Marc Fortier

Marc Fortier. Conductor, orchestrator, composer, b Jonquière, Que, 7 Dec 1940; BA (Laval) 1961. Fortier began studies in harmony with François Brassard in 1958.

Fortier, Marc

Marc Fortier. Conductor, orchestrator, composer, b Jonquière, Que, 7 Dec 1940; BA (Laval) 1961. Fortier began studies in harmony with François Brassard in 1958. He attended the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Québec 1961-2 and the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal 1962-6, studying with Walter Joachim (cello), Gilberte Martin (harmony), Isabelle Delorme (counterpoint), Françoise Aubut-Pratte (fugue) and Clermont Pépin (composition). He attended the summer sessions of the Jeunesses musicales of Canada Musical Camp (Orford Arts Centre) (1958-64), where he studied orchestral conducting with Sylvio Lacharité. He also studied conducting with Franz-Paul Decker in Montreal and Vladimir Golschmann in New York.

In 1968, Fortier's symphonic overture Un Doigt de la lune, based on a Hindu legend, was awarded the Ferdinando Ballo first prize in the Ente Pomeriggi musicali di Milano, and was premiered 26 April at the Teatro Nuovo, Milan, under the direction of Nino Sanzogno of La Scala. After a first album in 1964 on the Select label, Fortier worked as arranger, orchestrator, conductor and producer for CBS, Capitol Records, RCA, Decca London, PolyGram and Barclay, among other labels, and accompanied Quebec popular singers on stage and TV. He also composed, orchestrated and conducted for the big screen.

He was artistic director and conductor 1979-85 of the Montreal Pop Orchestra and was conductor and orchestrator for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra's Pops Series 1989-91. In addition, he conducted the Montreal Summer Concerts 1968-2001. As guest conductor, Fortier has led the Montreal, Quebec and Trois-Rivières symphonies, the Italian Radio Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique Lyonnais, the American Symphony of New York, and the Palm Court Orchestra of Victoria, among others. He has also orchestrated many of the compositions of Robert Farnon.

Fortier taught 1965-8 with the Chambly (Quebec) Regional School Board and served as director of the music department 1968-72. He taught acoustics at the Université du Québec à Montréal and composition 1983-8 at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières. Between 1973 and 1992 he was in turn board member and president of CAPAC (Composers, Authors and Publishers Association of Canada). While president of CAPAC, he represented Canada at the Confédération internationale des sociétés d'auteurs et de compositeurs (CISAC). He was also president 1974-9 of the Société des auteurs et compositeurs du Québec (SACQ).

Writings

Marc Fortier, 'La Proie et l'ombre,' Entracte, 4, Winter 1986, reprinted as 'Quebec music in crisis,' Canadian Composer, 220, May 1987.

"Quebec music in crisis; to rebuild the Quebec music industry after its collapse, pride and trust must be restored," Canadian Composer, May 1987


Further Reading

  • Vincent, Pierre. 'A teacher talks about listening,' Canadian Composer, 69, Apr 1972

    Champagne, Jane, et al. 'Interview! Marc Fortier,' Canadian Composer, 99, Mar 1975

    Desjardins, Marc. 'A co-operative "pops" orchestra makes its impact in Montreal,' Canadian Composer, 172, Jun 1982

    Littlejohn, Maureen, Fortier, Marc and Davies, Victor. "Robert Farnon: Celebrating a Canadian pioneer," Spotting Notes, Winter 1997