Tremblay, Gilles (Léonce)

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Tremblay, Gilles (Léonce)

Tremblay, Gilles (Léonce), Canadian composer, teacher, and pianist; b. Arvida, Quebec, Sept. 6, 1932. He studied privately with Jocelyne Binet (counterpoint), Isabelle Delorme (solfège), Papineau- Couture (acoustics), and Edmond Trudel (piano) before pursuing his training at the Montreal Cons. (1949-54), where he was a student of Champagne (composition and theory) and Germaine Malépart (piano; premier prix, 1953). After attending the Marlboro (Vt.) Music School (summers, 1950-51; 1953) and studying music history with Vallerand at the Univ. of Montreal (1952-53), he went to Paris and pursued his training with Loriod (theory and piano, 1954-57) and, at the Cons., with Messiaen (analysis, 1954-57; premier prix, 1957), and Martenot (Ondes Martenot, 1956-58; première médaille, 1958). He also studied with Stockhausen at the summer courses in new music in Darmstadt and was a student of Vaurabourg-Honegger at the École Normale Supérieure de Musique in Paris (counterpoint; licence en musique, 1958). From 1959 to 1961 he worked with the Groupe de recherches musicales at the ORTF in Paris, and he returned to Darmstadt to attend the courses given by Boulez and Pousseur in 1960. Returning to Canada, he taught at the Quebec Cons. (1961-66). From 1982 to 1988 he was president of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec in Montreal, serving also as its artistic director from 1986 to 1988. In 1968 he was awarded the Prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée. He was made an Officer of the Ordre national du Quebec in 1991 and Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 1992. In his music, Tremblay is ever cognizant of the many- faceted elements of sonority. His compositions are particularly notable for their coloristic writing.


dramatic: Lin 9 for Mime, 2 Trumpets, and 2 Percussion (Montreal, April 9, 1987). ORCH.: Cantique de durées (1960; Paris, March 24, 1963); Jeux de solstices (Ottawa, April 23, 1974); Fleuves (1976; Montreal, May 3, 1977); Vers le soleil (Paris, March 11, 1978); Katadrone (Contrecri) (Montreal, Oct. 19, 1988); Musique du feu for Piano and Wind Orch. (1991); Avec: Wampum symphonique for Soprano, Bass, Narrator, Chorus, and Orch. (1992); Traversée, flute concerto (1994); Les Pierres crieront (1998). CHAMBER: Mobile for Violin and Piano (1962); Champs I for Piano and 2 Percussion (1965; rev. 1969), II: Souffles for 2 Flutes, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, 2 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, 2 Percussion, Double Bass, and Piano (Montreal, March 21, 1968), and III: Vers for 2 Flutes, Clarinet, Trumpet, Horn, 3 Violins, Double Bass, and 3 Percussion (Stratford, Ontario, Aug. 2, 1969); ...le sifflement des vents porteurs de l’amour... for Flute, Percussion, and Microphones (Ottawa, March 1, 1971); Solstices (ou Les Jours et les saisons tournent) for 1, 2, 3, or 4 Groups of 6 Instruments (1971; Montreal, May 17, 1972); Compostene I for 18 Instruments (Paris, Nov. 30, 1978); Le Signe du lion for Horn and Tarn- tarn (Montreal, Oct. 8, 1981); Envoi, conarto voi for Piano and 15 Instruments (Montreal, Feb. 17, 1983); Envoi for Flute (1984); Triojubilus for Flute, Harp, and Cowbells (1985); Cèdres en voiles for Cello (1989); Aubes, trio for Bass Flute, Double Bass, and Percussion (1990); D’une goutte for Microtonal Membranophone (1994); L’arbre de borobudur for Sundanese Gamelan and 8 Western Instruments (1995). KEYBOARD: Piano: Deux Pièces pour piano: Phases and Réseaux (1956-58); Traçantes (1976). Organ: Vers une étoile (1993). VOCAL: Kékoba for Soprano, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Percussion, and Ondes Martenot (1965; Montreal, Feb. 25, 1966; rev. 1967); Oralléluiants for Soprano, Flute, Bass Clarinet, Horn, 3 Double Basses, 2 Percussion, and Microphones (Toronto, Feb. 8, 1975); DZEI (Voies de feu) for Soprano, Flute, Bass Clarinet, Piano, and Percussion (Vancouver, April 12, 1981); Les Vêpres de la Vierge for Soprano, Chorus, and 13 Instruments (Abbey of Notre-Dame de Sylvanès, France, July 20, 1986); L’espace ducoeur, Miron-Machaut for Chorus and Percussion (1995); A Quelle heure commence le temps for Bass-baritone, Piano, and 15 Instruments, after Bernard Levy (1999). ELECTROACOUSTIC: Exercise I (1959) and II (1960); Centre-elan (1967); Sonorisation de Pavillion du Québec (1967).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire