Sylvio Lacharité

Lacharité, Sylvio. Conductor, administrator, composer, b Sherbrooke, Que, 3 Oct 1914, d there 13 May 1983; BA (Sherbrooke) 1936. He began his studies with his brother Lonia and Paul-Marcel Robidouxand then took piano lessons from Germaine Malépart in Montreal.

Lacharité, Sylvio

Lacharité, Sylvio. Conductor, administrator, composer, b Sherbrooke, Que, 3 Oct 1914, d there 13 May 1983; BA (Sherbrooke) 1936. He began his studies with his brother Lonia and Paul-Marcel Robidouxand then took piano lessons from Germaine Malépart in Montreal. He also took courses in Gregorian chant with Dom Georges Mercure at St-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey.

Lacharité became interested in orchestra conducting and in 1939 with a few friends founded the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra. He was to remain the regular conductor of that orchestra until 1969. He spent eight summers 1944-9 and 1953-4 at the school run by Pierre Monteux in Hancock, Me. In 1950 the maestro allowed Lacharité to consider himself one of his 'disciples,' only the fifth young conductor to be so honoured. The same year, Lacharité went to Paris and studied composition and analysis with Olivier Messiaen and Andrée Vaurabourg-Honegger. During the summer of 1959 he attended Igor Markevitch's classes in Salzburg.

Because of Lacharité's talent and perseverance, the Sherbrooke SO, a community orchestra, was able to tackle such works as Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Honegger's Le Roi David. Lacharité guest-conducted the CBC orchestras in Montreal and Quebec City, as well as the CBC Symphony Orchestra during the 1954-5 and 1955-6 seasons. In 1958 he conducted the orchestra of the Concerts Pasdeloup in Paris.

He was president in 1950 of the Association of Canadian musicians in Paris and national president 1956-8 of the JMC (YMC). At the CMQ he taught the orchestra class in 1952, analysis and aesthetics 1966-7, and pedagogy in 1970 and was appointed assistant director in 1971. He served 1974-7 as director of the Chicoutimi Cons and then 1977-9 as executive adviser in the music division of the MACQ.

Lacharité was appointed principal conductor of the CBC Quebec Chamber Orchestra in 1964 and was music director 1962-5 of the Théâtre lyrique de Nouvelle-France. For the latter he conducted Lakmé in 1962, Tosca and Werther in 1963, and Così fan tutte in 1964. He was music director of the Concerts Couperin in Quebec City and on several occasions was director of the orchestra class at the JMC Orford Art Centre. In 1964 he conducted the premiere of Ennéade, a work by his former piano pupil Serge Garant.

Lacharité himself composed several works for orchestra, including the overture Vision d'Ézéchiel, the symphonic poem Le Vaisseau d'or, and the suite Portraits en miniature. His papers are deposited at the ANQ in Sherbrooke. In 1982 he was made a member of the Order of Canada.

Writings

Sylvio Lacharité, 'Souvenirs et réflexions d'un professeur de conservatoire,' VM, 10, Dec 1968


Further Reading

  • David, Jean. 'Sylvio Lacharité, compositeur, chef d'orchestre,' Qui? vol 1, Mar 1950