Biography

Jacques Hétu

  • Trois-Rivières, Québec, 1938 — Saint-Hippolyte, Québec, 2010
  • Composer

Jacques Hétu was born in Trois-Rivières and studied at the Montréal Conservatory with Clermont Pépin. In 196l he completed his studies at the Conservatory, winning prizes in harmony, counterpoint and composition. In the same year he won the composition prize of the Festival du Québec, the prestigious Prix d’Europe and a Canada Council award. From 1961 to 1963 he studied with Henri Dutilleux at the École Normale de Musique in Paris and took Olivier Messiaen’s class in analysis at the Conservatoire de Paris. Since 1967 he has written only commissioned pieces. These include compositions for a number of artists and ensembles, including James Campbell, Alvaro Pierri, Joseph Rouleau, Robert Silverman, the symphony orchestras of Montréal, Toronto, Québec City and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, the Vancouver New Music Society, the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada, the Montréal International Competition, the Canadian Music Competitions, and for CBC radio. The elements of Hétu’s style can best be defined as neoclassical forms and neoromantic expression in a musical language of 20th century techniques. In 1978 he wrote: “The point is not to seek an unimagined way of arranging sounds but rather to find one’s own manner of thinking musically. True originality seems to me to be authentic rather than eccentric.”

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