Jean Papineau-Couture

Jean Papineau-Couture, composer, educator, administrator (b at Montréal 12 Nov 1916, d there 11 Aug 2000), grandson of the composer Guillaume COUTURE.

Jean Papineau-Couture

Jean Papineau-Couture, composer, educator, administrator (b at Montréal 12 Nov 1916, d there 11 Aug 2000), grandson of the composer Guillaume COUTURE. After studying in Montréal and obtaining an undergraduate degree in composition from the New England Conservatory in Boston (1941), he worked at Cambridge, Massachusetts, under Nadia Boulanger and met Stravinsky several times. He has taught at the CONSERVATOIRE DE MUSIQUE DU QUÉBEC in Montréal and at the Faculty of Music of Université de Montréal, of which he was dean from 1968 to 1973. Papineau-Couture has taught several important Québec composers, including Jacques HÉTU, François MOREL, André PRÉVOST and Gilles TREMBLAY.

Papineau-Couture's works evolved from polytonal new-classicism to total atonal chromaticism. The exploration of timbres, metric and rhythmic forces, and the use of clearly melodic elements are characteristics of his style. Among Papineau-Couture's most celebrated works are Psaume CL, Étude in B-flat Minor and the Pièces concertantes nos. 1 to 5.

Papineau-Couture presided over several organizations, including the Académie de musique de Québec, JEUNESSES MUSICALES DU CANADA (Montréal branch), the CANADIAN MUSIC COUNCIL, CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE (of which he was a founding member), CANADIAN LEAGUE OF COMPOSERS, SOCIÉTÉ DE MUSIQUE CONTEMPORAINE DU QUÉBEC and the Humanities Research Council of Canada.

He was awarded the PRIX DE MUSIQUE CALIXA-LAVALLÉE (1962), the Canadian Music Council Medal (1973), the Prix Denise-Pelletier (1981) and the Diplôme d'honneur from the Canadian Conference of the Arts (1986). Papineau-Couture was honoured with the Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 1994. He was named an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1968, and was elevated to the rank of Companion in 1984. He was also appointed Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 1989.

A compilation CD of some of his most imaginative chamber music composed between 1967 and 1982 was released in 2000 by the CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE.


Further Reading

  • L. Bail Milot, Jean Papineau-Couture: la vie, la carrière et l'oeuvre (1986).