Société de musique contemporaine du Québec
In 1992, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix of the Montréal Urban Community Arts Council for its 25th anniversary. The eldest amongst new music organizations in Canada, the SMCQ has acquired, during the last 30 years, a reputation of excellence from critics, the music milieu and from a strong audience following. Founded in 1966 by a group of personalities dedicated to new music: Hugh Davidson, Serge Garant, Maryvonne Kendergi, Jean-Papineau-Couture and Wilfrid Pelletier, the mandate of the SMCQ is to promote contemporary music at large, both Canadian and international. The organization is managed by composers for the benefit of composers and has had three of them act successively as artistic directors: Serge Garant (from 1966 to 1986), Gilles Tremblay (from 1986 to 1988) and Walter Boudreau since 1988. Since the beginning, the SMCQ has always maintained its mandate of presenting a large spectrum of contemporary music to Canadian and international audiences. As a result, the organization supports l’Ensemble de la SMCQ, a group of excellent musicians who can vary from 5 to 45 individuals. Conducted by Walter Boudreau, l’Ensemble de la SMCQ performs most of the concerts included in one season. It has performed works by Boulez, Kagel, Stockhausen, Varèse, Xenakis, Garant, Vivier, Tremblay, Cage, Rea, Andriessen, Grisey, Messiaen, Bouliane, Scelsi, Reich, Penderecki, Brégent and many other composers from different countries. Other concerts involve showcasing the work of guest artists, soloists, visiting ensembles, for example, the Ensemble InterContemporain conducted by Pierre Boulez, the Arditti Quartet, the Percussions de Strasbourg, the Kölner Ensemble für Musiktheater conducted by Mauricio Kagel, the Stockhausen Group or Steve Reich and musicians. Young composers and performers have always been a special concern for the SMCQ and are supported, whenever possible. The SMCQ has played a key role in Québec in not only discovering but generating new talent for the greater pleasure of it’s music loving audience. With concerts in Montréal, radio shows, tours in Québec, Canada and Europe, and 24 recordings, the SMCQ’s activity has created a feverish musical momentum of premieres, commissioned works and great performances of new music classics.