Gilles Lefèvre

Gilles Lefèvre. Violinist, born at Niort, France 8 May 1959 of Canadian parents; Première Prix (Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique (CNSM), Paris) 1982.

Lefèvre came from a musical family: his father played the clarinet and his three brothers Alain (piano), Philippe (piano), and David (violin) all became accomplished professional musicians.


He began violin lessons in with Calvin Sieb in 1968 at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal after his parents had returned to Canada. He won first prize in the 1974 MSO Concours (ex-aequo with Chantal Juillet), and was a prize-winner at an international competition for youth in Prague 1975.

He pursued studies in the USA at The Juilliard School with Ivan Galamian, and in Paris at the CNSM (1976-82) earning two premier prix: one in violin in the class of the eminent violinist Christian Ferras, and one in chamber music in the class of Geneviève Joly. Lefèvre had met Ferras at the Académie Internationale de Nice summer programme when he was eighteen, and was so devastated at his teacher and mentor's sudden death 1982 that he reoriented his career goals.

Lefèvre was a performer at the memorial tribute concert to Ferras on 4 Oct 1982 at the Théâtre de Châtelet (Paris) where he played the Bach Chaconne, and with his brother Alain the Ravel Tsigane and Sarasate's Romanza Andalusia.

Performer and Teacher

Lefèvre has pursued a career as a performer, chamber musician and teacher principally in France and Europe, and he has appeared in Canada.

He has performed as soloist with symphony orchestras in Montréal, Tours, Nice and others. He was the concertmaster 1983-86 of chamber orchestras in Normandy and Paris and for the Grand Orchestre Paul Mauriat (Korean tribute 2009). As a chamber musician, he founded the Ars Nova Trio, and has played with Voix Etouffées , the esteemed French chamber orchestra dedicated to commemorating the works of composers who perished in the Holocaust. Lefèvre has held the position of concertmaster of the Ensemble International de la Mayenne, a group which has recorded works by Jacques Chailley and Albert Fasce on the Solstice Label (France). In Canada he has performed at the Victoria International Arts Festival (2012) and elsewhere. In addition to classical music, Lefèvre has been a regular member of Tocca Tango (violin, viola, bass, piano, bandonéon and vibraphone) an ensemble which specializes in and explores tango music and whose members all studied at the CNSM.

He has been active as violin teacher in France, notably at the Conservatoire National Régional de Tours (Virgil Boutellis-Taft was among his students), and at the Conservatoire Paul Dukas.