Rocking that recorder

by Lucas Wisenthal, BA’03

Award-winning recorder player Vincent Lauzer, BMus’10 (Photo: Alex Tran)

When Vincent Lauzer, BMus’10, was four, his parents enrolled him in music school. After a year of introductory lessons, he was asked to choose an instrument to play. But while Mom and Dad hoped he’d take up the violin, Lauzer had something else in mind: the recorder.

A popular instrument for elementary school music classes, the recorder might not have the sexiest of images, but Lauzer is a big fan. “It’s a really versatile instrument,” he says. “That’s what I enjoy about playing the recorder – that I can play a wide range of music from different eras and genres.”

Now in his early twenties, Lauzer is a rising star in Quebec’s classical music scene. He recently earned $10,000 as the top prize winner at the 2012 Canadian Music Competition. Earlier this year, he was named Breakthrough Artist of the Year at Quebec's Opus Awards, an honour that places him among the great emerging musical talents of his generation.

Lauzer credits the Schulich School of Music, where he studied under Matthias Maute, with helping him hone his skill. “I learned so much and played with so many good musicians,” Lauzer says.

These days, Lauzer is focused on Flûte Alors!, his recorder quintet. In addition to performing works by Baroque composers like Bach and Vivaldi, the group has taken on jazz standards by artists like Dizzy Gillespie. “We’re really working hard on bringing the recorder to a high level and to different audiences who are sometimes not familiar with the instrument,” he says.