long time very masculine. “For me, it was never a problem. However, I know that there are teachers who tell their students that they cannot make that gesture while conducting an orchestra because it does not work well for a woman. Or, I happened to be in a meeting with people who found that I talked a lot. They ended up understanding that I was not the stage manager, but the director. »

But beyond that, he prefers to highlight the chef’s skills before his gender. During our conversation, there was a lot of talk about Zubin Mehta and Kent Nagano, for whom he was an assistant. His eyes sparkle as he evokes these two masters. “You know, when Master Nagano asks for your opinion, he lets you prepare the orchestra before he comes, he gives you a lot of confidence. »

When I saw Dina Gilbert conduct the Trois-Rivières Symphony Orchestra in a symphonic harmonium, on May 24, I was struck by his incredible energy. I had no idea that he had been battling cancer for several months. “I am in two-thirds of the treatments. Five or six days before the premiere, I was wondering if I was going to be able to direct. Eventually, the energy came at the right time,” she says, not wanting to dwell too much on the subject.

Dina Gilbert directs until Saturday symphonic harmonium which is sold out (800 tickets were sold on the lawn for the June 4 performance). We will also find her this summer at the Quebec Opera Festival in Yourcenar, an island of ppassioncomposer Eric Champagne.

And then there will be France and other invitations that have been pending since the start of the pandemic. “I have to say that with everything I’ve been through in the last year, I especially want to enjoy the beautiful things. My priorities have changed. I live more in the moment. »

I came out fully energized. Was it the force of the music? Or of him? I do not know. But I told myself that the musicians who have it in front of them are very lucky.


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