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November 23rd, 2012

Musicians: Born or made?

Free concert-conference on Music and talent, to be held at Salle Claude Champagne, Université de Montréal on January 19th 2013, at 4pm. 16 year old pianist virtuoso Tiffany Poon will play for us – and Gary McPherson (Melbourne University) and Danick Trottier (Université de Montréal) will demystify musical talent!


To watch a video of the full concert-conference, see below:



This bilingual, free event, jointly organized by CRBLM and OICRM, is open to all. It will be held at the SALLE CLAUDE CHAMPAGNE, Université de Montréal. No registration required.

4 pm. Conference by Prof. Gary McPherson (Melbourne University)

followed by Tiffany Poon at the piano (first part)

  • Scarlatti – “Sonata in E Major, K380”; “Sonata in A major K322”, “Sonata in G major, K455”
  • Beethoven – “Sonata No.23 in F Minor, Op.57 “Appassionata”

5 pm. Conference by Prof. Danick Trottier (Université de Montréal)

followed by Tiffany Poon at the piano (second part)

  • Mathieu – “Printemps Canadien”
  • Ravel – “Sonatine”
  • Chopin – “Variations Brillantes in B-Flat Major, Op.12”
  • Liszt – “Hungarian Rhapsody No.2”

The conference-concert will be followed by questions to Gary McPherson, Danick Trottier, and Tiffany Poon.



Gary McPherson, Ormond Professor and Director of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music in Australia, studies giftedness: the characteristics and development of people who have an unusually high potential for greatness. Tiffany Poon, an exceptionally talented young pianist, clearly possesses that qualification. A student at the prestigious Juilliard School in New York, Tiffany already participates in an active recital schedule, displaying extraordinary artistry, musical maturity, and a profound love of playing the piano.  Professor McPherson, working with Tiffany’s family, has observed Tiffany’s growth as a musician over her lifetime. On January 19th 2013, Prof. McPherson will talk about giftedness and traits of child prodigies, including current research in this field, before Tiffany sits down at the keyboard to share her talent in a piano recital that will leave the audience spellbound.

Gary McPherson has served as President of the Australian and International Societies for Music Education, given over 55 keynote addresses in 16 different countries, and presented guest lectures at over 65 universities in more than 20 countries. Gary’s published research has examined the acquisition and development of musical competence, and motivation to engage and participate in music from novice to expert levels. Of particular interest is his work on exceptional abilities during childhood, as evidenced in two longitudinal studies he has undertaken with highly involved students musicians in Australia and the United States, and his case study of Tiffany Poon, who is currently studying at Juilliard in New York.



Tiffany Poon, age l6, was born in Hong Kong. She began formal piano lessons at the age of 4.   At age 9, Tiffany moved to the United States to study at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division in New York with a full scholarship.  She currently studies piano with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky.  She is also a high school junior at the Calhoun School.

Tiffany has won numerous prizes at piano competitions, including Gold Medal at the Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey in 2006 and the Grand Prize and First Prize at the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Ohio in 2007.  Most recently, she won the First Prize and the Best Performance of Concerto Award at the VIII Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in September 2012.

Tiffany made her concerto debut at the age of 10.  Since then, she has given solo recitals across the United States, as well as in Italy, Australia and China.  She has performed at such prestigious concert venues as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall in New York City and Sala Mozart in Bologna, Italy.  Tiffany has appeared as a soloist with orchestras such as Plainfield Symphony Orchestra, Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, and Moscow Chamber Orchestra of Pavel Slobodkin Centre.

Tiffany was granted the title of Honorary Citizen and was presented with the Key to the Frontier by the mayor of Fort Smith for her outstanding performance with Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra in March 2008.  She was selected as “2009 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist” and was awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.  She has appeared on NPR’s “From the Top” live taping radio show at Saenger Theatre in Mobile, Alabama.  Tiffany was also awarded the David & Goldie Blanksteen Fellowship Grant by Salon De Virtuosi at the age of 11 and she became the youngest prizewinner in its 21 years of history.  She has been a grant recipient from the Children’s Foundation for the Arts since 2008.

Her upcoming performances include a solo recital in the XIV International festival “The Young Musical Kremlin” in Moscow on April 19th, and also a concert tour in Italy and Germany in November.



Danick Trottier est chargé de cours à la Faculté de musique de l’Université de Montréal et agent de recherche à l’Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique (OICRM), où il codirige l’équipe de sociomusicologie. Trottier détient un doctorat en musicologie (Université de Montréal/EHESS) et a finalisé en 2010 un stage postdoctoral à l’université Harvard. Il fut responsable de 2006 à 2010 des recensions francophones à la revue Intersections et a été rédacteur invité pour le numéro des Cahiers de la Société québécoise de recherche en musique intitulé «Éthique, droit et musique». Il a publié dans des revues telles Argument, Circuit, Filigrane, Intersections et Les Cahiers Debussy. Ses recherches portent sur la professionnalisation en musique, le développement de public et la critique musicale de l’entre-deux-guerres, de même que sur les logiques commémoratives et les processus de canonisation.



This concert-conference will close the Scientific Workshop on Music and Talent held at the Carrefour des Sciences, Université de Montréal. For further information about the scientific workshop (program, registration), please click here.

For further information about this event: info@brams.umontreal.ca

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BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) is a unique laboratory dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. BRAMS is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.


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