Spotlight on saxophonist Amélie Richard

Written by Amélie Richard


From a very young age, I was quickly introduced to music through Acadian folklore. Born and raised in Sainte-Anne de Kent in a family of artists, I was always surrounded by inspiration. During the last few years, I flourished in my passion for music of all genres.

Photo Credit: Annie-France Noël.

I have had the opportunity to appear in several musical productions in New Brunswick, including the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Barachois Summer Music Festival’s Young Artists Series and the Jeunesses Musicales Canada Gala Concert. I have also performed in several festivals such as Acadie Rock, the Mercredi Show and the Francos de Montréal, surrounded by fantastic musicians such as Le coude collective, Maggie Savoie, the Moontunes and the brand-new musical collective, P’tit souper d’famille.

Under the direction of Professor Jean-Guy Boisvert, I have distinguished myself during my time in the music department at Université de Moncton. Recipient of more than twenty scholarships during my time there, I also represented New Brunswick at two national festivals presented by the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals where I won first prize in two categories in 2021. That same year, I was named one of 30 young francophones under 30 to watch by the newspaper l’Acadie Nouvelle.

Amélie Richard in concert. Photo: courtesy of the artist.

Recently, I was the recipient of two artsnb grants, including an Arts Scholarship and a Career Development grant. These funds allowed me to undertake my master’s degree at Université de Montréal and to study with renowned saxophone teacher Jean-François Guay; a wonderful teacher, but also an admirably passionate person. It is a great privilege to have such an artist as a guide during my studies. During my master’s degree, I also benefited from several master classes in interpretation, including one with French pedagogue Marie Bernadette Charrier, professors Louis-Philippe Bonin and Jean-Marc Bouchard, as well as with the Saxologie ensemble.

After making a mark in Acadie, I am now excelling in Quebec, where I have already won the gold medal in the open class of the Victoriaville Soloists Competition in April 2022. I was also the recipient of a scholarship of excellence from the Faculty of Music of Université de Montreal in October 2022 and I am a member of Université de Montreal’s Saxophone Quartet. As part of my degree, I quickly developed a new passion for research in the field of performers’ health. This year, I am launching a survey on the health of saxophonists to contribute to the development of resources for musicians around the world. I believe what makes music so wonderful is its humanity. It’s important to talk about physical and mental health among musicians and to develop educational resources for these fundamental needs. The results of this survey are expected to be published in 2023.

Photo credit: Annie-France Noël.

Since May 2022, I have also been working in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals to provide competition and performance opportunities for young musicians in Canada. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of supporting the arts for the youth; it is important to make young people understand that they can dream of a career in the arts in Canada, as well as in New Brunswick, and that anything is possible if you put your heart into it.

I am inspired by several local artists in my pursuit of excellence. I greatly admire the passion of saxophonists such as Sébastien Michaud, Philip Lucy, and François Emond, who have taken me under their wings and allowed me to thrive as a performer. I have always loved my teachers and I am grateful that they provided me with a great source of inspiration and motivation. In 2021, I collaborated with Université de Moncton’s composition professor Richard Gibson to create a sonata for saxophone and piano. The publication of this work is anticipated in 2023. I always share the beauty and importance of my New Brunswick and Acadian roots with my colleagues in Quebec. I dream of moving back to Acadie and create the first professional saxophone quartet in my region. I will complete my master’s degree in May 2023, at which time I will perform a concert featuring works by Jules Demersseman, Pierre Max Dubois, Pedro Iturralde,  Jacob Ter Veldhuis and Florent Schmitt.

From a very young age, Amélie was quickly introduced to music through Acadian folklore. Her growing passion for music is now thriving in the field of classical saxophone where she flourishes as a performer. A unique and warm musicality makes her a completely unforgettable artist.

Photo credit: Annie-France Noël.

Watch Amélie performing at the 2021 Federation of Canadian Music Festivals (FCMF) National Music Festival Grand Prize Competition