Radio SMCQ: Michel Gonneville

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Montréal, Québec, 1950

  • Composer
  • Writer

After studies with Gilles Tremblay (Montréal), Karlheinz Stockhausen (Darmstadt and Köln) and Henri Pousseur (Liège), Michel Gonneville (1950-) has devoted himself mainly to composing and teaching, living in his native city of Montréal. His musical output covers many genres, from solo pieces to orchestra and chamber music theater, but also includes collaborations with choreographers, visuals artists and writers. Commissions and premieres involved local and international groups. Lectures here and abroad, participation to jurys, event organization and writing specialized articles have filled other moments of his life. Since 1997, he teaches composition and analysis at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. As a pedagogue, he is appreciated for his open-mindedness and dialogic aptitudes. His music is rooted mainly in the post-1968 serial way of thinking, cross-influenced by post-modern currents (Claude Vivier, the French spectral school, and some outsiders). Rigorous formal constructions absorb melodic, rhythmic and harmonic speculations, sophistication and immediate expressiveness striving for equilibrium. Historical references are not rare in his works: for example, Browsing Agon, also composed for the Aventa Ensemble, refers to Stravinsky’s Agon in many more or less clearly perceptible ways.

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