Native of the Laurentian village of Weir, François Gagné began his training in clarinet at the age of 12 in a specialized music programme at the Curé-Mercure school in Saint-Jovite. Hi entered the Montréal Conservatory in 1999 where he worked with Jean Laurendeau and later François Normand, and subsequently earned diplomas in chamber music (2005) and clarinet (2006). In the course of his studies he also received instruction from master musicians such as André Moisan, David Veilleux, Wolfgang Meyer, Marie Picard, Robert Riseling, Larry Comb, and Guy Yehuda. As a conservatory student, he discovered a passion for improvisation with teacher René Lussier. Since then he has taken part in a number of improvisation sessions. In 2008, Gagné completed a master’s degree in performance at the Université de Montréal under the direction of André Moisan.