Virtuoso Violinist Takes Home International Competition Prizes


15-year-old violinist Isabella Perron is on a roll. She participated in three international competitions this spring and summer and came away with three prizes.

Most recently Isabella won the 11-14 Years Grand Prize at the Canadian Music Competition held in Vancouver from June 19-July 3. She received top marks of 97 percent and had the opportunity to perform with the Vancouver Metropolitan Symphony in a Gala Concert on July 4.

She just returned to MRU to participate in the Conservatory’s Morningside Music Bridge, where she looks forward to studying with distinguished guest faculty including Noah Bendix-Balgley, Tadeusz Gadzina, Ian Swensen, Gwen Hoebig and Shanshan Yao.

Isabella_Klein_blogIsabella was the youngest semi-finalist in the 30th annual Irving M. Klein International String Competition held in San Francisco from June 4-7.

She won the 2015 Elaine M. Klein Second Prize as well as the prize for Best Performance of a Commissioned Work.

The first competition this year was the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players in Washington DC in March, where she reached the semi-finals. She had just turned 15.

“I love travelling,” she says. “Going to visit all of these cities is great.”

Isabella plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin 1850 with a Apocyphe de Joseph Guarnerius Cremonae 1737 label and a bow from Nicolas Maline, lent by the company Canimex Inc. of Drummondville, Québec, Canada.

She has been playing violin since the age of 2 and played her first concert at 3. “We are all musicians in the family,” she says. “My grandmother started me.”

Isabella has been a student in the Conservatory’s Academy for Gifted Youth for four years, travelling to Calgary from Montreal for lessons once a month for the first three years.

“It’s definitely worth it,” she says. “The teachers here are absolutely amazing. It’s a great program. You get to perform for guest artists from all over the world and take private lessons and master classes. There’s so much more experience on the stage. I have a few teachers that I’d really love to study with in the future.”

Isabella starts high school in the fall and plans to finish in two years so she can continue her undergraduate music studies in the US followed by her master’s in Europe.

From ages 8-12 Isabella had a burgeoning singing career, appearing on a Montreal television program hosted by Quebec pop/jazz artist Gregory Charles. He became her manager and they produced a pop album together. “I love all genres of music, really,” she says. “I want to get more into jazz. A lot of people think you have to do one or the other, pop or classical. I’m interested in everything and I like to show people that you don’t need to do just one thing to be great at it. You can do as many things as you’d like to.”

One of Isabella's biggest fans is her mother Johanne, who teaches in the Early Childhood Strings program.
One of Isabella’s biggest fans is her mother Johanne, who teaches in the Conservatory’s Early Childhood Strings program.

Along with her classical studies, Isabella plans to pursue her singing and songwriting interests with MRU’s new Songwriting course, part of the Conservatory’s new Popular Music offerings.

Isabella has recorded a CD and will do a concert tour starting in August.

Listen to Isabella Perron on SoundCloud.

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