2020 Laureate, The Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music
Montréal-based composer Keiko Devaux (b. 1982) has had works performed in Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the United States by various ensembles, including Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, musica assoluta, Ensemble Arkea, Quartetto Prometeo, Ensemble Wapiti, Ensemble Molinari, Trio Fibonacci, Jasper String Quartet, and Rolston String Quartet. She composes regularly for diverse ensembles and collaborates with choreographers and lmmakers. Her approach embraces a love of electroacoustic sounds and methodology by manipulating and distorting acoustic sound with digital tools and then transcribing or re-translating these back into musical notation and the acoustic realm. Her interests include emotional experience and affect, auto-organizational phenomena in nature and living beings, and “genre-blurring” by layering and juxtaposing contrasting melodic/harmonic skeletal elements from highly contrasting sonic sources. By distorting temporal, frequency, and timbral attributes, she blurs the lines between traditional tonal sounds and more electroacoustic inspired “noise” gestures. Devaux has won numerous prizes and awards, including the Jan V. Matejcek New Classical Music Award (2019), the Rotary Club Siena Award (2018), the OUM composition prize (2016 and 2018) and the Jury and Public prizes of the Accès Arkea competition (2017). Her composition Ebb, premiered by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, was nominated in the New Work category of the 2017-2018 Opus awards, and her work Ombra was a finalist for the Prix du CALQ – OEuvres de la relève à Montréal in the same year. In 2019 she won the inaugural Azrieli Commission for Canadian Music. From 2016 to 2018, Devaux was the composer in residence with Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. From 2020 to 2022, she is in residence with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra as a Carrefour composer. She is an associate composer with the Canadian Music Centre, board chair of Codes d’accès, and past organizer of the Montréal Contemporary Music Lab.
Originally from British Columbia, Keiko Devaux began her musical career in piano performance studies as well as composing, touring and recording several albums with independent rock bands. She holds a bachelor of music (Écriture) and a master of music in instrumental composition from Université de Montréal. She also studied with Maestro Salvatore Sciarrino at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy (2017-2019). She is currently completing her doctorate in music composition and creation at Université de Montréal under the direction of Ana Sokolovic and Pierre Michaud.