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Jean Lesage

Academic Title(s): 

Associate Professor


Contact Information
Email Address: 
jean [dot] lesage [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Music Research
Music Composition

Music Composition


Jean Lesage is a Montréal composer born in 1958. He pursued his musical training with Gilles Tremblay for composition and analysis, Micheline Cou-lombe St-Marcoux and Yves Daoust for electronic music, Clermont Pépin for orchestration, and with Bernard and Mireille Lagacé for organ and harpsichord. His meeting with composer John Rea had a decisive impact on his development.

To be noted among the 40-odd works he has composed so far are: — Mare Fe-cunditatis (1986), for piano , CAPAC Prize 1987 — Trois apparitions au désert (1988), for mixed choir and large orchestra, Robert Flemming Prize from the Canadian Music Council 1988. — Le sentiment océanique (1989), for eight instruments, commissioned by the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (ECM), presented at UNESCO's 1995 Rostrum of Composers, in Paris — Les sensations confuses (1993), for chamber orchestra, commissioned by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, premiered in Strasbourg at the 1993 Musica Festival — Masques et chimères (1996) for eleven instruments, commissioned by the ECM. — Les représentations surannées (1998) for orchestra, commissioned by l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec premiered in Québec at the Musique au présent Festival 1999. — Le livre des mélancolies (1999) for clarinet and string quartet commissioned by the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. — Portrait of a Sentimental Musician in a Distorting Mirror (2000) for violin and piano, commissioned by the CBC for Duo Concertante. — String Quartet (2001), commissioned by the Quatuor Bozzini.

Jean Lesage is very active on the Montréal music scene : he has been an advisory member of the Association pour la Création et la Recherche Électroa-coustique du Québec (ACREQ), a program coordinator for the Société des Concerts Alternatifs du Québec, and since 1990, a member of the artistic committee of the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec. From 1987 to 1995, he was also a reporter for the program Musique actuelle, broadcast on Radio-Canada's FM radio. For the same network, in the summer of 1996, he produced and hosted Musique du Québec, a series of 12 programs on Québec's musical modernism. In 1996-1997, he was a guest editorial director for Circuit, a North American journal of Twentieth Century music.

Schulich School of Music faculty since 1999.