Claude Savard. Pianist, teacher, b Montreal 16 Oct 1941, d there 13 Feb 2003; premier prix piano (CMM) 1963. He studied in Montreal with Marie-Louise Boisvert and 1959-63 at the CMM with Germaine Malépart. On a Canada Council grant he worked 1963-9 in Paris with Vlado Perlemuter and Suzanne Roche. He was a recipient of the Prix d'Europe in 1964, won international competitions in Vercelli in 1964, Geneva in 1965, and Lisbon in 1966, and was awarded first prize unanimously at the competition in Munich in 1966. In February 1967 in Paris he premiered Alain Gagnon's Sonata No. 3, which had been composed for him the previous year.
Savard was official accompanist (voice and violin) in 1966, 1967, 1969, and 1970 at the Montreal International Competition and a jury member in 1969 for the Montevideo International Competition. In 1970 he gave recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and at Festival Canada in Marburg, Germany. In 1971 he made his MSO debut in February in Mendelssohn's Concerto No. 1 and gave a recital at Wigmore Hall, London. In 1972, sponsored by the Department of External Affairs, he gave 17 recitals in Latin America. He studied 1972-6 with Irving Heller. In the summer of 1973 he performed Jean Papineau-Couture'sPièce concertante No. 1 'Repliement' with a CBC Toronto orchestra. As a soloist with different orchestras Savard played on many radio and TV stations in Europe, South America, and Canada. For the CBC he performed, among other works, Poulenc's Concerto for piano in September 1974. He played Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand with the TS in August 1976 and Ravel's Concerto in G in July 1977.
Savard accompanied a number of singers and instrumentalists, including Pierrette Alarie, Josephte Clément (Fauré, Duparc; 1963; CD-JMC-3), Bruno Laplante, Nicole Lorange, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Joseph Rouleau, Sylvia Saurette; Suzanne Shulman, and Léopold Simoneau. For the JM he toured several European countries in 1966 and Canada in 1967-8, 1969-70, 1971-2, and 1972-3.
In the New York Times Allen Hughes described Savard's recital 27 Mar 1975 at Carnegie Recital Hall: 'Hearing him play a stimulating program... one regretted that the demand for pianists of his intelligence, sensitivity and skill is not greater than it is. He has a distinctive musical personality that is evident in everything he plays.' In New York, Savard also performed in Town Hall in 1978. After a tour in Japan in 1981, he spent two weeks in China in 1982 with Maureen Forrester and Claude Corbeil, giving recitals and master classes. An NFB documentary of this tour was produced under the title Singing: A Joy in Any Language.
Savard began teaching piano and chamber music in 1975 at the University of Montreal, where he was responsible for the piano division from 1988.
He also taught 1975-81 at the JMC Orford Arts Centre.
'Les concours internationaux: pour ou contre?' VM, 8, May 1968