Recognized as one of the greatest pedagogues in Canada, Johanne Arel has trained many violinists over the past forty years, many of whom have won regional, national and international competitions.

Among her former students, many have carved a prominent place in major ensembles such as Violons du Roy, Montreal's I Musici, Pieta, symphonic orchestras of Montreal, Québec, Bolzano (Italy), Columbus, Chicago, Edmonton, Buffalo, London (ON) and others, such as Alexandre Da Costa, are today concert soloists or first violins of various ensembles. Inspired by her dynamism and passion for teaching, many are also professors of violin in various conservatories of Quebec, schools, colleges, universities in Canada and the United States.

Johanne Arel began her studies in piano and violin at Les Ursulines in Trois-Rivières. She continued her violin training with Ethel Stark and won an unanimous first prize at the Montreal Conservatory in the class of Taras Gabora. She is a recipient of several awards and scholarships, and pursued her studies with renowned pedagogues including Dorothy Delay, Shirley Givens, Stefan Gheorgiu and Sidney Hart.

Passionate about teaching from an early age, Johanne Arel played an active role in setting up a preparatory violin school at the Trois-Rivières and Montreal conservatories. She taught at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal from 1978 to 2022, and was head of the string section from 1997 to 2020.

Her great expertise is sought by various organizations, including the Académie de musique du Québec and several music schools, which draw on her knowledge to build and update their violin teaching programs.

Regularly invited to give masterclasses, Johanne Arel has also held workshops to several violin professors of Quebec. A jury member of various competitions, she is also frequently invited as examiner by many private music schools.

In 1985, with her husband Raymond Dessaints, also a distinguished violin teacher and conductor, she founded the Camp musical des Laurentides, of which she has been general director since 2017.

Parallel to her teaching career, Johanne Arel was concertmaster of L'Ensemble Amati from 1988 to 2009, with whom she made thirteen recordings, including several appearances as soloist, as well as numerous radio recordings.

Always passionate about teaching, Johanne Arel continues to teach high-level students in her own private studio in Montreal.

Photo of Johanne Arel