Yannick Plamondon

Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Québec, 1970

  • Composer

In his works, Yannick Plamondon seeks to create a synthesis of different elements from his musical culture, transcending them in the same way that Bartok transcended the folk heritage of his own country. For Plamondon, the true goal of musical expression is the immediacy of communication, as sophisticated and complex as the material employed may be.

“Born in 1970. Plamondon’s music draws its breath from a rigorous questioning (and plundering) of his Québec heritage, and his affinity for a potentially unsanctioned culture off the beaten track. In so doing, he manages to throw a spanner in the ubiquitous dialectic between the self-made American frontiersman and the dutiful inheritor of unwieldy European mantles. Sentimental culture? Perhaps. But it is onewhich still has a palpable distance to go before its ultimate entropic termination…” — Marc Couroux, 2001

One of the most gifted composers of his generation in Quebec, Yannick Plamondon was born on August 9, 1970, in Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier near Quebec City. Initially self-taught, Plamondon studied composition at the Quebec Music Conservatory where he earned a Premier Prix with high honours. Under the supervision of Serge Provost, he subsequently obtained a master’s degree in 1999 from the Montréal Conservatory of Music, and later worked under the tutelage of renowned composers such as Jonathan Harvey, Luca Francesconi, Tristan Murail and York Höller.

Yannick Plamondon’s works have been performed in Canada and abroad by ensembles such as Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, L’Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the KORE Ensemble, the Toronto New Music Concerts ensemble, the New Music Ensemble of Kiev, The Netherland Radio Chamber Orchestra, and KlangforumWien, to name a few.

A winner of CBC/Radio-Canada Competition for young composers in 1999, in 2002 he won the prestigious Jules-Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, offered by the Canada Council for the Arts, for his work Autoportrait sur Times Square, a commission from Toronto’s Continuum ensemble. He has also won the orchestral music prize given by the National Arts Centre in 1995 and was the winner of the 1998 Forum, presented by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. His works have been selected for the Gaudeamus 2000 Festival, for the Ton Brunyel Prize (Holland) and have been presented at UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers.

Written for highly diverse instrumental combinations, but including full symphony orchestra, Yannick Plamondon’s music is characterized by a natural gift for colour, recurrence, complex combinations, intertextuality, and a desire to fuse lyricism and formalism. Yannick Plamondon is greatly preoccupied with the renewal of the concert formula. To this end, and because he thinks that the realization of an idea may be recreated through different models or mediums, most of his recent endeavours have led him to work with artists from other disciplines.

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