Marlène Ngalissamy


My goal as a musician and artist is to encourage emotional expression through music, promote diversity, acceptance and sense of belonging in diverse communities.

Marlene discovered the bassoon at the age of 13 and quickly developed a deep passion for the instrument. As her curiosity blossomed, she was accepted at the Montreal Conservatory of Music where she studied with Mathieu Harel and Stephane Levesque. Then,she continued her journey at the Curtis Institute of Music to complete her post-bachelor with Daniel Matsukawa.

She had the chance to participate in several workshops and have lessons and advice from various masters from around the world. Some of them are the Pacific music festival in Japan, the International Summer Academy of the mdw –University of Music and Performing Arts Viennaand the Pablo Casals Festival in France.

Marlene is now playing as principal bassoon with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, is part of the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, performed as a guest principal bassoon with the Chineke! Orchestra in London, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra and the Saint-Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota. She is also part of the newly foundedObiora Ensemble in Montreal and of the Orchestre Symphonique de Drummondville. In 2020 she was the recipient of the Arkady Fomin Scholarship Fund from the North Shore Chamber Music Festival and was a finalist of the 2020 National bassoon Excerpt competition.

Winner of the first prize in the Canadian Music Competition (2012)and finalist of the Meg Quigley bassoon competition (2015), she performed as a soloist with the Edmonton Symphony orchestra, the Montreal Metropolitansymphonyorchestra, the Toronto Pops Orchestra, the Montreal Conservatory orchestra and the Youth orchestra of Montreal.

One of the eight laureates of the Developing Artist Grant of the Hnatyshyn Foundation (2013), Marlene is living in Quebec and is freelancing around Canada and sometimes overseas.

She was also part of a community teaching artist program, working along with the Penn memory center in Philadelphia, where she wasleading a “creativity through music” class for people with diverse stages of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive dysfunction.

Her favourite thing about being a musician is to go in the community (especially in schools) to share the beautiful possibilities of music and help to discover the bassoon!