WATCH ABOVE: A 10-year-old Edmonton violinist is set to perform at Carnegie Hall this weekend. It’s an opportunity he won after facing off against stiff competition from around the world. Shallima Maharaj has his story.
EDMONTON — A young Edmonton musician is about to embark on a journey many musicians can only dream of. Jack Forestier, 10, will play Carnegie Hall this weekend in New York City.
“I’m just so happy. I can’t describe it,” Jack said Wednesday.
Coming from a family of musicians, the musical prodigy picked up his first violin at age two and has “loved it ever since.”
“It causes fireworks in my brain whenever I play, and there’s so many different themes like slow, quick, andante, allegro. It just goes all over the place, the music,” he explained.
Jack has played in several cities across Canada in his young life, but has had his sights set on the Big Apple since he was about four years old, his mother said.
“I never know where Jack’s going to take us and what we’re going to be doing next,” said Marie Forestier, a music instructor at MacEwan University who also started playing violin at age two.
Last year, while playing Michael Banks in the Citadel Theatre and Calgary Theatre’s co-production of Mary Poppins, Jack wanted to make his dream a reality. After a bit of online research, he entered the American Protégé International Competition, which encourages young musicians to realize their dreams.
This past October – Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 8:04 a.m. to be exact – Jack received the exciting news; he came in second place in his age category and would be playing Carnegie Hall.
“I didn’t think it could get any better from Mary Poppins and it’s now gotten a million times as good as Mary Poppins,” exclaimed the young man.
“Carnegie Hall. Who could ask for that at 10?”
His parents are just as excited and proud.
“It’s amazing and it’s exciting and I can hardly believe it,” said Marie, who describes her son as a unique little ball of energy. “Jack does not take no for an answer … he is so determined.
“It’s so exciting to see his passion unfold and all his dreams come true,”
The Forestiers leave for NYC on Thursday. Jack has a rehearsal at Carnegie Hall on Friday in preparation for the big performance Saturday. Part of winning the competition means Jack will also get a lesson at Juilliard.
And while the experience is a dream come true, Jack’s dreams don’t stop in NYC; he has aspirations of sharing his music with the world as a concert violinist.
“I just want to touch many people’s hearts. And for myself, I want to tour the world and live in Europe.”
Jack won the Calgary theatre critics award for best featured actor in a musical for his role in Mary Poppins last year. He was also a semi-finalist on Canada’s Got Talent when he was seven.