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André Prévost

ANDRÉ PRÉVOST comes from Saint-Jérôme-de-Terrebonne, Québec. He was born in 1934 in Hawkesbury, Ontario. He studied nine years at the Montréal Conservatory where he worked on composition with Clermont Pépin and writing with Jean Papineau-Couture and Isabelle Delorme. In 1960 he won the Conservatory's premier prix in composition and left to pursue his studies in Paris with grants from The Canada Council and the province of Québec. In Paris his teachers were, first, Messiaen, then, Dutilleux. He returned to Montréal in 1962 and the following year he won the Prix d'Europe. Two years later he returned to Paris to study electroacoustic music with Michel Philippot. He spent the following summer at the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, Massachusetts, where he worked with Copland, Kodály, Schuller and Carter.

On his return to Canada, Prévost taught at the Faculty of Music of the University of Montréal, where he has been full professor for several years, giving courses in composition and analysis.

Prévost's works are frequently performed in Canada and abroad, particularly in Europe, the United States, India and New Zealand. The success enjoyed by Pyknon, the set piece at the 1966 Montréal International Violin Competition, and Fantasmes, a symphonic movement recorded by the Montréal Symphony Orchestra in 1963, led Prévost to author his most imposing work, Terre des Hommes, a composition for double orchestra, three choirs and two readers based on a poem by Michèle Lalonde. This work was chosen to mark the inauguration of Expo '67. His Cantate pour cordes (1987) is the result of a personal commission from Sir Yehudi Menuhin, the first work commissioned by this renowned musician from a francophone Canadian composer. The development of this work was the subject of a CBC program, 'Menuhin - Prévost, A Creative Adventure', which was broadcast in January 1990, and which later won the Prix italia in October of the same year.

Included in the honours André Prévost has received are the medal of the Canadian Music Council in 1977, the "trophy for concert music" from the Performing Rights Organization of Canada and, in April 1986, his nomination as Officer of the Order of Canada.

André Prévost passed away following a long battle with cancer on January 27, 2001.


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Canadian Music Centre