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Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux: Biography

Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux
1938 - 1985
Region: Québec

Micheline Coulombe Saint-Marcoux

MICHELINE COULOMBE SAINT-MARCOUX was born in Notre-Dame-de-la-Doré, Québec, on August 9, 1938. She began harmony studies with François Brassard and also took piano lessons from him. She travelled to Montréal to pursue her musical training and studied first at the Institut Cardinal-Léger with Yvonne Hubert (piano) and later at the École Vincent-d'Indy where she continued piano studies with Claude Champagne. Gilles Tremblay, Françoise Aubut and especially Clermont Pépin helped her to attain a level of skill that is rare in a young composer.

In 1967, the Conservatoire de musique du Québec awarded her a Premier prix in composition for Modulaire, a work for large orchestra and ondes Martenot, and the Académie de musique du Québec awarded her its Prix d'Europe. In 1965 she spent the summer session at the Académie internationale d'été de Nice, a period during which she worked with Tony Aubin. In 1968, at the suggestion of Iannis Xenakis, she went to Paris to get to know the Groupe de recherches musicales of the ORTF, and there she worked with François Bayle, Guy Reibel and Bernard Parmegiani. In 1969, she took part in several international festivals and founded, with five other young composers, the Groupe international de musique électroacoustique de Paris (GIMEP) which performed a number of concerts in Europe, South America and Canada between 1969 and 1973.

On her return to Québec in 197l, in addition to teaching at the Montréal Conservatory, "she became deeply involved in the Québécois and Canadian musical world while maintaining her contacts with Europe. A series of works were composed at this time, pieces for small ensembles and commissions for major Canadian orchestras, compositions with strange titles that evoked the atmospheres she was creating: Trakadie, Arksalalartôq, Makazoti, Alchera, Ishuma, Genesis. Quite unsettling sounds that assist an easy slide into her very special world." (Liliane Blanc).

Saint-Marcoux, who died prematurely on February 2, 1985 of a brain tumour, felt that "the truly creative person can be identified by her refusal to perpetuate past experience, which reflects time gone by, and by her desire to be part of the present-day world, to create the present and to continue this projection toward... that élan which will inspire others in the future."


CAPAC, Canadian League of Composers


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