Hailed as a “formidable talent” from Canada to Southwest Florida, conductor Paul André Boivin has earned respect and accolades from critics and contemporaries alike for his precision, sensitivity, versatility, and breadth of expertise, particularly in conducting for opera and ballet, and nurturing the challenging territory of contemporary classical music.
Boivin demonstrated an interest in conducting from early childhood, and began his professional conducting career immediately after graduation from high school at the age of 17. While a student of music at McGill University, Boivin worked with the McGill Symphony Orchestra as assistant to conductor Uri Mayer, and continued his conducting education at the Montreal Conservatory (CMM). Boivin was a two-time recipient of scholarships from the Canadian Arts Council. These provided the catalyst for Boivin to pursue double doctoral degrees in instrumental and choral conducting at Indiana University, where he kindled a proficiency in conducting and premiering contemporary music while directing the New Music Ensemble.
Boivin continued post-doctoral work in teaching and conducting at the Aspen School of Music’s summer sessions; the International Bartók Festival in Budapest; and the Chigiana Academy in Siena. Boivin made a critical breakthrough in 1987, leading the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra in a concert for its “contemporary series” after which reviewer Claude Gingras described Boivin as possessing “all the qualities of a real leader” and an “energetic, broad and meaningful” style. CBC/Radio-Canada went on to acclaim Boivin as “Revelation of the Year” in 1988.
Boivin became a sought-after conductor in Canada and New York, holding musical directorships with the Ballet de Montréal, the Plattsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Hull Chamber Orchestra and the Laval Symphony Orchestra. Boivin has also developed an extensive list of guest conductorships, including seasons with the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His guest conducting career has taken him from Canada to Florida, where he conducted seasons with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and the Florida West Coast Symphony.
After a permanent move to Sarasota, Florida’s “arts and culture capital” on the Gulf Coast, Boivin’s focus shifted to independent creative projects. His musical background connected him to the family of Igor Stravinsky, befriending Stravinsky’s son, Soulima, and Soulima’s wife, Françoise; in 1996, Boivin was commissioned to restore and record the score of Soulima’s apocryphal ballet, The Mute Wife. At the same time, Boivin kept a finger on the pulse of new music technologies. His research led him to become an early adopter of musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) technology, and he built his own MIDI studio for the exploration of compositional techniques on the cutting edge.
Above and beyond his professional conducting career, Boivin has nurtured more-than-amateur interests in history, psychology and technology. When he is not on the podium, Boivin manages and works as a senior web engineer for Blink;Tech, a web development and Internet marketing firm that Boivin founded in 2005. This year Boivin launched the Joseph Campbell Foundation Mythological RoundTable of Sarasota, a community organization that seeks to promote the works and philosophy of the celebrated comparative mythologist and literary scholar.
During the 2015 season, Boivin conducted concerts with members of the Montreal symphony, I Musici and the Sarasota orchestra. He was also invited to conduct the entire inaugural season at the prestegious Trilliarts festival in Southern Ontario, where he won critical acclaim for his interpretation of symphonic works, including Nimrod by Elgar, and for his command of all styles of music.
This season will take the maestro back to Canada and the United States as well as the Trilliarts Festival , where he will occupy the position of musical director for the 2016 edition.