André Gagnon, OC, a renowned Canadian composer, conductor, arranger, and actor was born 2 August 1936 in Saint-Pacôme-de-Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada. The youngest of nineteen children, Gagnon began composing at the age of six and according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, "He took theory lessons with Léon Destroismaisons in Ste. Anne-de-la-Pocatière from 1952-53 and studied at the Conservatoire de musique à Montréal with Germaine Malépart (piano), Clermont Pépin (composition), and Gilberte Martin (solfège) from 1957 to 1961."
Extremely notable for his fusion of classical and pop styles (such compositions as Neiges, Smash, Chevauchée, Surprise, Donna, and Mouvements have established him in the disco and pop fields), André Gagnon also composed for television including La Souris Verte, Vivre en ce Pays, Format 60, Format 30,Techno-Flash, Les Forges de Saint-Maurice as well as for theater with such productions as La Poudre aux Yeux, Doña Rosita, Terre d'Aube, La Dame de Chez Maxim's, and Wouf-Wouf. Some of his most notable songs are "Pour les Amants," "Turluteries," and "Mes Quatre Saisons."
According to André Gagnon's official website, "In 1974, André Gagnon released Saga, his first album, composed solely of original instrumental pieces" . In 1975, the album Neiges stayed on the American Billboard's Top 10 for twenty-four weeks and sold 700,000 copies worldwide. In May 1976, Gagnon did four concerts in Mexico and in September of the same year, Neiges was released in New York under the title Driven Snow In 1977, Neiges won a Juno award for the most purchased album in Canada while Gagnon's album Le Saint-Laurent rapidly reached 100,000 sold copies. In 1978, André Gagnon was made an officer of the Order of Canada. In the fall of 1979, Gagnon received his first Félix, an award created by the Quebecois music industry in the instrumental category for the album Le Saint-Laurent. Gagnon went on world tour in 1981 to the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Greece, and Romania. During this year, he also composed original music for the film Tell Me that You Love Me, a production of Astral Films. In October, he recorded Impressions in the famous Abbey Road studio.
In February 1990, the opera Nelligan was released, for which Gagnon wrote the music. The opera was presented first at the Grand Theater of Quebec and then the Place of the Arts of Montreal and finally at the National Center of the Arts of Ottawa. Following the opera's Canadian release is the release of the studio-recorded double album, Nelligan.
In January 1992, Gagnon composed the music for the film, The Pianist and 1999 saw the release of the album Juliette Pomerleau. In the summer of 2011, the album Les chemins ombragés was certified a gold album having sold 40,000 units.
Awards and recognition
He has received Juno nominations in several other years.
Gagnon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978.
|1964||André Gagnon - Piano et orchestre|
|1966||Une voix, deux pianos|
|1968||Pour les amants|
|1969||Mes quatre saisons|
|1971||Let It Be Me|
|1973||Projection / Les forges de St-Maurice|
|1973||Les grands succes d'André Gagnon|
|1982||Les grands succès/Greatest Hits|
|1986||Comme dans un film|
|1989||Des dames de coeur|
|1990||Nelligan (with Michel Tremblay)|
|1993||Les jours tranquilles|
|1996||Musique (Coffret de collection)|
|1997||André Gagnon au Centre Molson|
|1997||La collection émergence|
|2010||Les chemins ombragés|
|2011||Dans le silence de la nuit (Christmas album)|
|1968||"Pour les amants"|
|1969||"Chanson pour Petula" b/w "La fête"|
|1975||"Wow" b/w "Ta samba" (#4 CAN)|
|1976||"Surprise" b/w "Douce image"|
|1977||"Donna" b/w "Holiday Feeling"|
|1978||"Smash" b/w "Rendez-vous"|
|1980||"A Ride to Ville Émard" b/w "Beautiful Days"|
|1981||"Left Turn" b/w "Two Days in the Country"|
- Bush, John. "André Gagnon: Biography", Allmusic. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
- "André Gagnon." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica-Dominion, n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.
- "André Gagnon - Biographie." André Gagnon Dans De Silence De La Nuit. Les Disques Audiogramme Inc., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.
- André Gagnon - Biographie." André Gagnon Dans De Silence De La Nuit. Les Disques Audiogramme Inc., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.