Wilfrid Pelletier

Wilfrid Pelletier, conductor, pianist, administrator (b at Montréal 20 June 1896; d at New York City, NY 9 Apr 1982). He played a major role in the formation of Québec musical life, especially in the field of lyric theatre (opera) and with young people. He studied with Mme François Héraly (piano, solfeggio, harmony), Alfred La Liberté (interpretation) and Alexis Contant (harmony, composition) in Canada, and with Charles-Marie Widor (composition) and Camille Bellaigue (lyric repertory) in Paris. He held at different times the positions of rehearsal pianist for French repertory, and assistant conductor, artistic director and regular conductor of the Metropolitan Opera of New York.

His many Canadian activities include the creation of the Matinées symphoniques pour la jeunesse (1935), the Montréal Festivals (1936) and the CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE DU QUÉBEC, of which he was the founding director. He was also first artistic director of the orchestra of the Société des concerts symphoniques de Montréal (1935-40), artistic director of the Québec Symphonic Orchestra (1951-66), director of musical education for Québec's Ministry of Cultural Affairs (1961-67), a founder of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (1966) and national chairman of JEUNESSES MUSICALES DU CANADA (1967-69). Pelletier was awarded the medal of the Canada Council (1962) and the medal of the Canadian Music Council (1975) and made a Companion of the Order of Canada (1968).