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Denys Bouliane

National Arts Centre Awards Composer

One of Canada's busiest composers, Denys Bouliane divides his time among Montreal, Quebec and Cologne. He has been Professor of Composition at McGill University in Montreal, and Music Director of the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble since 1995. In 1995, he founded the Rencontres de Musique Nouvelle (New Music Symposium) held every August at the summer resort of Domaine Forget in the Charlevoix County, northeast of Quebec. He is currently its co-Artistic Director with Lorraine Vaillancourt from Nouvel Ensemble Moderne. He is also Artistic Coordinator for the Montreal MusiMarch Festival.

In March 2002 at the launch of the NAC New Music Plan, the National Arts Centre named Denys Bouliane as one of three recipients of the $75,000 NAC Composers Awards, along with Gary Kulesha and Alexina Louie. Each composer has been commissioned to create three works over a four-year period, during which time they are working closely with the National Arts Centre Orchestra on a series of new music education initiatives.   Mr. Bouliane's La neige est blanche mais l'eau est noire premiered at the National Arts Centre in October 2003 was performed in every city on the NAC Orchestra's U.S. and Mexico Tour in November 2003. He accompanied the Orchestra on the tour leading a series of composition workshops with university composition students and school children. In 1988, the NAC Orchestra recorded Denys Bouliane's Douze tiroirs de demi-vérités pour allégrer votre descente with pianist Marc-André Hamelin under conductor Gabriel Chmura.

Denys Bouliane was born in 1955 in Grand-Mère, a small town in the Province of Quebec. He has been guest lecturer at several Canadian universities, European conservatories and international festivals, as well as a regular contributor to radio programs and specialized periodicals in North America and Europe.

In the 1980s Mr. Bouliane toured Europe extensively as Sound Regisseur for Ensemble Köln. In 1991, he founded the group Série B, a Cologne-based ensemble of nine musicians who extend the acoustic potential of their resources through an array of new electronic instruments. From 1992 to 1995 he was Composer-in-Residence at the Orchestre symphonique de Québec (OSQ) and in 1995-96 at the Heidelberg Philharmonisches Orchester in Germany. Since 1995 he has been a member of the Artistic Committee of the SMCQ (Société de musique contemporaine du Québec). He has been the regular conductor of the Ensemble XX e siècle of the OSQ (which he founded) as well as a Special Advisor to the orchestra. He was, along with his colleague Walter Boudreau, Artistic Coordinator and Principal Conductor of the new music festival Québec-Musiques-au-présent held in the spring of 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Since 1993, Bouliane has worked in close collaboration with director Denis Marleau (now the National Arts Centre's Artistic Director of French Theatre) and written stage music for Büchner's Woyzeck (Belgium's Théâtre National and Centre dramatique Hainnuyer, 1993) as well as for Wedekind's Lulu (Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, in Montreal, 1995-96).

Many of Bouliane's works have been awarded prizes in national and international competitions.


February 2005