Denis Bédard

Denis Bédard. Organist, harpsichordist, composer, b Quebec City 13 Jan 1950; deuxième prix harmony (CMQ) 1966, premier prix counterpoint (CMQ) 1970, premier prix fugue (CMQ) 1971, premier prix organ (CMQ) 1972, premier prix harpsichord, premier prix chamber music (CMQ) 1973.

Bédard, Denis

Denis Bédard. Organist, harpsichordist, composer, b Quebec City 13 Jan 1950; deuxième prix harmony (CMQ) 1966, premier prix counterpoint (CMQ) 1970, premier prix fugue (CMQ) 1971, premier prix organ (CMQ) 1972, premier prix harpsichord, premier prix chamber music (CMQ) 1973. He began piano lessons with a private teacher at seven and continued with Tania Krieger at the CMQ in 1961, also at that time beginning organ with Claude Lavoie and harpsichord with Donald Thomson. Bédard also studied with André Mérineau (harmony) and Magdeleine Martin (counterpoint and fugue). On three consecutive Canada Council grants he studied 1973-4 in Paris with André Isoir (organ) and Laurence Boulay (harpsichord and figured bass realization), and 1974-5 in Montreal with Mireille and Bernard Lagacé (organ and harpsichord). He won the Prix d'Europe for his harpsichord playing in 1975 and studied 1975-7 for short, intensive periods with Gustav Leonhardt in Holland.

Bédard served 1969-78 as organist at the Church of Notre-Dame de la Nativité in Beauport (near Quebec City) and in 1978 he became the regular organist at the Church of Saint-Coeur-de-Marie in Quebec City. He also was the accompanist 1983-8 of the Petits Chanteurs de la Maîtrise de Québec. He began teaching at the CMQ in 1981. As his reputation as an organ and harpsichord recitalist grew, he played frequently on the CBC and also for the Amis de l'orgue, the Concerts Couperin, the Pro Organo Society, and for the Concerts spirituels at Saint Joseph's Oratory. After a Bédard performance of works by Messiaen, Mozart, de Grigny, Buxtehude, and Bach, Marc Samson wrote, 'Moreover, he displays musical ideas which, while they may be debated from some points of view, never leave us indifferent'(Le Soleil, 6 Mar 1975). Bédard also has composed several works, notably for wind instruments, including a sonata for alto saxophone and piano (1981) and one for flute and piano (1984), both published by Éditions Doberman-Yppan (1987, 1988), a sonata for trumpet and organ (1987) recorded by Louis Larouche et Sylvain Doyon (Interdisc S-100527) and a Concerto for flute (1987) commissioned by the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. He also has recorded four Handel concertos for organ and orchestra with the Ensemble Carl-Philipp (1982, Alpec A-83042), and some works for oboe and harpsichord with Philippe Magnan (RCI 651).

Writings

'La musique sera tonale ou ne sera pas,' VM, 15, Mar 1970


Further Reading

  • Laurier, Andrée. 'Instrumentalist turns to composing and builds a new career,' CanComp, 233, Sep 1988

    Caron, Sylvian. 'Denis Bédard: organist and composer at the forefront of contemporary Canadian music,' The American Organist vol 32, October 1998