Xavier was introduced to music at the age of 5. A student of John Zirbel, principal horn of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and Jacob Slagter, retired principal horn of the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, he now holds a bachelor's degree in performance from McGill University as well as a master's degree in performance from Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Alongside his studies in the Netherlands, he perfected his skills in modern music with the Amsterdam ensemble Asko/Schönberg under the direction of Reinbert de Leeuw as well as in natural horn with the Dutch soloist Teunis van der Zwart.

A scholarship holder of several musical institutions including those of the Orford Arts Center, the Banff Arts Center in Alberta and the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, Xavier completed his training with several renowned horn players, such as Stefan Dohr, James Summerville, Martin Hackleman, Herman Jeurissen and Jasper De Waal.

Freelancer, chamber musician and dynamic soloist, his career leads him to perform through a vast repertoire ranging from early music to new music. Active in the Katcor and Kaleïo ensembles as well as with the Lys Naissants early music ensemble, Xavier works regularly with several Quebec and European orchestras including the Nieuw Philharmonie Utrecht, Leids Barok Ensemble, I Musici de Montréal, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Orchestre Métropolitain and the symphony orchestras of Trois-Rivières, Quebec and Montreal.

A teacher at Collège Lionel-Groulx, Xavier teaches horn and chamber music at Joseph-François-Perrault high school and at Camp Musical des Laurentides.

Photo of Xavier Fortin