How to: Mix research into performance – curious arts

Guillaume Tardif. Photo by Pederson, Avenue Magazine. Supplied by the artist.

Industry Advice from Guillaume Tardif

Guillaume Tardif. Photo by Pederson, Avenue Magazine. Supplied from Tardif.

Guillaume Tardif. Photo by Pederson, Avenue Magazine. Supplied from Tardif.

Guillaume Tardif aims to bring more music he loves to more people’s ears.

The mandate of performing music that might not regularly be played, for people that might not normally hear it, is particularly close to Guillaume Tardif’s heart. It was the raison d’etre behind the formation of the Enterprise Quartet in 2008, the string ensemble Tardif leads with members of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and the University of Alberta Department of Music.

Tardif also shares his passion for playing the violin off the beaten path with his students through his teaching at the University of Alberta and with Edmonton audiences through his programming choices for the University of Alberta’s mainstage in Convocation Hall.

Q: How do you successfully mix your academic research into performances?

The university allows artistic freedom and expects us to advance academic research in return. Mixing research with performance is an exciting and time-consuming part of what I do.

I take the opportunity of programming public performances as a chance to mix in my research discoveries. I look for ways to perform pieces that are perhaps lesser known or less adopted by the vast majority of violinists, pieces you don’t often have the opportunity to hear performed.

I also do like to indulge in the master works. But for the most part, I want to create concert programs that show a research interest in history, that bring to life violin and string literature, and illustrate connections in the music that might not be obvious at first.

For instance, I might tie a program together by exploring the relationships between different composers or transcribers, as I did with the programming for Violinissimo, a concert I’m preparing to perform on Saturday, October 4 with Roger Admiral on piano.

In the past few years, for string concerts programmed in Convocation Hall, we have considered the careers and contributions of artists such as Kreutzer, Massart, Szigeti, Heifetz, Kreisler, Sarasate, Auer, Alard, Artôt, de Bériot, Paganini, Brodsky, Thomson, Wieniawski, Kochanski, d’Aranyi, Enescu, Krasner, Auer and others.

For more information about Violinissimo, see


Previous articleShow preview: ViolinissimoNext article3 questions for 3 artists in Prism