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Raymond Daveluy

Daveluy, (Joseph Eugène) Raymond (-Marie). Organist, composer, administrator, educator, b Victoriaville, Que, 23 Dec 1926. In 1937 he began studying music with his father, Lucien Daveluy, an organist and bandmaster in Victoriaville. In Montreal he studied theory 1939-46 with Gabriel Cusson and organ 1942-8 with Conrad Letendre. In 1948 he won the Prix d'Europe and pursued his organ studies in New York with Hugh Giles.

In 1946 Daveluy began appearing as a recitalist in Canada, the USA, and Europe. Jean Vallerand observed in Montreal's Le Devoir (24 Feb 1953): 'I admire... the clarity of his playing, the precision of his legato, the transparency of his contrapuntal passage work, his intelligent grasp of the various styles of the works in hand, and the musical scholarship revealed in his carefully chosen tempi and appropriate registers'. At a recital in 1951 he played works by the Canadians Arthur Letondal, Amédée Tremblay, and Conrad Letendre. In 1959 Daveluy was the first organist from North America to be invited to participate in an improvisation competition in Haarlem, the Netherlands, at which he was a prizewinner. In 1975 he performed Saint-Saëns' Symphony No. 3 with the MSO. He has participated in several festivals, notably in Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany and Switzerland. He also performed at the Royal Festival Hall in London and at the international convention organized by the American Guild of Organists in Philadelphia (1977), in Tokyo and in Seoul (1979), at the Notre Dame Church in Paris (1986) and at the international organists' congress in Cambridge, England (1987). In Montreal he was the organist 1946-51 at St-Jean-Baptiste Church, 1951-4 at Immaculée-Conception Church, and 1954-9 at St-Sixte Church. He assumed charge of the organ at St Joseph's Oratory in 1960. Daveluy performed regularly on CBC radio's 'Récital d'orgue' and for the Pro Organo society, for which he gave the inaugural concert. He has also developed remarkable improvisatory skills: 'Mr Daveluy gave a spectacular display of improvisation, full of contrasts and strange harmonies' (Gilles Potvin, Montreal La Presse, 8 Aug 1968).

Daveluy has played an important role in teaching and administration: he gave organ and theory classes 1957-60, 1978-88 at the CMM, taught organ and harmony 1966-7 at the Cons de Trois-Rivières, and in 1966 began giving occasional organ courses at McGill University. He served 1965-71 as president of the AMQ, 1967-70 as assistant director and 1974-8 as director of the CMM, and 1970-4 as director of the Cons de Trois-Rivière. Pierre-Yves Asselin, Paul Crawford, Mireille Lagacé, Lucienne L'Heureux-Arel, and Rachel Laurin are among his pupils. Daveluy was a juror at international organ competitions in London, Ont (1967), Munich (1971), Philadelphia (1977), Saint Albans, England (1979, 1983, 1985) and Chartres (1986).

In 1980 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada. He is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre. Some of his personal papers are deposited in the Daveluy family collection at the UQTR. He is the brother of Marie Daveluy and is married to the pianist Hilda Metcalfe. His grandfather, Adolphe Daveluy, founded Daveluyville, near Trois-Rivières.

The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada 2004

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Canadian Music Centre