Gabriel Cusson

Gabriel Cusson. Composer, teacher, b Roxton Pond, near Granby, Que, 2 Apr 1903, d Montreal 18 Apr 1972; B MUS (Montreal) 1924.

Cusson, Gabriel

Gabriel Cusson. Composer, teacher, b Roxton Pond, near Granby, Que, 2 Apr 1903, d Montreal 18 Apr 1972; B MUS (Montreal) 1924. He studied first at the Institut Nazareth with Gustave Labelle (cello), Alfred Lamoureux (voice), Arthur Letondal (piano and organ), and Achille Fortier and Romain Pelletier (harmony). Winning the Prix d'Europe for cello in 1924, he pursued his studies 1924-30 at the École normale, Paris, with Nadia Boulanger (composition), Charles Panzéra (voice), and Diran Alexanian (cello). After Cusson's return to Canada he taught counterpoint; Jean Papineau-Couture was one of his pupils. He also taught ear training 1943-71 at the CMM, where his pupils included Gaston Arel, Raymond Daveluy, Kenneth Gilbert, Bernard Lagacé, Aline Letendre, Lucienne L'Heureux-Arel, and Michel Perrault. He served 1952-3 and 1956-9 as president of the AMQ. Among his unpublished compositions are a cantata, À la gloire de Jeanne Mance (1942), incidental music for Antigone and the biblical dramas Jonathas and Tobie, two Suites for orchestra (one of which has been recorded under the direction of Roland Leduc), a Sérénade for orchestra (recorded by the Orchestre métropolitain) and some motets. La Bonne Chanson has published some of his folksong arrangements. In his works, Gabriel Cusson has skilfully incorporated the qualities associated with French music: clarity, transparency and a style at once expressive and elegant. Cusson also left four unpublished volumes of exercises containing the essence of his ear-training methods. His writings included 'Quelques souvenirs des années '30 et sur un sujet bien actuel' (Vie musicale, December 1970). His name was given to a recital hall at the CMM. Some of his manuscript scores werere held by the ANQ in Montreal, then transferred to the BN du Q.