Biography

Michel-Georges Brégent

  • Montréal, Québec, 1948 — Montréal, Québec, 1993
  • Composer

“My life’s ambition is to create a music which is perfectly balanced on the intellectual, emotional and spiritual planes: a music which has a reason for being.”

Even before Michel-Georges Brégent entered the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal where he studied composition with Gilles Tremblay, the originality of his artistic temperament was already manifest in musical ventures of a striking new conception. For example, as early as 1965 he foresaw the realization of his master work to be completed by the year 2001, the grand biblical fresco Les testaments.

His works, like their author, overflow with energy. For a long time, this vitality has permitted the composer, who does not believe in the separation of genres, to write and to perform rock music mixed with jazz and contemporary elements — a production which was labelled ‘classico-cosmic rock’ by the Montréal critics. Important accomplishments of this period are the group Brégent with his brother Jacques (1965-80), the duo Dionne-Brégent (1975-79) with percussionist Vincent Dionne, and the musical direction of the multimedia group L’écran humain.

A prolific composer, Brégent was commissioned by renown ensembles and musicians such as the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), Duo contemporain (from The Netherlands), Arditti Quartet, Pentaèdre, Michael Laucke, Rivka Golani, the Orchestre des jeunes du Québec and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM).

He has worked within numerous organizations, juries and committees, and has organized several events. He was composer in residence with the Canadian Opera Company (where he composed Realitillusion), principal guest at the Royal Conservatory of Gent, and received a First Mention and the Special Jury Prize for Atlantis at the Italia Prize.

The Belgian musicologist Harry Halbreich has said that “Michel-Georges Brégent is the visionary mystic whom keen intelligence safely leads to undertake the wildest utopias. He is the man of complex structures, of instrumental virtuosity at the service of a generous and flamboyant expression.”

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