Jean-François Breton has been the Principal Timpanist of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra since April 2006. He is also the percussion instructor at Lakehead University. Jean-François made his percussion debut in Québec City and attained his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Sherbrooke. He then pursued his studies at Indiana University where he earned a Masters Degree in Percussion Performance. In 2013, Jean-François was invited to perform with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for the 2013-2014 season as extra percussionist.
In 2005, Jean-François won both the second prize in the OSM Standard Life Concerto Competition and a full scholarship to the Banff Centre for the Arts. He was also one of five finalists in the same competition in 2009. In 2003, he was a soloist with the Orchestre Symphonique des Jeunes de Sherbrooke and the Indiana University Symphonic Band. He has appeared locally with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra several times in both the Classical Plus series and the Cabaret series, the last time being April 2016 with E. Séjourné’s Marimba Concerto. On multiple occasions he has performed on the LUMINA Concert series and on the New Music North concert series.
When J-F (“Jeff” as he calls himself) is not on stage with the orchestra, you will find him in the great outdoors of Northwest Ontario, around a table with his friends, on an ultimate frisbee field, or landscaping!