As a solo and orchestra bassoonist Mathieu Lussier has been a tireless and passionate advocate of modern and baroque bassoon for more than two decades, performing all over North America, South America and Europe. He’s a natural communicator known for his sense of humor and way with words. His recordings of close to a dozen bassoon concertos cover those of Mozart, Vivaldi, Fasch, Graupner, Telemann, and Corrette, and he’s also released a recording of bassoon sonatas by Boismortier, three of solo bassoon works by Devienne, and two more of wind music by Gossec and Méhul. He’s an active chamber musician and member of Montreal’s Pentaèdre wind quintet, which made him its artistic director in 2017, and has been a professor at Université de Montréal since summer 2004. He served as president of the Quebec Music Council from 2012 to 2015 and of CAMMAC from 2015 to 2017.
On the podium, Mathieu was associate conductor of the Les Violons du Roy from 2012 to 2018, leading the orchestra in over 100 concerts in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and the U.S. and partnering with solo artists like Marc-André Hamelin, Alexandre Tharaud, Jeremy Denk, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Philippe Jaroussky, Julia Lezhneva, Anthony Marwood, and Karina Gauvin. He’s and expert on Baroque and Classical repertoire and is known equally for his work exploring the neglected masterworks of 19th-century France. His first recording at the helm of Les Violons du Roy, released in September 2014, featured Rameau and Gougeon and was followed in March 2016 by a recording of Vivaldi concertos, then in March 2017 by a recording of Mozart’s concertos for horn and his bassoon concerto. He received the Canada Council’s Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestra Conducting in 2014.
Mathieu has conducted numerous other Canadian ensembles, including the Arion Baroque Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières, the Edmonton Symphony, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, I Musici de Montréal, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville, and Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke. He was the artistic director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival from 2008 to 2014.
As a composer, Mathieu’s compositions include more than 50 works that figure regularly on concert programs in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In August 2009, his Bassango for bassoon and strings took home 3rd prize in the “Contemporary Classical Song” category at the Just Plain Folks Music Awards in Nashville, Tennessee. Artists such as Nadina Mackie Jackson, Guy Few, Lise Beauchamp, and George Zukerman have commissioned works from him, as have such ensembles as the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, the Oshawa-Durham Symphony Orchestra, Tafelmusik, and Les Idées Heureuses. Recently he wrote some of the music for Oscar-winning director Denys Arcand’s 2018 film The Fall of the American Empire. His music has been featured in numerous recordings and broadcast all over the world. It is published by TrevCo-Varner in the U.S., Accolade in Germany, June Emerson in the U.K., and Gérard Billaudot in France.