Adjunct Associate Professor of Viola
Violist Pierre Lapointe is an international touring musician. His playing has been described by The Times as “expressive” and by the New York Classical Review as “particularly outstanding.” The New York Times also depicted his tone as “attractively unsettled.” Known in the world of classical music as the violist of the acclaimed Escher String Quartet, Lapointe co-founded the group in 2005 while studying at the Manhattan School of music.
Presently, Lapointe performs regularly on several reputable series such as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Aspen Music Festival and School, Music@Menlo, Wigmore Hall Series, BBC Proms, Classical Concerts at the Louvre Auditorium, Perth International Arts Festival, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Risør Chamber music festival, Tel Aviv Museum, West Cork chamber music festival, and Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival.
In concert, Lapointe has collaborated with many eminent musicians such as Pinchas Zukerman, Paul Neubauer, Lynn Harrell, Roberto Diaz, Leon Fleischer, Joshua Bell, David Finckel, Wu Han, Andres Diaz, Lawrence Dutton, Cho-Liang Lin, Vadim Gluzman, Angela Yoffe and Alessio Bax.
As a recording artist, Lapointe is featured on the Bis label, CMS Studio Recordings, Naxos, Music@Menlo Live, Azica Records and Bridge Records. About his most recent CD, Gramophone wrote, “... there’s something undeniably satisfying about the rhythmic kick that viola player Pierre Lapointe gives to the opening melody of the American Quartet ...”
Lapointe earned a D.M.A. degree from the Manhattan School of Music in 2012 after writing a thesis about the unusual structure of Alexander Zemlinsky’s 2nd string quartet. Almost simultaneously, Lapointe finished a two-year recording project of the complete cycle of quartets written by Zemlinsky for the Naxos label.
Prior to these recognitions, Lapointe played from 2006 to 2013 with the group Sejong Soloists, touring South Korea on multiple occasions. From 2004 to 2006, Lapointe studied viola with Emerson Quartet violist Lawrence Dutton at the Manhattan School of Music and received a prize in 2004 from the lieutenant governor of Quebec for his work at the Gatineau Music Conservatory. In March 2002, Lapointe performed one of his own compositions for the radio show “Jeunes Artistes” of Radio-Canada in Montreal to great acclaim. Lapointe was also awarded a gold medal in 2000 by the University of Ottawa for his undergraduate studies in composition and violin performance.
Born in Hull, Canada, Lapointe started violin lessons at age 5 with Yaela Hertz Berkson and studied violin with Calvin Sieb and composition with Steven Gellman at the University of Ottawa before devoting himself entirely to the viola.
As an educator, Lapointe is often invited by universities and music schools to coach chamber music groups and give master classes to viola students. He has taught at Stony Brook University, Manhattan School of Music Precollege and is presently an adjunct associate professor at SMU Meadows School of the Arts.
Lapointe plays on a modern viola designed and made by French luthier Christophe Landon. He is married to violinist Wu Jie and currently resides in Plano, Texas, with their son Arthur.
Doctor of Musical Arts, Manhattan School of Music, 2012
Master of Music, San Francisco State University, 2003
Master of Music, University of Ottawa, 2002
Bachelor of Music, University of Ottawa, 2000
Undergraduate and graduate viola; chamber ensembles