Fernand Graton

Fernand Graton. Orchestra and vocal group conductor, choir master, teacher, (Montreal, Feb 2, 1921 - Brossard, Que, August 2, 2000). He received his early musical training from his mother and later studied violin, piano, and organ with Auguste Descarries, Georges-Émile Tanguay, and Gilberte Martin.

Graton, Fernand

Fernand Graton. Orchestra and vocal group conductor, choir master, teacher, (Montreal, Feb 2, 1921 - Brossard, Que, August 2, 2000). He received his early musical training from his mother and later studied violin, piano, and organ with Auguste Descarries, Georges-Émile Tanguay, and Gilberte Martin. He also took courses in writing (1933-40). Interested in conducting, he founded the Montreal Youth Symphony Orchestra and served as its artistic director (1945-51). With a grant from the Quebec government (1949-51), he studied orchestra conducting in New York with Léon Barzin and, during the summer of 1950, worked under Serge Koussevitzky, Hugh Ross, and Jacques Ibert at the Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood, Mass. In 1951 he conducted a concert with choir and orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival. From 1950 to 1965, he conducted the Choeur bleu et or (renamed the Choeur des étudiants de l'Université de Montréal in 1962), which performed at Tanglewood in 1961 and 1962 and with the MSO on several occasions. In 1957 he conducted the Philharmonia, an amateur orchestra founded the same year. Under his direction, the Chanteurs du Québec took part in the 1964 triennial Zimrya International Choir Festival in Israel. His career led him to direct in a number of Canadian and American cities, including in Boston for PBS and in an educational series on WNYC. He also served as associate artistic director of the Orchestre symphonique de Mont-Royal and was guest conductor of the Hull chamber orchestra. Graton began teaching in 1950 at the University of Montreal and continued to do so for about 15 years. He taught at the St-Laurent College and the Ste-Thérèse Seminary and in 1960 gave the instrumental ensemble classes at the École Vincent-d'Indy. He was appointed secretary general of the Conservatoire de musique du Québec in December 1964, the year he also became director of the CMM. Graton was choir master at St-Viateur church in Montreal (1958-65) as well as founder and director of the Conservatoire de Hull (1967 -78). He acted as a consultant to the general management of the Conservatoire de musique du Québec with the MACQ.