Marc Destrubé

I like to be home with my family. I love to cook and eat. And walk. And repair things. When I have time I like to be outdoors, hiking, skiing, sailing. I live in Vancouver, one of the most beautiful cities on earth, of current Olympics fame.

But mostly, my life is taken up with playing the violin, which remains a totally magical instrument to me. That strings and hair and a light box of wood can produce a sound that will fill a large hall and potentially move people to tears is a continuing source of wonder to me.

A memorable experience for me with SCMS was when we played Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet, using the Amati viola that was used in the first performance of the work in 1891. It’s nice to imagine that the instrument might have a memory of that first performance so long ago. My favorite instrument to play in the Smithsonian collection is the Amati "Louis XIV" violin.  Its noble tone and sensitive response seem to suit me particularly well, and its "grand pattern" outline and inlaid decorations make it extraordinarily beautiful.

In addition to my work with SCMS, I am co-concertmaster of the Amsterdam-based Orchestra of the 18th Century. I have been in the orchestra since it was founded in 1981, as have most of the 50 or so members from 14 countries. It is a wonderful circus-troupe that meets four times a year for a tour somewhere in the world.  In Vancouver, I also play with the Turning Point Ensemble, which focuses on music from the twentieth century and new music. I feel strongly that it is important to perform music of our own time and not only play "museum music."

I particularly enjoy teaching, and the lessons it teaches me.

In my iPod at the moment I have Bartók string quartets, Bach cantatas, Edith Piaf, and my favourite violinist Georges Boulanger, who was a pupil of Leopold Auer (teacher of Heifetz, Milstein, and many other famous violinists) and became a café musician in the 1920s. I love the warmth, sincerity and range of colors in his playing.

Please visit my new website:

It’s a temporary one; my wife Anna (a graphic designer) is designing a permanent one which should be ready soon. You’ll find my full bio there.