Rolland served as english horn player with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra 1961-84 and was president of the committee of its Musicians' Association for a number of years. He founded the Pierre-Rolland Quintet, which shortly afterwards became the Ensemble Pierre-Rolland. The group made its debut 30 Nov 1970 at the Salle Claude-Champagne in Montreal. On that occasion it comprised Rolland (oboe and english horn), Jeanne Baxtresser (flute), Eugène Husaruk (violin), Leslie Malowany (viola), and Jack Mendelsohn (cello). Husaruk was later replaced by Otto Armin. Clermont Pépin composed Séquences expressly for the group. Depending on the repertoire, the ensemble added other musicians, as it did for a retrospective program of Canadian music presented 15 Feb 1976 for the Pro Musica Society. Rolland also played with the CBC "Little Symphonies" Orchestra, the CBC Montreal orchestra, and the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec Ensemble, with which he recorded Serge Garant's Quintet, and conducted the CBC Quebec Chamber Orchestra. A member of the founding council of the Orchestre des jeunes du Québec in 1977, he later became coach for the wind and percussion sections. He was director of the Orford Arts Centre in 1980 and again 1982-9, and became artistic director of the Pro Musica Society in 1987, a position he held until shortly before his death.
Rolland was record reviewer 1965-9 for the Jeunesses musicales Chronicle and 1975-9 for the Montreal daily Le Devoir. On CBC radio he has been host of 'Music de chez-nous,' 'Invitation à la musique,' and 'Faisons de la musique' and an interviewer on 'Les Musiciens par eux-mêmes.' He began teaching at the University of Montreal in 1973 and was dean of its faculty of music 1984-8; he also taught at the Cégep de St-Laurent, at the École normale de musique, and for several years at the École Vincent-d'Indy. He also was in charge of the instrumental ensemble of the Université du Québec à Montréal. For his contributions to music in Canada, Rolland was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010.
Author Hélène Plouffe, Pierre Rochon
Laurier, Marie. "Le défi de Pierre Roland, doyen de la faculté de musique de l'UdM," Montreal Le Devoir, 22 Sep 1984
Robert, Véronique. "Des airs de famille," L'Actualité, 15 Sep 1991
Kaptainis, Arthur. "Pierre Rolland was an advocate for young artists," The Montreal Gazette, 5 Dec 2011
Links to Other Sites
Governor General's appointments to the Order of Canada
Scroll down the page and click on the links to brief biographical notes of recent appointees to the Order of Canada. Click on "Find a Recipient" on the left side of the page to find previous recipients. From the website for the Governor General of Canada.
Pierre Rolland, music professor, dead at 80
A CTV News obituary for Pierre Rolland, who served as a music professor at the University of Montreal for nearly four decades.
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