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date: 19 October 2019

Couture, Guillaumelocked

  • Andrée Desautels

Extract

(b Montreal, Oct 23, 1851; d Montreal, Jan 15, 1915). Canadian composer, choirmaster, conductor and teacher. An astonishingly precocious musician, he became choirmaster at Ste Brigitte when he was 13. In 1873 he went to France to pursue his studies; he was the first Canadian to be admitted to the Paris Conservatoire and its first Canadian graduate. He worked under Théodore Dubois, whose teaching in harmony, counterpoint and fugue was traditional and academic, and studied singing under Romain Bussine, founder and president of the Société Nationale de Musique; he was also an organist. Couture was a guest at the Soirées du Lundi. He was an ardent defender of Wagner and debated with Fauré, Massenet, d’Indy, Saint-Saëns and others. In 1875 Couture was accepted by the jury of the Société Nationale, and his Memorare op.1 was performed at the Salle Pleyel under Edouard Colonne. This work reveals his command of counterpoint and his innate sense of sacred style. The same society later performed his ...

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Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (Toronto, 2/1992)