Claude Champagne

The Canada Council awarded him its medal in 1963 and he was honoured with a "Claude Champagne Year" in 1964, which included a NFB film and a CBC production. French lyricism and Québec folklore themes are important elements in his compositions.

Champagne, Claude
Composer Claude Champagne in 1929 (photo by Albert Dumas, courtesy Library and Archives Canada).

Claude Champagne

Claude Champagne, composer, teacher (b at Montréal 27 May 1891; d there 21 Dec 1965). He studied piano and theory with Orpha Deveaux and Romain-Octave Pelletier, and then the violin with Albert Chamberland. Alfred La Liberté had faith in Champagne's ability as a composer and helped him go to Paris to study (1921-28), where Hercule et Omphale and the Suite canadienne were created. After returning to Canada, Champagne devoted himself to teaching, composition and administration. Director of musical instruction for Montréal's Catholic School Commission (1934-42), he was also author of 5 volumes of solfeggio for primary-school teachers and taught at McGill 1932-41. As the result of a report he prepared, the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal was created in 1942 and he became its assistant director. He trained an impressive number of composers, including François BRASSARD, Serge GARANT, Pierre MERCURE, François MOREL, Clermont PÉPIN, Gilles TREMBLAY and Jean VALLERAND. From 1949 to 1965 he was editor in chief for BMI Canada, responsible for the publication of Canadian works.

The Canada Council awarded him its medal in 1963 and he was honoured with a "Claude Champagne Year" in 1964, which included a NFB film and a CBC production. French lyricism and Québec folklore themes are important elements in his compositions.