A native of Canada, pianist Jacques Després studied under such great masters of the piano as Gilbert Kalish, Adele Marcus, William Masselos, Christiane Senart and Gyorgy Sebok. He recently completed his doctorate at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and holds a Masters degree from the Juilliard School of Music. He received with High Distinction the Artist Diploma from Indiana University, and was awarded a unanimous first prize from the Conservatory of Quebec. In 1996, Mr. Després joined the faculty of Western Washington University in Bellingham.
Mr. Després has been lauded worldwide for the skill and sensitivity of his interpretations. He has appeared as soloist with symphonies all over Canada and the United States and has performed in countless festivals. He has received many awards, including the prestigious Frank Kopp Memorial Prize, First prize at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra competition and First prize at the "Prix d’ Europe competition of the Musical Academy of Quebec. In addition, Mr. Després is considered one of the foremost lecturers, both on period instruments and modern instruments and has taught masterclasses at many schools and music festivals.