Some start their piano studies at the age of three, but
for Maxim Bernard it began at 13 when he discovered his
passion. His development has been phenomenal; by age 18
he was invited to perform Beethoven’s magnificent
Fourth Piano Concerto with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra!
completing his studies at the Québec Conservatory
of Music with the pianist Suzanne Beaubien-Lowe, his driving
passion led him to further them with one of his idols,
the pianist André Laplante at the Glenn Gould School
of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he
received his Artist Diploma. Maxim fell in love with the
romantic style of interpretation. The great pianists of
the past such as Cortot, Horowitz, Rachmaninoff and Friedman
are for him a strong source of inspiration.
In 2004, he met the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler
at the Orford Arts Centre and the chemistry between them
was immediate. After hearing Maxim play, Pressler declared
“I believe in your future!” A few months later,
Maxim was on his way to the University of Indiana to study
with his new mentor, where he earned both his Master’s
and Doctoral degrees in Piano Performance. He developed
his unique style, and music has become for him a spiritual
experience. His sensitivity, his personal touch, and the
contagious spontaneity he brings to his interpretations
combine to make him an exceptional pianist.
has been a prize winner at many competitions, including
the CBC Young Artists Competition and the Indianapolis
Matinee Musicale Competition. He was the first-prize winner
at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Concerto
Competition with his interpretation of Brahms’ First
Piano Concerto. In 2006, his career was launched after
he won the prestigious International Stepping Stone of
the Canadian Music Competition.
taught for five years at Indiana University and his qualifications
led him to serve on juries of many music competitions
Bernard is a polyvalent musician who adores challenges.
That is probably why conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
asked him to learn Ginastera’s challenging Second
Piano Concerto in order to perform the Canadian premiere
of the work with the Orchestre Métropolitain of
Montreal at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal.
The critic Claude Gingras from La Presse wrote: “The
pianist was entirely up to the onerous task, both in power
and in introspection. The conductor and orchestra were
in perfect synchronisation with him and the spectacular
result inspired a long and enthusiastic ovation from the
greatly appreciates playing with orchestras. We heard
him with the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the
Orchestre Philharmonique du Nouveau Monde, the Peterborough
Symphony Orchestra, the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
and Les Violons du Roy, to name just a few.
the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Maxim
spent the year 2015 in Germany. This stay provided him
with the opportunity to give recitals in Cologne and Paris.
In 2016 the radiance of his recitals led him to solo performances
in Bonn, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna and at the Palais
des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. During this coming season,
he will make his debut in London at the prestigious Wigmore
Maxim constantly searches for original ideas for his innovative
thematic concert programs. His concert “1914-1918”
continues to fascinate the public. This season, he wishes
to celebrate the career of one of his favorite musicians,
Vladimir Horowitz. Maxim will recreate the program that
the legendary pianist played in Moscow in 1986 on his
return home after a 60-year exile.
also has an interest in languages; he speaks French, English
and German and plans to learn Italian in the near future.