A Clarinetist in Paris

Moving to Montréal!

It’s crazy how seemingly innocuous decisions can impact your life.

Take, for example, my decision to play the clarinet. I was a shy, bookish 10-year-old when I started band. I thought it would be a fun way to hang out with my friends and be exempt from gym. Little did I know that a chunk of grenadilla wood would change my life.

Playing the clarinet has given me opportunities I never dreamed possible and introduced me to incredible people from around the world. Just three years ago, I moved to Paris and started this blog. During this time, I learned French, received a Master de musicologie, interprétation et patrimoine, studied with Philippe Cuper at the Versailles Conservatoire, traveled to 30 countries, and experienced the indescribable wonders which music can create. All because of clarinet!

I’ve loved every second of my time in Paris, but it’s time for a new chapter of my musical career – Montréal!

As we speak (or rather, communicate passively via the Internet), I am settling into my new life in Montréal, trying to grasp the bizarre Québécois French accent, find some decent vegetarian poutine, and prepare for the inevitable winter.

I’m not sure that I will ever love any city as much as I love Paris, but I am very excited to begin the next chapter of my musical career in Canada! I just arrived to Montreal a few days ago, and I am excited to see what Québec has in store for me!

Since many of my readers might not follow me on my Jenny Clarinet Facebook or Instagram page, I thought I’d answer some of the most common questions I’ve receive about my move to Montreal:

  • Why are you moving to Montreal? To get a Doctorat en musique – interpretation at l’Université de Montréal
  • Who will you study with at UdeM? The amazing André Moisan!
  • Is the program in French or English? Français all the way!
  • Why UdeM? I greatly admire André’s artistry and musical philosophies, and I would like to continue improving my newly-gained French skills in a French-speaking program.
  • But it’s so cold up there! Bring it on! I love the cold ☃️
  • Do you have to write a dissertation? No, but I must submit and defend a substantial research document.
  • What is your research topic? Stay tuned – I’ll be revealing the topic soon!
  • Will you continue to blog? Mais oui, sans doute!

As always, thank you for your support and encouragement throughout these past three years! I love reading your messages and comments, and it’s always a joy to meet you in real life. The clarinet world is small, and I hope our paths cross in the future!


  • Robert Monie

    I’m not sure about the “decent vegetarian poutine,” but there certainly are lots of vegetarian/vegan restaurants in Montreal, even if they have lagged behind Toronto and Vancouver in attracting them. To name just a few, there’s Cafe Resonance (great name for clarinetists), Crudessence, Aux Vivres, Antidote, Nil Bleu, Nilufar, Cafe Jucy Lotus, Comptoir Urbain/Espace Vegane, Invitation V, Copper Branch, Le Kitchen, and Sushi Momo (wonder if that’s named for the expensive hand-made Japanese Momo ligature?) I’d be surprised if at least one or two of these couldn’t whip up a vegetarian or vegan poutine. The question did set me wondering how many clarinetists out there are vegetarian or vegan (I’ve been vegan for over 20 years. I know Ron Odrich was a vegan for a long time and I think he might still be a vegetarian.

    • jennymaclay

      Wow, thank you for all of your recommendations! I’ll definitely have to check out these places. And that’s a great question regarding clarinetists and vegetarianism – I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years, and it would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between being a clarinetist and a vegan/vegetarian.

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