Raoul Paquet

Raoul Paquet. Organist, teacher, composer, b Lacolle, near Montreal, 2 Dec 1893, d accidentally off Bonaventure Island, Gaspé, Que, 4 Aug 1946; honorary D MUS (Montreal) 1946.

Paquet, Raoul

Raoul Paquet. Organist, teacher, composer, b Lacolle, near Montreal, 2 Dec 1893, d accidentally off Bonaventure Island, Gaspé, Que, 4 Aug 1946; honorary D MUS (Montreal) 1946. While studying in Montreal with Arthur Letondal (piano) and Rodolphe Mathieu (harmony), he was organist at St-Pierre-Claver Church. He continued his studies in Europe 1919-21 with Abel-Marie Decaux (organ), Marc Delmas (harmony), and Mme Piltan (piano). On his return to Montreal he gave his first recital at St-Jean-Baptiste Church (where he had been appointed organist), performing works by Bach, Franck, Pierné, and Vierne. Le Canada musical commented on the 'restraint and balance of his playing, his fine musicianship, and his skill in registration, in which his sense of proportion is acute,' and continued, 'His technique is highly developed' (4 Feb 1922). He returned to Paris briefly in 1923 to study counterpoint with Jean Gallon. On his return to Montreal he was choirmaster at St-Stanislas Church for a year and then organist at St-Sacrement Church in Lachine. Following this appointment he returned to St-Jean-Baptiste, where he was organist until his death.

Paquet had a marked predilection for the music of Bach and was a highly esteemed improviser. He taught at the Institut musical du Canada in 1922, and was on the original teaching staffs of the École supérieure de musique d'Outremont (École Vincent-d'Indy) and the Conservatoire national of Montreal; he received the title of founding professor from the conservatory in 1930. Paquet served also as director of the teaching of solfège for the Catholic School Commission of Montreal. Among his pupils were his daughter Madeleine, Félix-R. Bertrand, Lydia Boucher, Gérard Caron, Maurice Dela, Romain Gour, Ernest Lavigne (b 1905), Sister Marie-Stéphane, Juliette Milette, Sister Paul-du-Crucifix (Françoise Lefebvre), and Georgette Tremblay (Prix d'Europe 1935). He was a contributor to MusiCanada and president of the French section of the Quebec Casavant Society. He composed some motets, two masses, a Toccata for organ, a Suite for piano, and La Croix douloureuse, an extended canticle sung by Raoul Jobin in Montreal in 1945.


Further Reading

  • 'Mort tragique de M. Raoul Paquet,' Montreal Le Devoir, 7 Aug 1946

    Musiciens canadiens