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Papineau-Couture, Jean

Papineau-Couture, Jean, prominent Canadian composer, teacher, and administrator; b. Montreal, Nov. 12,1916. He was the grandson of the Canadian musician Guillaume Couture. At 6, he commenced piano lessons with his mother. From 1926 to 1939 he was a student of Françoise D’Amour, receiving instruction in piano, harmony, sight reading, and music history. He also studied counterpoint with Gabriel Cusson (1937–40). His training continued with Léo-Pol Morin (piano; 1939–40), and then at the New England Cons, of Music in Boston (B.Mus., 1941), where he was a student of Quincy Porter (composition), Francis Findlay (conducting), and Beveridge Webster (piano). He completed his studies with Boulanger at the Longy School in Cambridge, Mass. (1941–43) and in Madison, Wise, and Lake Arrowhead, Calif. (1944–45). He taught at the Jean-de-Brébeuf Coll. in Montreal (1943–44; 1945^6), and then was on the faculty of the Cons, de Musique de Québec à Montréal (1946–63). From 1951 to 1982 he also taught at the Univ. of Montreal, where he was dean of the music faculty from 1968 to 1973. He served as president of the Canadian League of Composers (1957–59; 1963–66), the Académie de musique de Québec (1962–63), the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec (1966–72), the Canadian Music Council (1967–68), the Canadian Music Centre (1973–74), and the Humanities Research Council of Canada (1977–78). In 1962 he received the Prix de musique Calixa- Lavallée. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1968. In 1973 he was awarded the Canadian Music Council Medal. In 1986 the Canadian Conference of the Arts honored him with its Diplôme d’honneur. He was made a Grand Officier of the Ordre national du Québec in 1988. After composing works in an impressionist and neo-Classical manner, he adopted a personal style in which structuralist, chromatic, and symmetrical writing predominated.


dramatic:Papotages, ballet (1949; Montreal, Nov. 20, 1950); puppet shows. orch.: Concerto Grosso for Chamber Orch. (1943; rev. 1955; Montreal, April 10,1957); Sym. No. 1 (1948; Montreal, Feb. 20, 1949; rev. 1956); Aria (1949; Vancouver, Jan. 22, 1960; from the Suite for Piano, 1942–43); Concerto for Violin and Chamber Orch. (1951–52; Montreal, Feb. 3, 1954); Marche de Guillaumet (Montreal, Dec. 1952); Ostinato for Harp, Piano, and Strings (1952); Poème (1952; Montreal, Jan. 27,1953); Prélude (Montreal, May 25,1953); Piece concertante No. 1: Repliement for Piano and Strings (Montreal, April 6, 1957), No. 2: Eventails for Cello and Chamber Orch. (1959), No. 3: Variations for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Harp, and Strings (Montreal, March 24, 1959), No. 4: Additions for Oboe and Strings (1959), and No. 5: Miroirs (Montreal, Sept. 21, 1963); Trois Pièces (1961; Saskatoon, Nov. 25, 1962); Piano Concerto (1965; Toronto, Feb. 6, 1966); Suite Lapitsky (1965; Montreal, Feb. 2,1966); Oscillations for Chamber Orch. (Vancouver, Sept. 27,1969); Obsession for Small Orch. (Montreal, Oct. 18, 1973); Clair-obscur for Contrabassoon, Double Bass, and Orch. (Montreal, Dec. 10, 1986); Célébrations (Toronto, Feb. 24, 1991). chamber: Violin Sonata (1944; Montreal, April 1946; rev. 1953); Suite for Flute and Piano (1944–45); Aria for Violin (1946); Suite for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn, and Piano (1947; Montreal, Jan. 31, 1955); 2 string quartets: No. 1 (Forest Hill, Ontario, Dec. 8,1953) and No. 2 (1967; Orford Arts Centre, June 24, 1970); Rondo for 4 Recorders (1953); Suite for Violin (1956); Éclosion for Piano, Violin, and Tape (Montreal, April 1961); Trois Caprices for Violin and Piano (Orford Arts Centre, July 5,1962); Fantaisie for Wind Quintet (Winnipeg, June 1963); Canons for Brass Quintet (1964); Dialogues for Violin and Piano (Montreal, Aug. 19,1967); Sextet for Horn, Clarinet, Bassoon, Violin, Viola, and Cello (Montreal, Aug. 15, 1967); Nocturnes for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Guitar, Harpsichord, and Percussion (Montreal, Nov. 28,1969); Trio in 4 Movements for Viola, Clarinet, and Piano (Montreal, March 15, 1974); Départ for Alto Flute (1974; Montreal, April 17, 1980); Verségères for Bass Flute (Vancouver, May 29, 1975); J’aime les tierces mineures for Flute (1975; Orford Arts Centre, July 6,1976); Siano for String Trio (1975; Paris, Dec. 2,1976); Exploration for Guitar (London, Sept. 1983); Prouesse for Viola (1985; Montreal, Nov. 21,1986); Arcadie for 4 Flutes (1986); Thrène for Violin and Piano (1988; Montreal, Feb. 7, 1991); Les Arabesques d’Isabelle for Flute, English Horn, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Piano (1989; Winnipeg, Feb. 13, 1990); Automne for 10 Instruments (1992); Vents capricieux ser le clavier for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Piano (1993; Montreal, April 11, 1994); Chocs sonores for Marimba (1994); Fantasque for Cello (1995). keyboard:Piano: Suite (1942–43; Montreal, June 1957); Mouvement perpétuel (1943; WNYC Radio, N.Y., Feb. 22, 1947); Deux valses (1943^4; Montreal, Feb. 17, 1950); Étude (1944–45); Rondo for Piano, 4-Hands (1945); Aria (1960); Complémentarité (1971; Toronto, Jan. 24, 1972); Nuit (1978; Toronto, Jan. 20, 1981); Idée (1982; Ottawa, Sept. 1984). harpsichord:Dyarchie (Boston, March 30, 1971). Organ: Vers l’extinction (1987; Montreal, Nov. 1, 1989); Combes (1988; Montreal, Nov. 1,1989); Quasapassacaille (1988; Paris, April 26,1990); Autour du Dies Irae (1991); C’est bref (1991); Tournants (1992). vocal:Églogues for Alto, Flute, and Piano (1942; Cambridge, Mass., Feb. 23,1943); Pater noster for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone and Organ (Montreal, June 15, 1944); Ave Maria for Mezzo-soprano or Baritone or Organ (Montreal, June 23,1945); Complainte populaire for Soprano, Bass, and Piano (1946; Montreal, March 21, 1953); Quatrains for Soprano and Piano (1947; Montreal, May 14, 1948); Offertoire “Père, daignez recevoir” for Tenor and Organ or Harmonium (1949); Psaume CL for Soprano, Tenor, Chorus, Winds, and Organ (1954; Montreal, April 11, 1955); Mort for Alto and Piano (Montreal, Nov. 15, 1956); Te mater for 3 Voices (1958); Á Jésus, mon roi, mon grand ami, mon frère for 2 Soloists and Chorus (Montreal, May 1960); Viole d’amour for Chorus (1966); Paysage for 8 Voices, 8 Speakers, and Chamber Orch. (1968; Zagreb, May 9,1969); Contraste for Voice and Orch. (1970); Chanson de Rahit for Voice, Clarinet, and Piano (1972; Montreal, March 3,1973); Le Débat du coeur ed du corps de Villon for Speaker, Cello, and Percussion (1977; Montreal, Feb. 22, 1979); Nuit polaire for Contralto and 10 Instruments (1986; Montreal, Jan. 29, 1987); Glanures for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (Ottawa, Nov. 5, 1994).


L. Bail-Milot, J. P.-C: La vie, la carrière et l’oeuvre (Montreal, 1986).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Papineau-Couture, Jean

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