Radio SMCQ: Serge Provost

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Saint-Timothée-de-Beauharnois, Québec, 1952

  • Composer
  • Writer

A belief that the human species is the product of culture underlies the artistic work of Serge Provost. Whether rooted in literature, painting, and architecture, or simply infused with the ecology of a space, his music constitutes a profound exploration of the relationships between sensibility and intelligence. The organic integration of new technologies in his work creates an extreme fluidity amongst sources of inspiration, techniques employed, and the eventual sonic outcome.

Born in 1952, Serge Provost is recognized as one of the most active Quebec composers of his generation. In the past few years, he has attracted a lot of attention with works such as Le Vampire et la Nymphomane (libretto by Quebec poet Claude Gauvreau), an opera for which he received the 1996 Prix Opus awarded by the Conseil québécois de la musique, in the “composition of the year” category. His second string quartet Ventis-Arboris-Vocis was premiered by the Arditti Quartet during Radio-France’s Présence festival in Paris, and was received to international critical acclaim. In 2001, the Trio Fibonacci gave the premiere performance of La Pietra Che Canta to rave reviews by the Berlin critics. Serge Provost has also written many articles, particularly for the revue Circuit and the Encyclopédie de la Musique Einaudi. Always up to date with the evolution of modern day thoughts in a variety of areas, he gives greater importance to a broadened creative process which is enriched by literature, architecture and arts in general. He also favours the integration of new technologies. Serge Provost received his musical training at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal, primarily with Gilles Tremblay, then abroad at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris with Claude Ballif. He also took part in a training course at IRCAM’s Cursus de Composition in 1995-96.

Serge Provost is currently professor of composition and analysis at the Conservatoire du Québec à Montréal.

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