Jean-François Sénart

Jean-François Sénart. Conductor, b Anglet, France, 27 Apr 1943; BA (Montreal) 1962. He moved to Canada in 1952 and later studied literature at the University of Montreal.

Sénart, Jean-François

Jean-François Sénart. Conductor, b Anglet, France, 27 Apr 1943; BA (Montreal) 1962. He moved to Canada in 1952 and later studied literature at the University of Montreal. In 1965 he enrolled at the CMM, where he studied with Isabelle Delorme (harmony), Françoise Aubut (counterpoint), Jean-Louis Martinet (orchestration), and Pierre Dervaux (orchestra conducting). He took advanced courses in 1973 with Dervaux in Nice and in 1977 with Piero Bellugi in Siena on a grant from the Canada Council. A member of the college of instructors of the Alliance chorale canadienne, he became recognized as an 'international instructor' by the choral movement À Coeur Joie (see À Coeur joie Canada), and conducted workshops at the 1971, 1974 and 1980 Choralies internationales in Vaison-la-Romaine, France. From 1973 to 1982 he directed the series of choral programs 'A Cappella' (later 'À travers chant') on CBC radio,.with an ensemble made up primarily of professional singers, which broadcast some 130 programs in over a dozen languages.

Sénart founded and conducted several Montreal choral groups, including the Choeur Kattialine (1962-74), the Ensemble vocal de Montréal (1976) and the Choeur de Montréal (1981-90). The last-named, numbering over 100 choristers, gave many concerts in the region, collaborating with, among others, the Musiciens de l'Archipel, a chamber orchestra also founded by Sénart in 1981, the MSO, the Orchestre métropolitain (for a performance of Jean le Précurseur, 1988) and the OJQ (Caïn, 1988). Sénart coached the MSO choirs during its 50th season (1983-4), including the performance of Mahler's monumental Symphony of a Thousand at the Forum. In 1984 he became the director of the newly-founded Ensemble Vocal de Sherbrooke. As orchestra conductor, he has led the OJQ (assistant conductor, 1979-80), the MSO (Matinées symphoniques), the CBC Quebec Chamber Orchestra and the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra (artistic director, 1985-6). He published Le Geste Musicien (Montreal 1988), an abstract on conducting which received a National Choral Award from the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors in 1990.

Sénart was a teacher and conductor of the orchestra and choir 1969-77 at the St-Laurent Cegep, director of the orchestral class and director of choral activities 1973-90 at the École Vincent d'Indy, and choral conducting teacher 1973-86 and orchestra conductor 1987-8 at the University of Montreal. In 1990 he settled in Aix-en-Provence.


Further Reading

  • Morency-Létourneau, Gabrielle. 'Rencontre...' Alla breve, vol 1, Feb 1985

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