Marc Labranche | Southbank SinfoniaMarc Labranche
Cello

Montréal-born cellist Marc began his studies with Laurence Prévost at the age of nine. He studied for his bachelor’s degree at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University in Montreal, where he was supported by the Schulich and the Valerie Wood Memorial Cello scholarships. Marc then moved to London to complete his master’s at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, supported by The Leverhulme Trust Scholarship. Marc is also a recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts grant.

With a particularly strong interest in chamber and orchestral music, Marc has had the privilege of performing with various ensembles at major venues around the world in North America, Europe and Asia. As a chamber musician, his principal collaborations include performances with David Alberman, Gabrielle Lester, Richard Lester, Laura Samuel and Huw Watkins.

Regularly a principal cellist, Marc has also received intense orchestral training with prestigious ensembles such as the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra. He is also an active freelancer, most recently performing with the Symphony Nova Scotia, and his engagements for 2015 include concerts with the German Chamber Orchestra of Bremen.

As a versatile and enthusiastic musician, Marc also likes to tackle other types of music, including improvisation and pop. He performs regularly with singers such as Ben Wilkins and Coeur de Pirate, who invited him to be part of her 2010 concert at the Francofolies de Montréal. He also enjoys performing in less conventional venues such as homeless mission houses, as well as pubs and bars, in an effort to bring classical music to a broader audience

Read a blog by Marc about what it takes for an orchestra with members from all over the world to gel and make music together.

Marc’s place in Southbank Sinfonia is generously supported by the Chiltern Consort. 

Q&A

What do you love about classical music?
Its power to move people, the different emotions: the excitement, the tears, the shivers, the overwhelming power or the touching softness.

What’s on your playlist right now?
Classical: Recordings of the Hagen Quartet, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (their Beethoven symphonies, Brahms Symphony No. 3 recording, the Beethoven violin concerto with Janine Jansen), and Mendelssohn and Schumann by the Florestan Trio.

Non-classical: a bit of Arcade Fire, Miami Horror, some Radiohead, Björk’s Vespertine, some Bob Dylan, Earth Wind and Fire, Breakbot’s Baby I’m Yours, Daft Punk, Daniel Bélanger, Richard Desjardins, Jacques Brel, Jamiroquai, Jean Leloup.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I can knit (scarves, mittens, hats, etc.); I usually make my own bread from scratch; I actually wanted to play the viola as a kid (I still do when I play string quartets); and no one else in my immediate family can play an instrument or read music.

Read Marc’s blog on what it’s like to be part of such an international orchestra here.

Meet the rest of the orchestra