Edmond Hardy

Edmond Hardy. Bandmaster, administrator, importer, publisher, teacher, b Montreal 23 Nov 1854, d Montréal-Sud (Longueuil) 18 Sep 1943. He studied music with his father, Guillaume, founder and director of the Hardy Band, and succeeded him when he died 16 Mar 1879 in Montreal.

Hardy, Edmond

Edmond Hardy. Bandmaster, administrator, importer, publisher, teacher, b Montreal 23 Nov 1854, d Montréal-Sud (Longueuil) 18 Sep 1943. He studied music with his father, Guillaume, founder and director of the Hardy Band, and succeeded him when he died 16 Mar 1879 in Montreal. In 1874 Edmond had founded the Montreal Concert Band with about 15 young instrumentalists. In 1878 this number was raised to 35, and in 1880 the group absorbed the Ville-Marie Concert Band to make up an ensemble of 55 musicians. Hardy directed it until 1934 and made it famous in Canada and the USA. It gave a notable performance at the 1883 Foreign Exhibition in Boston. Over the years several regiments - the 3rd Battalion Victoria Rifles, the 85th Battalion of Infantry, the Garrison Artillery, the 6th Battalion Fusiliers, the 5th Battalion Royal Scots of Canada, the Irish Canadian Rangers, and the 65th Regiment Carabiniers Mont-Royal - employed this band. In 1886 Hardy brought together representatives of all the bands in Quebec, and the meeting led to the founding in 1887 of the Association des corps de musique de la province de Québec. Hardy was the first president, 1887-90. He conducted numerous concerts in Canadian and US cities and was a member of juries for competitions in Guelph, Ont, and in Montpelier, Vt. He was general director 1894-5 of the Opéra français of Montreal and director 1896-1901 of the Cons of the Canadian Artistic Society. For 40 years, 1885-1925, Hardy ran a business importing music and instruments, either alone or in partnership (1886) with George Violetti. He was founder and director of L'Écho musical, a monthly magazine of which at least nine issues were published 1887-8. He also published works by the composers Alexis Contant, Guillaume Couture, Arthur Letondal, and Achille Fortier, and in 1893 he published Fortier's 20 Chansons populaires du Canada. In 1898 he was elected first president of the Musicians' Protective Union of Montreal (which became the Quebec Musicians' Guild) and the following year was a member of the committee which set up the Musicians' Benevolent Society, a self-help organization. Appointed in 1904, he taught and directed the Mont-St-Louis Concert Band for thirty years.

Hardy took part in many musical performances, but of particular note were the two 1903 Monument national concerts at which he conducted works of Contant including the premier of Mass No. 3 for choir and orchestra. A contemporary of Calixa Lavallée, he conducted the band assembled 13 Jul 1933 on the occasion of the transfer of Lavallée's remains from Boston to Montreal. Hardy was named an Officier d'Académie in 1911 by the French government and was mayor of the municipality of Montréal-Sud for eight years. At the time of his death at 88 he was considered the dean of North American bandmasters. Place Edmond-Hardy in the Rivière-des-Prairies quarter of Montreal was named in his honour in 1978.

Hardy's brother Alphonse (clarinetist, b Montreal ca 1865, d there 30 Dec 1938), played at the Académie de musique before settling in Quebec City as bandmaster and conductor. The bass, teacher, and writer on music Arthur Laurendeau was Edmond Hardy's son-in-law, and the ondist Jean Laurendeau is his great-grandson.


Further Reading

  • 'Hardy et Violetti,' Le Commerce de Montréal et de Québec et leurs industries en 1889 (Montreal 1889)

    'M. Edmond Hardy,' P-T, vol 1, 2 Mar 1895

    'M. Edmond Hardy,' P-T, vol 4, 5 Mar 1898

    'Le décès du doyen de nos musiciens,' Montreal La Presse, 20 Sep 1943