Maryvonne Kendergi

Maryvonne Kendergi, Armenian pianist, broadcaster, teacher, musicologist, administrator (b at Aïntab (now Gaziantep) Turkey 15 Aug 1915, naturalized Canadian 1960, d Montreal, 27 Sep 2011). She graduated (1941) from l'École normale de musique in Paris, where she studied piano with Alfred Cortot and Nadia Boulanger, and she obtained a degree in literature from the Sorbonne (1942) and an advanced degree in art history from l'Institut d'art et d'archéologie (1944). Starting in 1945, she was in charge of cultural and musical activities at the Cité universitaire in Paris.

On arriving in Canada in 1952, Kendergi occupied the position of radio producer in Gravelbourg (Sask). In 1956, she settled in Montréal and became a commentator for cultural and musical programs at the Société Radio-Canada. Host of "Festivals européens" (1957-1963) and a regular guest on "Carnet arts et lettres" (1968-1977), she presented more than 200 interviews with prominent figures in contemporary music. Among the numerous administrative positions she held were as founding member (1966) and president of the SOCIÉTÉ DE MUSIQUE CONTEMPORAINE DU QUÉBEC (1973-1982), president of the Canadian Music Council, vice president of the CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS (1977-1980), and president of l'Association pour l'avancement de la recherche en musique du Québec (1980-1983). A professor at the U de Montréal Faculty of Music (1966-1981), she set up courses in Canadian music history and organised events to introduce Canadian musicians and guests from abroad travelling in Québec. Kendergi was named a Member of the Order of Canada (1980), Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec, and Chevalier de l'Ordre des arts et des lettres de la République française (1985). She received the Canadian Music Council Medal (1981), the prix de musique Calixa-Lavallée (1985) and la Médaille de l'Académie des lettres du Québec (1994). She was elected to the Academy of Great Montrealers (1988), and to the Royal Society of Canada (1990). In 1997, she was awarded THE RAMON JOHN HNATYSHYN AWARD FOR VOLUNTARISM in recognition of a life dedicated to fostering and encouraging Canadian musicians and composers.