The music of Olivier Gagnon shows
“a homogenous language with
considerable wealth and variety of colours in the orchestration, as well as an excellent structure
testifying the maturity of the musician”
- Concorso internazionale di composizione "Romualdo Marenco"
Dracula: Concerto for Saxophones and Orchestra
Tempête: for Wind Symphony
Libération: for Symphonic Orchestra
Ciel Polaire: for Symphonic Orchestra
Balade Ornithologique: for Wind Symphony
Un Instant dans l'Esprit de Lovecraft: for Solo Clarinet, String Orchestra and Percussions
Perdu en Mer: for Wind Quintet
Occidé: for String Quartet
Ensorcellement: Small Opera for Two Sopranos
Rêves Enclos: for High Voice and Piano
L'Homme à Deux Têtes: Chamber Opera
Le Necronomicon: for Soprano Saxophone Solo
Thème et Variations sur une valse de Dvorak: for Piano Solo
Les Adieux d'un Musiciens: for Piano Solo
Petite Fugue Ludique: for Piano Solo
Olivier Gagnon is a Canadian composer who studied the saxophone at the Conservatoire de musique de Québec before he started his education in composition at the Faculté de musique de l'Université de Montréal with François-Hugues Leclair and Alan Belkin. In this institution, he also accomplished a Doctorate in Musical Art in composition supervised by Alan Belkin and Caroline Traube. Additionally, he made an internship in composition for wind symphony with the composer Jan van der Roost at the Lemmensinstituut in Belgium. During this internship funded by the Canada Concil for the Arts, he also worked with the composer Luc van Hove.
In 2005, his piece “Diabolus in Musica” won a composition competition organized by the saxophone quartet Quasar. The work was premiered by the quartet at the Jusqu'aux oreilles festival. In 2009, Olivier won a composition competition organized by the Faculté de musique de l'Université de Montréal and the National Theater School of Canada. They commissioned him a chamber opera. The work's name is “L'homme à deux têtes” and was premiered in Montreal in 2011. In 2010, the Canada Concil for the Arts awarded him a travel grant to participate at the first International Antonín Dvořák Composition Competition. There he won the first prize in the senior for his piece “Un instant dans l'esprit de Lovecraft” that was premiered in 2012 at the Rudolphinum concert hall in Prague. In 2014, he won the wind symphony section of the Concorso internazionale di composizione "Romualdo Marenco" for his piece “Balade ornithologique”. The work was premiered 2015 in Italy. The jury of the competition shared that his music showed “a homogenous language with considerable wealth and variety of colours in the orchestration, as well as an excellent structure testifying the maturity of the musician”. Additionally, his piece “Tempête” was awarded the second prize at the International Composition Competition Haelbeke. The piece was premiered in 2016 in Belgium. In 2017, he won the third prize at the Prix Collégien de musique contemporaine for his piece “Ciel polaire”, that was premiered in Montreal in 2016.
His career as a composer led Olivier to be very active in the musical life of Montreal. He produced many concerts in which his works were performed, including a benefit concert to Suicide Action Montréal. Additionally, he has been president of the Cercle des étudiants compositeurs de l'Université de Montréal and president of the concert production organization: Codes d'accès . He also has been a board member of the Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens de Montréal before he was hired as executive director.
Aditionnal to his artistic life, Olivier is also a scholar conducting research on the expression of emotions and musical characters in composition. Thanks to his theoretical work, he was granted a scholarship by the Fonds Québécois sur la société et la culture. He also exposed his research at the Midwestern Music Cognition Symposium in 2013 in Columbus, Ohio and at the Midwestern Music Cognition Symposium in 2014 in Montreal. In 2014, he won a research popularisation article competition organised by the Société québécoise de recherche en musique for his article « La communication des émotions en musique », that was published in the June 2014 edition of the paper of the Fédération des associations de musiciens éducateurs du Québec.
Olivier Gagnon is now lecturer at the Université du Québec à Montréal where he teaches harmony and music analysis. He has also been teacher assistant at the Université de Montréal, where he worked with many teachers in a great variety of fields including modern compositional techniques, harmony, musical analysis and orchestration.
Investigation of the influence of harmony on the perception of emotions in music.
Milestone in Music Cognition, Mcgill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
CIRMTT Student Symposium, Mcgill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Midwestern Music Cognition Symposium, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
GAGNON, Olivier (2014). La communication des émotions en musique. Musique et Pédagogie : La revue FAMEQ à la une. vol. 28, no. 3 : p.20-21