Anik Shooner, chair of the board of directors of Canada's Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), has announced the appointment of Simon Bertrand as interim artistic director. The composer has been actively involved in the Quebec and Canadian music scene for many years. Bertrand officially took office on 13 September 2023.
The board of directors has chosen to offer Bertrand the position of interim artistic director to ensure artistic continuity during the 'ongoing strategic reflection required by the current post-pandemic cultural context'. Bertrand will carry out his mandate in close collaboration with general manager Aïda Aoun, assigned conductor and musical advisor Cristian Gort and an advisory committee for strategic reflection. Anik Shooner comments:
Bertrand is a renowned composer with a deep understanding of the local music scene and current issues, and brings a structuring vision to the table. We are delighted to be working with him and the entire SMCQ team to ensure the development of our institution.
Simon Bertrand explains:
The influence of composers and their works in our society has long been at the heart of my concerns. In this sense, I am in continuity with the SMCQ's founding mandate. However, today's challenges are very different from those of yesterday. With the SMCQ team and the participation of our musical community, I hope to come up with solutions adapted to the evolution of the creative music milieu and relevant to the deployment of the next generations.
For over twenty years, Bertrand has established himself as one of the most prolific and active Quebec composers of his generation. His music has toured the world and been performed by symphony orchestras on several continents, including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre National d'Île-de-France and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. His music has also been heard in Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, the USA and many other countries by various ensembles and soloists. He has composed several film scores, notably for Lars Von Trier's production company's Zentropa and more recently for Chloé Robichaud's 2016 Pays.
Bertrand is the recipient of numerous awards - Prix OPUS, Prix Collégien de Musique contemporaine, Grand Prix at the Busan Maru International Composition Competition in South Korea - and his music was featured in a SMCQ concert-portrait in January 2022. Trained with the French masters Henri Dutilleux and Claude Ballif, he holds a doctorate from the Université de Montréal under the direction of José Evangelista and Denis Gougeon.
The SMCQ has been at the core of music creation for over sixty years and is dedicated to promoting the work of composers. Throughout the years, the organization established itself on the cultural scene by the quality and the scope of its concerts and activities which stand out for their unifying aspect.
Further information: smcq.qc.ca
Posted 28 September 2023 by Keith Bramich