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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

MUS 264

André Prévost fonds.  - [194-]-1995.  - 4.93 m of textual records.  - 48 photographs.  - 15 watercolours.  - 217 audio tape reels.  - 52 audio tape cassettes. 

Biographical sketch
Although he was born in Hawkesbury, Ontario, André Prévost hails from Saint-Jérôme, Quebec.  Here he attended elementary school and went on to study at the Séminaire de Sainte-Thérèse and the Collège Saint-Laurent.  On the advice of Fernand Graton, in 1951 the young musician enrolled at the Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal, where his courses included composition with Clermont Pépin, harmony, fugue and counterpoint with Isabelle Delorme and Jean Papineau-Couture, piano with Georges Savaria and bassoon with Simon Kovar.  A gifted composer, in 1959 he was awarded first prize for composition at the Sarah Fisher Concerts, for the second movement of his Quatuor à cordes no. 1.  That same year, as a bassoonist, he also earned first prize for chamber music from the Amis de l'art foundation.  At age 25, on completion of his studies at the Conservatoire, the institution awarded him a first prize in both harmony and composition.  Wishing to further his training, André Prévost moved to Paris, thanks to grants from the Canada Council and the Province of Quebec, and studied analysis with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire de Paris (1960-62) and composition with Henri Dutilleux at the École normale de musique (1961-62). 

Returning to Canada in 1962, he began a teaching career at the Séminaire de Joliette and subsequently at the Collège des Eudistes de Montréal.  Having been awarded the Prix d'Europe for composition in 1963, he left the country again in the summer of 1964 to study electronic music with Michel Philippot at the ORTF in Paris.  The following summer, the composer spent a brief research period at the Berkshire Music Center in Massachusetts, where he worked with composers such as Zoltán Kodály, Aaron Copland and Elliott Carter.  In September 1965, André Prévost became a professor at the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal, where he has taught for over 30 years. 

An internationally renowned composer, André Prévost won the 1964 Montreal Symphony Orchestra prize for his 1963 work Fantasmes and the 1965 Festival du disque prize for his Sonate pour violon et piano , performed by violinist Jacques Verdon and pianist Gilles Manny.  Prévost was also commissioned three times to write the compulsory Canadian work for the Montreal International Music Competition (Pyknon, 1966; Il fait nuit lente, an excerpt from Hiver dans l'âme, 1981; and Variations et thème, 1988).  His music also had a place of honour at the opening of the Expo 67 World Festival in Montreal, which featured the première of his work Terre des Hommes, based on a poem by Michèle Lalonde and conducted by Pierre Hétu.  His Cantate pour cordes, commissioned by Lord Yehudi Menuhin, was premiered by the latter in 1987 at the Guelph Spring Festival with the Orchestre de chambre Lysy de Gstaad, and was also the subject of a television program tracing its development from conception to première.  This program ("Menuhin-Prévost : une aventure créatrice"), produced by James Dormeyer, was broadcast in Canada, by the French-language network of the CBC, and in Europe and earned a special Mention at the Prix Italia (Rome, 1990) and the Rodgers Communications Inc. Media Award (1991). 

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining chiefly to André Prévost's activities as a composer and educator.  The records also reflect his other activities, for example as president of the Groupe Nouvelle Aire and adjucator at various competitions, including the Francisco Tarrega International Guitar Competition and the Max-D. Jost International Cello Competition.

The fonds includes biographical documents; personal and professional correspondence; contracts; musical works; poems and other literary works; letters patent; minutes and agendas; reports; memos; course notebooks and workbooks; transcripts; diplomas; examination questions; musical works by students; schedules; course descriptions; lists of students; André Prévost's comments regarding his students; report cards; forms; financial documents; concert programmes and promotional material; radio texts; pamphlets; documents concerning a number of competitions; invitations; notes; posters; press clippings; drawings of characters in a ballet; photographs, mainly of André Prévost, members of his family and other musicians; sound recordings of works by Prévost and other composers, interviews, lectures and presentations.

The fonds contains the following series:  MUS 264/A Correspondence; MUS 264/B Studies; MUS 264/C Teaching; MUS 264/D Musical Works; MUS 264/E Files on Musical Works; MUS 264/F Miscellaneous Activities; MUS 264/G Photographs; MUS 264/H Audio recordings; and MUS 264/I Miscellaneous. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from André Prévost in several accessions in 1995. 

Restrictions:  a few correspondence files and student files are restricted. 

Finding aids:  Stéphane Jean.  The André Prévost Fonds:  Numerical List.  Ottawa:  National Library of Canada.  1997.  149 p.  (

Accruals:  further accessions expected. 

Proactive Disclosure