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Denis Gougeon: Biography

Denis Gougeon
1951 -
Region: Québec

Denis Gougeon

Québécois composer Denis Gougeon has written more than 100 works, ranging from solos to orchestral pieces, from concertante music to chamber opera, and from musical tales to symphonic ballets.

He has written for, amongst others, the symphony orchestras of Quebec City, Montreal, and Shanghai; the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France; the Esprit Orchestra of Toronto; the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec; the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne; the Molinari and Erato string quartets; Arsenal à musique; sopranos Marie-Danielle Parent and Marianne Fiset; percussionist Marie-Josée Simard; the Percussions de Strasbourg; the Bayerisches Staatsballett de Munich; and the Norwegian National Ballet. In January 1989, Charles Dutoit selected him to be the MSO’s first composer-in-residence. In collaboration with the legendary Gilles Vigneault, Denis Gougeon created the original musical tale entitled Le piano muet, which was published as an audio book on the ATMA label, and received a Coup de coeur award from the Académie Charles Cros in 2003. This very versatile composer has also collaborated with the celebrated director Denis Marleau, founder of Théâtre UBU de Montréal, writing the music for 11 shows. His music for the play Roberto Zucco won the Académie québécoise du théâtre’s Masque prize for best original music. Commissioned by the celebrated Bayerisches Staatsballett, he wrote the music for Emma B., a two-hour long ballet inspired by Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and choreographed by Jean Grand-Maître. The work was premiered, with full orchestra, at the Munich National Theater in 1999. For the Norwegian National Ballet he wrote the orchestral music for Liaisons dangereuses, a ballet freely inspired by Laclos’ famous novel, which was premiered in September 2000 in Oslo. Denis Gougeon won first prize in the 2010 International Composition Competition in Shanghai. He won the 2000 Opus Prize for Composer of the Year, and the 2011 Opus Prize for Composition of the Year for his work Mutation. His work Clere Vénus was awarded a Juno Prize in 2007. After honoring Claude Vivier, Gilles Tremblay, and Ana Sokolovic in previous years, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) has chosen Denis Gougeon as the focus of the fourth (2013-2014) edition of their Hommage series.

Recent works include a Concerto for Horn and orchestra, Cor et Âme, premiered by John Zirbel and the OSM under the direction of Bramwell Tovey, Ballade op.30, ADAGIO and ARIOSO for I MUSICI de Montréal. Since 2001, Denis Gougeon has been teaching composition at the music faculty of the Université de Montréal.


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