The Canadian conductor, harpsichordist and organist, Jean-Loup Gagnon, studied at Collège Laval in Laval, Quebec. He followed an eclectic path throughout his musical training. After studying piano at the age of 12, he entered the Cégep de St-Laurent in electro-acoustic composition in the class of Michel Tétreault, then at the Université de Montréal, in musicology and musica writing. At the same time, he participated in workshops and master-classes in Cleveland and Ottawa in orchestral conducting. From 2007 to 2009, he was a pupil of Jean-Philippe Tremblay and later became his assistant at the Orchester de la Francophonie from 2010 to 2012. In August 2010, following a performance by the Orchester de la Francophonie at the Salle Pollack, the critic Claude Gingras wrote: "Monsieur Tremblay confided to his assistant Jean-Loup Gagnon, 20, the opening of Don Giovanni by Mozart. The imperious wand held with the left hand and the initial agreement where the whole orchestra explodes: these striking first seconds and the minutes that follow leave no doubt about the talent we have before us: a new Yannick Nézet-Séguin was born last night!"
It was at the Université de Montréal (2008-2011) that Jean-Loup Gagnon had the chance to touch a new instrument which later became his favorite instrument, the harpsichord. He entered the class of Réjean Poirier to shape his playing and studied Baroque chamber music with Margaret Little. He also improved with harpsichordist and organist Luc Beauséjour at the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal (2013-2014). At the Conservatoire, he was the assistant of Olivier Godin to the artistic direction of the opera workshop during their production of Dido and Aeneas by Purcell and May 2014. His research in the field of early music, led to the founding of an orchestra on period instruments, Les Lys Naissants in 2012.
Despite his strong interest in historical performance, Jean-Loup Gagnon remains active in romantic music, as well as in contemporary music. He also directed Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire with Pauline Vaillancourt in the title role at Claude Champagne in February 2012 and recorded the piano concerto by Alan Belkin in August 2013.
Jean-Loup Gagnon has been pursuing a master's degree since September 2014 (expected to finish in 2017) at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, in the Netherlands, with Patrick Ayrton and Fabio Bonizzoni with whom he studies harpsichord and conducting. As part of his training, he had the opportunity to work with the conductor Peter Van Heyghen on a project around the Italian composer Niccolo Jommelli and to benefit from the teaching of the teachers and interpreters Ryo Terakado, Wilbert Hazelzet, Mike Fentross, Kris Verhelst, Michael Chance, Frank de Bruine, Eric Hoeprich and Ton Koopman. He has directed and performed in various ensembles in several cities of the Netherlands, such as The Hague, Voorschoten and Leiden, where he was invited to conduct a concert at the Stadsgehoorzaal around the Stamitz family.
Jean-Loup Gagnon concentrated in his research on the birth of the orchestra as an institution and the development of stylistic currents in the 18th century, such as the Mannheim school and the gallant style, which constituted grammar for composers of genius like W.A. Mozart.
Jean-Loup Gagnon is supported by the Fondation des Jeunesses Musicales du Canada. He currently lives in The Hague, the Netherlands.