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Claude Vivier

Photo credit: courtesy Fondation Vivier
1948 - 1983


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Considered by many to be the greatest composer Canada has yet produced * Murdered at the age of 34, left behind 49 compositions in a variety of genres, including opera, orchestral works, and chamber pieces * In early 1970s, studied composition with Stockhausen in Cologne * A visit to Bali in 1976 proved pivotal, causing him to re-evaluate his ideas on the role of the artist in society * Visionary works that followed featured texts in an invented language, modal melodies harmonized by a complex overtone series, and shimmering orchestration * Called by György Ligeti “the greatest French composer of his generation” * Other advocates include Mauricio Kagel, Reinbert de Leeuw, David Robertson, and Dawn Upshaw

Works by Claude Vivier include:
Lonely Child (1980) for soprano and orchestra
Kopernikus (1979) opera in two acts
Siddhartha (1976) for orchestra

> Explore Claude Vivier and his music in our comprehensive brochure.
“In his short life and his art, the French Canadian composer Claude Vivier was a man diving, often recklessly, into the ultimate….And from the edge of experience, he began to bring back, in the years leading up to his death in 1983, a new sound.” – Paul Griffiths, The New York Times

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