Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Mind Over Finger Podcast

Feb 15, 2019


Today, I’m really excited to have Canadian pianist David Jalbert on the show!  David is an extraordinary person, a brilliant artist, and a very dear friend!   We have a great conversation and cover many topics, from finding yourself as an artist, to the importance of confidence in our progress, and how to learn and memorize music. 

David is incredible (and hilarious!) and I know you will really enjoy his approach to all things music and find tons of value in this episode! 

In this episode, David talks about:

  • His musical journey, from a small town in the province of Quebec studying at the Conservatoire, the University of Montreal, the Toronto Royal Conservatory in Toronto, and Juilliard, leading to his professional career
  • The wonderful musical program he took part in at the Conservatoire de Musique du Quebec
  • The Canadian Music Competition and how competitions were a source of motivation for him
  • How his curiosity and the fact that he “thrived on the forbidden” really helped him develop his technical skills
  • How having many teachers taught him so much, but left him somewhat confused
  • How he found himself back
  • His learning process and how he realized that he could learn faster
  • The importance of confidence in the learning process
  • Memorizing music
  • The importance of being organized
  • How being interested in expanding our cultural horizon can positively affect our growth as an artist and give us “a leg up”


En français, nous discutons de :

  • Son parcours musical, des débuts à aujourd’hui, en touchant à ses moments au Conservatoire de Musique de Rimouski, ses expériences au Concours de Musique du Canada, et ses études à l’Université de Montréal, la Glenn Gould School, et à Juilliard
  • La motivation et l’inspiration qu’il a retiré de sa participation au Concours de Musique du Canada
  • L’approche de la technique de Marc Durand qui a eu une grande influence dans sa vie
  • Sa période à la Glenn Gould School et l’impact d’étudier avec plusieurs professeurs
  • Son expérience avec Jérome Lowenthal et comment il a développé sa voix authentique
  • À quoi sa pratique ressemble

o   L’importance de la précondition – de se mettre dans le bon « espace mental »

o   L’importance d’avoir un plan

  • Son processus d’apprentissage et de mémorisation du répertoire


More Information about David Jalbert:


YouTube channel:

Johannes Brahms: A Biography by Jan Swafford



A virtuoso with a warm and elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians, and was named by the CBC among the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time. With his personal style, incomparable stage presence, and refined ear, he has wowed audiences and critics everywhere: “a deeply musical pianist” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), “a virtuoso in the best sense of the word” (La Presse), “…wide-ranging musical imagination, phenomenal technique, and an unerring lightness of being” (The Toronto Star). His first solo disc, dedicated to the works of Corigliano and Rzewski (in preparation for which he worked with both composers), was launched to great applause on Endeavor in 2004 and was followed in 2006 by a recording of Fauré’s complete Nocturnes (a winning selection on La Tribune des Critiques de Disques, France-Culture). His 2008 release on the ATMA label, Shostakovich: 24 Preludes and Fugues opus 87, drew rave reviews, won an Opus Award, and was nominated for a Juno Award. He followed it up with an album dedicated to works by minimalist greats John Adams and Philip Glass (2010), and his 2012 recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was met with unanimous praise. He recorded works by Poulenc and Satie on “Le Comble de la Distinction” (2015) and virtuosic transcriptions of Russian ballets by Stravinsky and Prokofiev in 2017, which earned him another Juno nomination.

An accomplished chamber musician in both the hall and the studio, his releases include Poulenc’s music for winds and piano (with the woodwind quintet Pentaèdre) as well as the Rachmaninov and Chopin Cello Sonatas with his long-standing musical partner Denise Djokic. With violinist Jasper Wood and cellist Denise Djokic, he is also a member of Triple Forte, a piano trio whose first recording was awarded a 2014 Prix Opus (Album of the Year). Jalbert has also collaborated with violinist Rachel Barton Pine, the Cecilia and Alcan string quartets, double-bassist Joel Quarrington (on another Opus-winning collaboration, the album Brothers in Brahms as well as a Schubert album) and with pianists Anton Kuerti, Wonny Song and Jean-Philippe Collard.

As guest soloist, Jalbert has appeared with many orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Orchestre Métropolitain, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, CBC Radio Orchestra, Bielefelder Philharmoniker, Gauteng Philarmonic and National Symphony of Ireland and others. He has collaborated with conductors Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christoph Campestrini, Skitch Henderson, Jacques Lacombe, Bramwell Tovey, Mario Bernardi, Peter Kuhn, David Currie, Marc David, Dinuk Wijeratne and others and has performed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, South Africa and Europe. Jalbert’s repertoire is expansive, and he plays Bach, Brahms, Stravinsky or Ligeti with equal pleasure. David Jalbert can be heard regularly on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada broadcasts, not only as a pianist, but also as a guest commentator.

A national and international prize-winner, David Jalbert was the 2007 winner of the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize of the Canada Council for the Arts, has been awarded five Prix Opus by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique, was nominated for four Juno Awards, and is now an Associate Professor of piano at the University of Ottawa. He holds two Artist Diplomas: one from the Juilliard School in New York, the other from the Glenn Gould Professional School (Toronto). He received his Master’s Degree from the Université de Montréal at age 21, winning the Governor General’s Gold Medal (awarded yearly to the top graduate student of the University). His main teachers have been Jerome Lowenthal, Marc Durand, André Laplante, and Pauline Charron. He has also worked with Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Claude Frank, Gilbert Kalish, and Marylin Engle.


If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review on iTunes!  I truly appreciate your support!

Visit for information about past and future podcasts, and for more resources on mindful practice.


Most sincere thank you to composer Jim Stephenson who graciously provided the show’s musical theme!  Concerto #1 for Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra – Movement 2: Allegro con Brio, performed by Jeffrey Work, trumpet, and the Lake Forest Symphony, conducted by Jim Stephenson.

Also a huge thank you to my producer, Bella Kelly!