Composer and conductor Walter Boudreau has created over sixty works for various types of ensembles, as well as fifteen film scores and two ballets. His works have been performed in Canada, the United States, France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, and Finland. In 1998 he was awarded the prix Opus “Composer of the year” (Conseil québécois de la musique). Since 1988 Boudreau has been artistic director and principal conductor of the Ensemble de la Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ). In 1990 he was appointed as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s first composer in residence for a period of three years. Boudreau has directed various contemporary music group. With Denys Bouliane, he assumed the artistic direction of the Millennium Symphony (2000) and the Montréal/New Music Festival (MNM) (2003-05-07). Jointly they received the prix Opus “Musical Event of the year.” Among other distinctions, in 2003 Boudreau was awarded the Molson Prize by the Canada Council for the Arts, quickly followed in 2004 by the Prix Denise-Pelletier for the performing arts (Prix du Québec). In 2013 he was appointed as a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec, named as a Member of the Order of Canada. He has received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in the classical music category in 2015.
Éric Lagacé was born on july 8, 1959 from an organist father and a harpsichordist mother. His daily bread, from his most tender age, has been mainly the music of J.S. Bach, that he heard performed live in his family house. After having infructuous results as a guitar, violin, oboe and tuba player, he finally picked-up the double-bass as a teenager and turned towards music of his time, namely jazz. Not neglecting classical music studies, Éric Lagacé quickly became in demand in the Montréal area in both jazz ensembles and classical orchestras. He started playing professionally at the age of 19, and remains until now one of the most versatile and most appreciated bass player in Canada.
He played with the Ottawa National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Montréal symphony orchestra, and the Quebec symphony orchestra. He is still the resident bass player for Arion early music ensemble, ensemble Amati, and has been doing the same for Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal since 15 years now.
Also active on the jazz scene, Mr Lagacé has accompanied most of the great Canadian jazz figures, notably Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Rob McConnel, Vic Vogel, as well as many american artists such as Slide Hampton, Winton Marsalis, Phil Woods, Eddie «cleanhead» Vinson, Chris Potter. He also performed memorable studio sessions and TV shows with great french composer/pianist Michel Legrand.
In spite of all this success, the double-bass left some unfullfilled expectations in Eric, so he decided to study seriously music at the age of 24, while a member of the Quebec symphony orchestra, and started taking piano lessons, studied fugue, harmony and counterpoint at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec. He now holds first prizes in all these last three disciplines. Mr Lagacé also teaches music theory and double-bass at Concordia University.
Laurence K Pardo
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