Walter Boudreau

Walter Boudreau, composer, saxophonist (b at Montréal 15 Oct 1947). At age 19 he formed his own jazz band and at 20 led various jazz groups during EXPO 67. In 1969 he co-founded the fusion group Infonie with Raoul Duguay. This large mixed-media ensemble gave performances of avant-garde, classical and pop music and underwent several transformations, resulting in the Montréal Saxophone Quartet (1982).

Boudreau studied in Europe and the US with Mauricio Kagel, Karlheinz Stockhausen, György Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez. In 1974 he was awarded First Prize at the CBC National Radio Competition for Young Composers, and in 1982 he became the youngest composer to win the Prix Jules-Léger for his work L'Òdysée du soleil. He also won the Grand Prix Paul-Gilson from the Communauté des radios publiques de langue française in Paris for Golgotha (1991), scored for voice synthesizer, wind instruments and percussion. His catalogue also includes the film score for Scanners III (1991) and the orchestral work Berliner Momente I, II, III (1988-94).

In 1988 Boudreau became artistic director of the SOCIÉTÉ DE MUSIQUE CONTEMPORAINE DU QUÉBEC, and he also conducts the SMCQ ensemble. He was composer-in-residence of the TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA from 1990 to 1993. Boudreau has received numerous awards. In 1998, the Conseil québécois de la musique awarded him the Prix Opus for Composer of the Year. In 1999, he received two Prix Opus for the Festival Musiques au présent, and in 2000 he won the Prix Opus "Musical Event of the Year" for his efforts as co-director of the Symphonie du Millénaire. Boudreau has recorded over a dozen albums for the SRC, SNE, Polydor and Centredisque labels. Recent compositions include La vie d'un hero (1999) for violin and string orchestra and Le Voyage (2000) for mezzo soprano, choir and orchestra.

In recognition of his contribution to Canadian new music, in 2009 Walter Boudreau was named a CANADIAN MUSIC CENTRE ambassador.