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Gilles Tremblay

Canadian composer, pianist, ondes Martenot player and teacher Gilles Tremblay was born in Arvida on 6 September 1932 and studied in Montreal with Jean Papineau-Couture, Claude Champagne, Germaine Malépart and Jean Vallerand, and in Paris, where his teachers included Olivier Messiaen (for music analysis), Yvonne Loriod (for piano) and Maurice Martenot (for ondes Martenot). Whilst in Paris he also worked with the Groupe de recherches musicales of the Office de la radiodiffusion-television française.

At the start of his career, he performed on the ondes Martenot. Attending summer music courses in Darmstadt with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pierre Boulez and Henri Pousseur, he became interested in electro-acoustic music. His Sonorisation du Pavillon du Québec (written for Expo 67) won him the 1968 Prix de Musique Calixa-Lavallée. His research into the field of sound led to his using musical instruments at the limits of their sound possibilities.

From 1962 until 1997 he taught composition at the Quebec Music Conservatoire in Montreal.

In 1973 he received the Canadian Music Council Medal, and in 1977 the Council made him 'composer of the year'.

He was chairman (1982-88) and artistic director (1986-88) of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec.

In 1991 he became an Officer of the National Order of Quebec.

Gilles Tremblay died in Montreal on 27 July 2017, aged eighty-four.

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