On her return from Paris in 1949, and until her retirement in 1988, Desautels taught the history of music and musicology at the CMM. She was an examiner for the Paris Cons in 1952. From 1961 to 1964 she taught the history of music at the University of Montreal and the École Vincent-d'Indy. She was visiting professor for three summers (1963-5) at the international Sessions of the Château d'Argenteuil in Brussels. She was active in the JMC (YMC) 1949-66 as a commentator (more than 500 concerts) and 1951-6 as managing editor of the Journal des JMC, which in 1954 became Le Journal musical canadien. She was appointed associate commissioner of the JMC pavilion at Expo 67, Man and Music, where she was responsible for both the basic concept and the programming. At the JMC Orford Art Centre 1964-8 she was host to several conferences and offered public courses 1975-8 on the work of various composers including Bach and Ravel. For CBC radio she both wrote and introduced numerous series, including 'La Chanson de France' (1956), 'Connaissance de la musique' (1957), 'Musique nouvelle d'autrefois' (1958), 'Chronique de la vie musicale au Canada' (in collaboration with James Bannerman and Helmut Kallmann, 1965), and 'Reflets des sources' (1972-3), besides contributing to such programs as 'La Revue des arts et des lettres'.
In 1946 Desautels wrote the incidental music for Carl Dubuc's play La Fille du soleil. In 1950 she brought to Canada Ginette Martenot, a virtuoso performer on the electronic instrument invented by her brother. Desautels wrote a background score for that instrument, for a Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde production (1954) of Molière's Dom Juan and performed it herself. She also composed the incidental music for Antigone by Anouilh for the CBC (1952).
In 1951 Desautels was elected a member of the Société française de musicologie. She was the founder and president of the Association des professeurs of the Conservatoire de musique du Québec 1960-8 and was a member of the Canada Council 1967-70. She has collaborated in drawing up numerous briefs, including the one submitted to the MACQ by the association in 1962, and she has written several articles and reviews for newspapers (notably Le Devoir, Montreal, 1962-3) and Canadian and European periodicals. She has given lectures on Canadian music in Boston, Paris and Toronto, and has contributed to EMC and to The New Grove Dictionary. She received a medal from the Quebec National Assembly in 1988. Her pupils have included the musicologists Richard Boulanger, Jacques-André Houle, Nicole Labelle, and Liette Yergeau.
'Les trois âges de la musique au Canada,' La Musique, vol 2, ed Norbert Dufourcq (Paris 1965)
Six formes audio-visuelles, drawings by Norman McLaren, texts by Marthe Blackburn, music by Maurice Blackburn, concept and preface by Andrée Desautels (Montreal 1967)
'La musique' in 'Canada 4: Vie culturelle,' Encyclopaedia universalis, vol 3 (Paris 1968)
'The history of Canadian composition 1610-1967'/'Histoire de la composition musicale au Canada de 1610 à 1967,' Aspects of Music in Canada / Aspects de la musique au Canada
'Certain aesthetic considerations on musical creation in Canada,' Arts and Culture (Montreal 1976)
'La création et la vie musicale au Québec,' Dossier-Québec, ed Claude Glayman (Paris 1979)
'Un manuscrit autographe de Marc-Antoine Charpentier à Québec,' Recherches sur la musique française classique, vol 21 (1983)
'Claude Champagne,' notes and documentary accompanying the 4-record set ACM 30 (1988)
'La mémoire musicale de Norbert Dufourcq,' Montreal Le Devoir, 9 Apr 1991
Author Gilles Potvin