13-year-old violinist from Alberta heads to the Olympics of music competitions

A 13-year-old Edmontonian travels to Calgary every week for lessons at the Mount Royal Conservatory, but will soon be heading off to the prestigious Menuhin Competition in Switzerland.

Jacques Forestier is competing in the Menuhin Competition in April

Jacques Forestier, 13, is going to the Menuhin Competition in Geneva, Switzerland. (Ellis Choe/CBC)

He practices more than 30 hours a week, received a standing ovation at Carnegie Hall and is now preparing for the Menuhin Competition — known as the Olympics of music competitions for young violinists. 

Not bad for a 13 year old. Jacques Forestier says his love for the instrument started at the tender age of two. 

"I would watch my mother perform at concerts and she thought I hated music because I was always screaming and crying but it was actually because I was so in love with it — as soon as I started [lessons], I wouldn't stop," Forestier told the Homestretch.

Forestier travels to Calgary from his home in Edmonton every week to attend the Mount Royal Conservatory, where he is taught by renowned instructor Bill van der Sloot.

"The level of students and the teachers that they bring in, the guest musicians to give master classes, is just second to none," says Forestier.

Forestier will be one of 44 young violinists competing in Geneva, Switzerland, in April.

The winner will take away more than $13,000 Cdn, in addition to concert opportunities and educational courses. 

With files from the Homestretch