Paul Loyonnet

Paul Loyonnet. Pianist, lecturer, writer, teacher, b Paris 13 May 1889, d Montreal 12 Feb 1988. He studied at the Paris Cons with Charles-Wilfride de Bériot, J.-B. Ganaye, C.-M. Widor, and Isidor Philipp.

Loyonnet, Paul

Paul Loyonnet. Pianist, lecturer, writer, teacher, b Paris 13 May 1889, d Montreal 12 Feb 1988. He studied at the Paris Cons with Charles-Wilfride de Bériot, J.-B. Ganaye, C.-M. Widor, and Isidor Philipp. He made his debut at 17 and subsequently appeared in recital and with orchestras throughout Europe, especially after World War I. It is estimated that he had 2000 engagements between 1918 and 1932. Through his association with the violinist Lucien Capet he developed an intense dedication to the piano music of Beethoven, and at the Collège des Sciences sociales he gave a series of recitals, with commentary and courses, to mark the Beethoven centenary (1927). Loyonnet chose to retire in 1932, and he re-emerged only after the outbreak of World War II to play in unoccupied France, Spain, Portugal, North and South Africa, Canada, the USA, and Latin America.

Loyonnet visited Montreal in 1947 to give concerts and lectures and settled there in 1954 to teach piano at the École Vincent-d'Indy. Some tenor years later he began teaching at McGill University. His pupils included Gisèle Daoust (Prix d'Europe 1960), Albert Dessane (Paris), Pierre Jasmin, Jean Leduc, Alain Lefèvre, and Boris Roubakine.

In Paris, Loyonnet published articles in Le Courrier musical and La Revue musicale. He recorded four LPs devoted to Beethoven sonatas, including two for the Janus label (JA-19005 and JA-19006), one for Fidelio (F-3312), and one for Vilnius (VIL-112). Before his arrival in Canada, he had recorded a few 78s on the Concert Hall label, featuring the works of Couperin, Fauré, Haydn, Ibert, and Schumann. In 1982 Loyonnet was named Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur and in 1986 he was awarded the Canadian Music Council Medal.

In 1985 some of his students and friends founded the Paul Loyonnet Society with the purpose of illustrating and propagating his ideas and technique through such means as conferences, concerts, and the auditioning of young artists. In 1988 a documentary about Loyonnet's life and teaching was presented on CBC TV.

Writings

Beethoven 'ce mal connu' (Paris 1967)

Les 32 Sonates pour piano. Journal intime de Beethoven (Paris, Tours 1977; Montreal 1988)

Paradoxe sur le pianiste (Montreal 1981)

Les Gestes et la pensée du pianiste (Montreal 1985)


Further Reading

  • Allard, Ghyslaine. 'La technique pianistique de Paul Loyonnet,' L MUS thesis, University of Montreal 1962

    Timbrell C. 'An interview with Paul Loyonnet,' J of the American Liszt Society, vol 19, Jun 1986