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Jean-Marie Poirier, Florence_2015_Claudio Moradei.jpg

© Claudio Moradeia

Jean-Marie Poirier, lutenist and baroque guitarist, studied with Javier Hinojosa at the Ecole Nationale de Musique du Raincy and in courses with Hopkinson Smith. He performs internationally with his duo partner Thierry Meunier (A Due Liuti) as well as with various early music formations such as Ensemble Walsingham, Le Trésor d'Orphée, London Pro Cantione Antiqua or Ensemble Jacques Moderne. In addition to his plucked instruments, he plays the viola da gamba - preferably in consorts. Jean-Maire Poirier participated in the movie "Tous les Matins du monde" ("All the Mornings of the World", 1991) and does research on 16th and 17th century music.


Video: Lute duo

Florence_2015_Claudio Moradei.jpg
Florence_2015_Claudio Moradei.jpg


September 15, 2021

Do you see yourself as a left-hander or a right-hander? Is that a part of your identity as a musician?

A left-hander, no doubt about that! And yes of course, it is part of my identity as a musician!


Have you always played your instruments left-handed?

Left-handed from the very beginning.


Have you faced reservations or concerns from other people about playing left-handed?

Not really, but of course it is always an issue when playing with other right-handed musicians even though I never had to face reservations or hostility, rather surprise.


How did you come by your left-handed instruments?  

At the beginning when I still played the guitar I only had to reverse the strings and it worked. When I decided to play the lute, I had to order a left-handed instrument. I chose an English maker and luckily he was left-handed and sympathetic. I never had problems with makers, British, French or Roumanian, to have a left-handed instrument made for me!


What are your experiences with playing left-handed in ensembles or orchestras? 

After the first moment of surprise, there is always a solution and I am used to the situation now, so it doesn't really matter.


Has your left-handed playing ever caused any funny or strange situations?

Not really, thank goodness! Except that week-end spent to read kilometers of viol consort music and I had to play a right-handed bass viol, without changing the strings of course! After a while I got used to playing it with strings the other way round and eventually it was a nice experience!


Have there been negative reactions?

Not that I experienced anyway.


Does playing left-handed present any advantages?

Nobody (almost) can play your instrument and risk to damage it! ;) 

But the counterpart is that you cannot try other people's instruments as well! 

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

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