Biography

Jean-Eric Soucy is principal violist with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Stuttgart (SWR Symphonie Orchester Stuttgart) and has a well established reputation in Europe and North America as a soloist and chamber musician. He tours the world and makes recordings for Sony Classical, Hänssler, Arte Nova, Antes and EMI. He has completed solo recordings of Berlioz, Bach, Stamitz, Mozart, Benda, Vaughan Williams, Hummel and Bartok with the SWR, the Radio Canada Chamber Orchestra, l’Orchestre Royal de chambre de Wallonie, l’orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Melbourne Musicians and Les Violons du Roy. He has been heard on the principal european and north american radio stations.

A native of Québec, Jean-Eric Soucy earned his “Premier Prix” in viola and chamber music at Le Conservatoire de Musique du Québec. He then moved to Vienna to study with Hatto Beyerle at the Hochschule für Musik with a prestigious scholarship from the Austrian government. Soon after, he won a top prize at the Lionel Tertis Viola Competition in England. Jean-Eric was a semi-finalist at the Maurice Vieux Competition and at the Naumburg Competition where he earned special praise from the American critic Jacqueline Jones, of The String Magazine:”…one of the favourites because of his sweeping phrases and rather dusky, plaintive sound…”.

Before joining the SWR, Mr. Soucy was assistant principal violist with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and principal with L’Orchestre Mondial des Jeunesses Musicales, the Canadian Chamber Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony and Les Violons Du Roy that he co-founded with Bernard Labadie. He served as guest principal violist in over 30 different orchestras: the Bamberg Philharmonic, NDR Hanover, Gewandhaus Leipzig, HR Frankfurt, Basel Symphony and the opera orchestra in Zürich to name few.

Jean-Eric is a passionate and dedicated teacher. He has taught in summer academies in Bruges, Belgium, at Le Domaine Forget in Québec, in Feldkirch, Austria, at the SOAP in British Columbia and has held teaching positions at Le Conservatoire du Québec (1987-1991) and at the University of Karlsruhe (1997-2003). He has organized many international viola symposiums in Québec and in Austria. He has also given master classes in Canada, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Brazil and Australia.

Soucy founded and directed (1989 to 2003) one of the foremost chamber music festivals in Canada. Le Rendez-Vous Musical de Laterrière was a meeting point for musicians from Europe and America. The festival provided an opportunity to rediscover music from sometimes forgotten composers as well as to indulge in the great chamber music literature.

Jean-Eric’s extensive repertoire includes more recent works, which he performs internationally: he gave the world premiere of Braxton Blake’s Moto Perpetuo for Viola and percussions, rediscovered and edited the three Benda’s viola concertos which he premiered in Canada and Germany. A dedicated chamber musician, Jean-Eric Soucy regularly takes part in chamber music festivals throughout Europe, America and Australia. He is also a founding member of the Inukshuk String Trio with fellow Canadians Phillip Roy and Bridget MacRae with whom he has performed for the German, Swiss and Canadian national broadcasters. Among his chamber music partners we can find Marc Grauwels, Jean-Claude Gérard, Alain Marion, Julien Beaudiment, Kersten MacCall (flute), Martin Ostertag, Christian Poltera, Ralph Kirschbaum, (violoncello), Yves Storm (guitar), Christian Vanderborght, Wolfgang Gütler (doublebass), André Laplante, Anton Kuerti, Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt (piano), Ingo Goritzki, Perry Bauman (oboe), Nicolas Chumachenko, Rainer Kußmaul, Olivier Charlier, Kai Vogler (violin), Isabelle Moretti (harpe), Wolfgang Meyer, Peter Handsworth, Michael Riessler, Kalman Berkes (clarinet), etc. To critical acclaim he recently toured Australia with his wife and duo partner, the pianist Sonia Simard.

M. Soucy currently resides in Freiburg in south-west Germany with his wife, pianist Sonia Simard. He plays an instrument made by the master violin maker Stefan Hodapp (Offenburg 2009).