Raised in Montréal’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Ville-Émard and Saint-Henri, Pascal Germain-Berardi is a conductor, composer, baritone and metal growler guided by a powerful survival instinct and an inescapable passion for music. These were the driving forces that allowed him to break free from the all-too-often fate that comes with his background.
As the founder and artistic director of Temps Fort, he directs the choir in residence and the ensembles formed for the organization’s many projects. Germain-Berardi is also conductor of the ensemble Forestare (guitar orchestra) and assistant conductor of the Voces Boreales choir (with artistic director Andrew Gray), for which he organizes masterclasses with leading figures on the choral scene (Simon Carrington, Gabriel Crouch, Andrew Megill). He holds a doctorate in conducting and a master’s degree in composition from the Université de Montréal. He is also a consultant, vocal coach and conducting coach for the Growlers Choir, the world’s first-ever metal choir. This album is his first recording as a musical director.
A lover of intense music, his heart vibrates as strongly to the great masters of classical music, such as Beethoven, Bruckner and Liszt, as it does to extreme metal bands such as Strapping Young Lad, Vektor and Decapitated. While his group Archetype is known for its bold compositions and energetic performances, his classical compositions stand out through romantic and contemporary inspirations deriving from those same interests.
Germain-Berardi has had the privilege of studying conducting with Bramwell Tovey, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Jon Washburn, Joseph Flummerfelt, Ovidiu Bălan, Andrew Megill and Jean-François Rivest. As a conductor, he has also worked with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre symphonique de Drummondville, the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, the Bacău Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden Philharmonic, as well as with Les Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal and the Notre-Dame Basilica choir in Montréal.