Gaston Ouellet

Gaston (Marcel) Ouellet. Harpsichord maker, teacher, musicologist, born Dolbeau, Lac-St-Jean, Que, 24 Jan 1930, died Pointe-Claire, Que, 2 Sep 2011; B MUS (Montreal) 1967, L MUS (Montreal) 1968, MA (Wayne State, Detroit) 1968, D MUS (Montreal) 1974.


Gaston (Marcel) Ouellet. Harpsichord maker, teacher, musicologist, born Dolbeau, Lac-St-Jean, Que, 24 Jan 1930, died Pointe-Claire, Que, 2 Sep 2011; B MUS (Montreal) 1967, L MUS (Montreal) 1968, MA (Wayne State, Detroit) 1968, D MUS (Montreal) 1974. He first studied with François Brassard (piano, harmony, composition), then with Jean Vallerand (history) and Bernard Lagacé (organ), among others. One of the first harpsichord builders in Canada, he produced his first instrument in 1962 in Arvida (renamed Jonquière), Que. Subsequently he met Wolfgang J. Zuckermann in New York and Frank Hubbard in Boston. In 1965 he built a French harpsichord modelled on one by Pascal Taskin. The following year, he set up his workshop in Vaudreuil, and then at Île-Perrot, in the Montreal suburbs. In 1967, with his brother Réginald, he built an instrument with two manuals, which in 1990 belonged to St-Laurent Cegep. In 1968 two harpsichords were inaugurated at the Musée historique de Vaudreuil by Kenneth Gilbert and Mireille Lagacé, and in 1969, the Faculty of Music of the University of Montreal commissioned a French-type harpsichord from him. Ouellet remained active until 1974. He taught at the University of Montreal 1969-72 and subsequently at the Collège de Valleyfield 1972-89.


Further Reading

  • 'Gaston Ouellet est passé maître dans l'art de construire des clavencins,' Musique périodique, vol 1, Dec 1976