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Marc O'Reilly: Biography

Marc O'Reilly
1954 -
Region: Québec

Marc O'Reilly

Marc O’Reilly completed a Bachelor Degree in composition at Université de Montréal (1980). He then earned a Master Degree in composition from Université Laval (1989). During his university studies, Marc O’Reilly had the opportunity to work with great teachers and composers such as Serge Garant, Jean Papineau-Couture, François Morel, Jacques Hétu and André Prévost.

Organ and voice are his predilected instruments. Shortly after earning his Master’s degree in compositition from Université Laval, he won the first prize in the composition competition organized by the Amadeus Choir of Toronto for his mixed voice a cappella work entitled L’Étoile solitaire. In 1993, the jury of the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ national competition unanimously awarded him an honourable mention for his organ work, Les voix de l’abysse. The following year, the Arts Centre in Richmond (Quebec) was the setting for an evening of tributes. Since then, he has received commissions from the Canadian Music Centre, CBC/Radio-Canada, the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Ensemble Musica Nova, various choirs, the Quebec department of education, the FAMEQ (Fédération des musiciens éducateurs du Québec) and from Sherbrooke city. His repertoire includes educational works, from Orff orchestration to symphonic orchestra. He also composed for string and wind orchestras. He counts several creations for choir a capella and small orchestra to his experience, as well as works for piano and organ.

In April 2005, he completes the composition of Lumière de l’Âme, third part of his trilogy Lumen gentium (People of Light). It was created by the contemporary Ensemble Musica Nova, from which he is the General Manager and Co-artistic Director. He was one of the instigators of the first Festival de Musique Nouvelle et Voix, which was held in Sherbrooke in October 2005. For this occasion, he arranged the first movement of H. Gorecki’s well-known Symphonie No 3, as well as P. Glass’ Façades for two organs and two saxophones. He is currently supply organist at the Basilique-Cathédrale de Sherbrooke and organist in charge for Ste-Praxède church in Bromptonville and Immaculée-Conception in Sherbooke. He receives a grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec to compose L’oratorio « Marie-Madeleine, apôtre des apôtres », a musical fresco for five choirs, two organs, saxophones, trombone and percussions. The piece was created in May 2009 at the Basilique-Cathédrale de Sherbrooke.

Inspired by the great philosophical questions, spirituality and natural physical phenomena, composer Marc O’Reilly brings these elements with finesse to create delicate melodies and liberated harmonies filled with surprises.



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