The Academy Teachers

Denis Poliquin

Denis Poliquin, founder: guitar, ukulele.

  • Founder and principal of the Académie since 1986. Owner of a M. A. in classical guitar with First prize from the Québec City Conservatory. He is also the coordinator for Guitar sessions at the Académie de musique et de danse of the Domaine Forget and the Vice-President of the Société de guitare de Montréal.
  • Guitarist, composer, and arranger. He backs-up Ms Kim Yaroshevskaya (aka Fanfreluche) in her show ”Il était une fois”. Recipient of many prizes for his pieces Hommage à Keith Jarrett and Passe-Temps. Holder of Grants from both the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, he continues his craft as arranger and composer (last piece: ‘Time Go’ for three guitars (D’OZ)). 

Martin Leclerc, Guitar Teacher

Martin Leclerc: guitar.

  • After completing his classical guitar studies at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec, Martin Leclerc got in 2004 his M.A. in Electroacoustic composition at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
  • He was awarded six times the Hugh-Le Caine prize at the SOCAN Concours de jeunes compositeurs. Still active as a guitarist, he is a teacher at the Académie since 2008. 


Francis Leclerc, Guitar Teacher

Francis Leclerc, assistant: guitar.

  • Diploma owner from the Conservatoire de Québec in classical guitar and in ethnomusicology at the Université de Montréal, he has taught here at the Académie from 2006 to 2011 and again since the fall of 2013.
  • Flamenco guitarist, he explores likewise the ‘fingerstyle’ guitar repertory: classical, Brazilian, Celtic, blues, jazz, country and bluegrass on top of his own arrangements and compositions.
  • As an ethnomusicologist, Francis likes to link his research to his teaching and artistic projects.

Gaëlle Salomon: piano and singing.

  • Gaëlle Salomon-Corlobe recently graduated from the University of Montreal with a degree of classical singing and is currently continuing her classical training at a graduate level. Born in France, with an opera singer as a mother, Gaëlle grew up in musical environment and started learning piano at four years old and continued her piano studies at the conservatory until she left for Montreal.
  • A singer-songwriter, she teaches all styles of music both for piano and singing and has been working at the Académie de Guitare since September 2016.

Steve Cowan, guitar.

  • Steve is originally from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and holds degrees from Memorial University, the Manhattan School of Music, and is currently pursuing Doctoral studies at McGill University in Montréal.

  • Canadian guitarist Steve Cowan has performed and taught extensively throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe. His critically acclaimed debut album, Pour guitare, features exclusively Canadian music and has helped to establish him as « one of Canada’s top contemporary classical guitarists » (Classical Guitar Magazine).  A distinguished teacher, he has given public masterclasses at the University of Victoria, McMaster University, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, the Royal Danish Academy of Music, and more.
  • In addition to his classical career, Steve plays drums and also composes music for his experimental rock group, Surgeon. He has been teaching a wide variety of musical styles in the areas of Newfoundland, New York City, and Montréal for the past 10 years.

Julien Donati, director: guitar.

  • A native of NDG, Julien has been a regular student for more than 15 years before becoming the director in 2017.
  • The flexibility and variety of learning have been his main motivation for all time. First, he learned electric guitar, classical guitar and then singing. He studied at the Vincent D’Indy school of music in classical guitar, and simultaneously tackled musical composition in numerous group projects and began playing piano for a few years.
  • Before taking over the Guitar Academy, he has had some success as an entrepreneur, co-founding a social economy company in 2010 to provide affordable rehearsal spaces for musicians.
  • As a teacher,  the most important for him is to find what makes the student vibrate, to understand his tastes, and to use this motivation to broaden his horizons.

Marc Bélanger, Guitar Teacher, with William Tremblay

Marc Bélanger: guitar.

  • Marc Bélanger studied at the Conservatoire de Québec, Laval University, and at UQAM. He has a music teaching B.A.. He also studied jazz at Ithaca College, NY.
  • Marc has been teaching at the Académie for twenty years. He also teaches guitar at Marguerite-De Lajemmerais high school. Moreover he has taught guitar at Université Laval for fifteen years plus Songwriting at UQAM, Cégep de Drummondville, Cégep Lionel-Groulx, and École Prochant.
  • For more than a year, Radio-Canada gave him the mandate for the musical formation of directors and assistants to variety programs. Marc has also published many composition songbooks at Productions d’OZ. He is a professional back-up guitarist and is regularly heard on the Montreal stages.

Neil Turpin: guitar.

  • Studied at Cégep Vanier and Concordia University, focusing on harmony, arranging, and improvisation.
  • Played bass or guitar in pop, rock and blues; and guitar in jazz and latin settings.
  • Teaches at the Académie since 1999.