Dompierre, François

(Joseph Eugène Frédéric) François Dompierre. Composer, accompanist, conductor, arranger, producer, b Ottawa 1 Jul 1943. He studied piano with Hélène Landry and Noëlla Vaillancourt in Ottawa and then organ with Paul Larose. He continued 1959-64 at the CMM with Françoise Aubut (fugue, harmony, counterpoint, organ), Clermont Pépin (composition, orchestration), and Irving Heller (piano). He first became known in Montreal as an accompanist and a singer-songwriter with a fondness for melancholy songs inspired by jazz and slightly influenced by Michel Legrand. His appearance on the CFTM TV program 'Découverte' in 1963 was seen by John Damant, the artistic director of Select recording company, and as a result Select released his first LP, François Dompierre (SSP 24.104).

Dompierre abandoned his career as a performer, but his songs were sung by Julie Arel, Pierre Calvé, Christine Charbonneau, Renée Claude, Emmanuelle, Louise Forestier, Claude Gauthier, Pauline Julien, Félix Leclerc, Monique Leyrac, the Ménestrels, and others. His LP Dompierre (1974, Dompierre 2-80212-213 and Analekta AN-2-8301-CD), containing some of his instrumental compositions including Ballade pour Violaine, La Chasse-Galerie, Ragtime pour plus tard and Saute-Mouton sold more than 80,000 copies. He organized and conducted Bach concertos with soloists at the Patriote de Montréal (1975) and at the PDA (1976). In 1981, he recorded Hors d'oeuvres (Poly. 2424-232) which won the Félix Award for instrumental LP of 1982. Dompiere increasingly devoted himself to orchestral conducting with such orchestras as the MSO, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre métropolitain, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and musicians of the orchestra of the Paris Opera.

His Sonate for ondes Martenot and piano was premiered in 1974 and recorded by the ondist Sylvette Allard and the pianist Théodore Parasquive (Dompierre 80198).

During 1976-7, a year of work and study in Paris, he composed Harmonica Flash for harmonica and orchestra for Claude Garden. The work was premiered in Vancouver in January 1978. On the CBC TV special program 'Dompierre,' 25 Dec 1978, he conducted the MSO, the solo pianist Édith Boivin-Béluse, and the pop instrumentalists Jean-Marie Benoît (guitar), Michel Donato (bass guitar), André Proulx (violin), and Richard Provençal (drums) in the premiere of his Concerto in A. The concerto and Harmonica Flash - both of which had been commissioned by the CBC - were recorded in 1979 for Deutsche Grammophon by the same soloists and the MSO, conducted by Charles Dutoit. 'Although it is in classical form with the three movements and the traditional construction,' explained the author speaking of his Concerto, 'all the themes are drawn from the source of the popular music of our North American culture' (Ici Radio-Canada, 23-9 Dec 1978). He also wrote Les Diableries, the required piece for the 1979 Montreal International Music Competition (violin) and Kaléidophone (1983) commissioned by the Canadian Music Competitions as the required piece.for its finalists'. The LP Domaine Forget, Opus. 1 (1982, Lindof 1-001) contains his pieces Concertino pour St-Irénée, Tire d'aile, Tendre-amère and Citron mécanique, performed by various soloists and a string ensemble conducted by Raymond Dessaints. His Concerto for violin and orchestra was premiered by the violinist Angèle Dubeau at Expo 86 in Vancouver and performed again that year at the Festival d'été (Festival international) de Lanaudière. In 1989, he composed Les Jardins intérieurs, a mucsical cycle for the large greenhouse of the Montreal Botanical Gardens (recorded on Opérama CD-OP-0407). He also composed the music to accompany the fireworks at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Montreal.

Dompierre has written the music for numerous films, including O. K. Laliberté (Marc Carrière), IXE-13 (Jacques Godbout), Bonheur d'occasion (Claude Fournier), Le Sang des autres (Claude Chabrol), Mario (Jean Baudin-1985 Genie Award ) Le Déclin de l'empire américain (Denys Arcand), The Kid Brother (Claude Gagnon) and Les Portes Tournantes (Francis Mankiewicz). He also composed the musical comedy Demain matin Montréal m'attend (with text by Michel Tremblay), and numerous commercials, one of which won him the Prix du Coq d'or in 1975.

Dompierre told a Variations interviewer: 'I do not limit myself. I agree with the idea of breaking down divisions between styles. The great variety in means of communication in our age forces us to create for all media..'..

In 1967 he founded Productions François Dompierre and collaborated with Intermède Québec in establishing Publications Chant de mon pays (1977). He created and recorded a book-cassette for young budding musicians, Je m'amusique (Opérama 1988).

Writings

Les plaisirs d'un compositeur gourmand (Montreal 2000)