Paul Doyon

Paul Doyon. Pianist, organist, b Montreal 26 Mar 1903, d there 20 Aug 1986; L MUS (École normale, Paris) 1926, honorary D MUS (Montreal) 1957. At two he lost his sight, and in 1908 he entered the Institut Nazareth, where he studied violin with Camille Couture and J.-J.

Doyon, Paul

Paul Doyon. Pianist, organist, b Montreal 26 Mar 1903, d there 20 Aug 1986; L MUS (École normale, Paris) 1926, honorary D MUS (Montreal) 1957. At two he lost his sight, and in 1908 he entered the Institut Nazareth, where he studied violin with Camille Couture and J.-J. Goulet, voice with Alfred Lamoureux, and piano and organ with Arthur Letondal. He was organist at Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Church in Montreal from 1922 until his death. He won the 1925 Prix d'Europe for piano and went to Paris, studying 1925-7 and 1929-30 and the École normale. His teachers were Nadia Boulanger (harmony, counterpoint), Alfred Cortot (piano), Eugène Gigout and Louis Vierne (organ, improvisation), and Raymond Gilles and Charles Panzéra (voice). In 1937 he began having occasional lessons with Sigismond Stojowski in New York. Doyon played Franck's Variations symphoniques for the CSM in 1936 and 1940 and performed on several US radio stations and on CBC radio. In a 1950 NFB film he explained how to read music in Braille. The following year, he toured Newfoundland and in 1956 he gave concerts and lectures in the USA. With the Detroit SO in 1957 he played Mozart's Concerto in A, K488, and gave the North-American premiere of Marcel Dupré's Fantaisie for piano and orchestra. In 1948, 1950, and 1959 he was a member of the jury for the Prix d'Europe. He was the official delegate of the blind in Canada in Paris in 1952, at celebrations marking the centenary of the death of Louis Braille, and also in Rome in 1959. In 1969 he was invited to tour India, Japan, and Taiwan giving organ and piano concerts. Eugène Lapierre wrote of Doyon, 13 Feb 1960 in the weekly Notre Temps 'The artist's musicality, in his performances on the piano, the organ or the violin, is always engaging, original and personal'. In 1950 Doyon became the first French-speaking Canadian to receive the Christian Culture Medal, granted each year by Assumption College (University of Windsor) to an 'exceptional defender of Christian ideals'.

Writings

Paul Doyon, 'Réponse de Paul Doyon à son éloge fait par le recteur de l'Université,' Montreal La Presse, 16 Apr 1957