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Van Cliburn Foundation Gets New President

by Anne Bothwell 20 Mar 2013 12:01 PM

The Van Cliburn Foundation gets a new president and CEO, just in time for the Cliburn Competition.


It’s official.  Jacques Marquis, who has been interim executive director at the Van Cliburn Foundation, will take over the titles of president and CEO.

Marquis has been with the foundation since September.  He comes from Canada, where he was executive and artistic director of Jeunesses Musicales Canada for 10 years.  When he left, the organization, which promotes classical music and supports young Canadian musicians, was producing 800 concerts and 700 workshops annually, according to a release from the Foundation.

He steps into the role as the Foundation gets set for its 14th Cliburn Competition in May.  Kristian Lin of Fort Worth Weekly profiled Marquis in January and found him engaging and funny:

“The Montreal native describes himself as a numbers and finance guy, but his background in music also runs deep.  A graying man with broad shoulders and a broad smile, he frequently gestures with his hands to make a point. He is nothing if not a lively interview, and if he has any qualms about his position, they don’t show.

“He asks me to let him know if he is talking too fast. “I talk even faster in French,” he explains. At one point, he checks with staffers to make sure that the French word “repertoire” means the same thing in English. While demonstrating how to build up a young pianist’s career, he uses pen and paper to draw a big box to indicate an important concert date and then adds five horizontal lines under it that look like steps to indicate smaller concerts leading up to that. Talking about administrators of other competitions, he does brief, amusing impressions of Didier Schnorhk, the general secretary of the Geneva International Music Competition, and Fanny Waterman, the chairwoman of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.”