Claude Vivier (14 April 1948 – 7 March 1983) was a Canadian composer.
Early life and education
Vivier was born to unknown parents in Montreal. He was adopted at the age of three by a poor French-Canadian family. From the age of 13, he attended boarding schools run by the Marist Brothers, a religious order that prepared young boys for a vocation in the priesthood. In 1966, at the age of 18, Vivier was asked to leave the novitiate for “lack of maturity”. His earliest works date from this period. He was always openly gay.
In 1971, following study with Gilles Tremblay, he studied for three years in Europe, first with Gottfried Michael Koenig at the Institute for Sonology in Utrecht, and then in Cologne with Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Vivier learned much from Stockhausen, and his early works have aspects that are derivative of his teacher, though his later works bear little resemblance. In 1974, he returned to Montreal and began to establish his reputation. He spent some years travelling in Japan, Bali and Iran.
Vivier's opera Kopernikus, to his own libretto, was premièred on 8 May 1980 at the Monument-National in Montreal.
In 1982, Vivier moved to Paris. He was murdered there on 7 March 1983 by Pascal Dolzan, a homeless 19-year-old truqueur (a trickster who pretends to accept sexual advances in order to gain the opportunity to rob or harm the victim) he had met that evening at a bar. His body was discovered at home much later on 12 March.
- Ojikawa for soprano, clarinet and timpani (1968)
- Prolifération for ondes Martenot, piano and percussion (1969)
- Musik für das Ende for twenty voices and percussion (1971)
- Deva et Asura for chamber orchestra (1972)
- Chants for seven female voices (1973)
- O! Kosmos for soprano and choir (1973)
- Désintégration for two pianos (1974)
- Jesus erbarme dich for soprano and choir (1974)
- Lettura di Dante for soprano and mixed septet (1974)
- Hymnen an die nacht for soprano and piano (1975)
- Liebesgedichte for four voices and ensemble (1975)
- Pièce pour flûte et piano for flute and piano (1975)
- Pièce pour violon et clarinette for violon and clarinet (1975)
- Pièce pour violon et piano for violin and piano (1975)
- Pièce pour violoncelle et piano for cello and piano (1975)
- Pour guitare for guitar, written for Michael Laucke (1975)
- Pianoforte for piano (1975)
- Siddhartha for orchestra (1976)
- Learning for four violins and percussion (1976)
- Journal for four voices, choir and percussion (1977)
- Love Songs ballet for four women and three men, a capella (1977)
- Pulau Dewata for any combination of instruments (1977)
- Shiraz for piano (1977)
- Paramirabo for flute, violin, cello and piano (1978)
- Greeting Music for flute, oboe, percussion, piano and violoncello (1978)
- Les communiantes for organ (1978)
- Koperkikus : Rituel de la mort opera in two acts, premiered in Montreal on 8 May 1980 (1979); U.S. premiere, 12 June 2016, Ojai Festival, staged by Peter Sellars
- Orion for orchestra (1979)
- Aikea for three percussionnists (1980)
- Cinq chansons for percussion (1980)
- Lonely Child for soprano and orchestra (1980)
- Zipangu for string orchestra (1980)
- Bouchara for soprano and chamber orchestra (1981)
- Et je reverrai cette ville étrange for ensemble (1981)
- Prologue pour un Marco Polo for thirteen instruments, four voices and narrator (1981)
- Samarkand for wind quintet and piano (1981)
- Wo bist du Licht! for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and tape (1981)
- Trois Airs pour un opéra imaginaire for soprano and ensemble (1982)
- Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele for voices and ensemble (unfinished) (1983)
- Prologue pour un Marco Polo for 13 instruments, 4 voices and narrator (1981), Bouchara for soprano en chamber orchestra (1981), Zipangu for string orchestra (1980), Lonely Child for soprano and orchestra (1980). Schönberg ensemble, Asko ensemble, conductor: Reinbert de Leeuw. Susan Narucki, Alison Wells, Helena Rasker, Peter Hall, James Ottaway, Harry van der Kamp, Johan Leysen. CD Philips 454 231-2
- Orion for orchestra (1979), Siddhartha for orchestra (1976), 5 Songs for percussion (1980). WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, conductor: Peter Rundel. Christian Dierstein, percussion. CD Kairos KAI0012472.
- Wo bist du Licht! for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and tape (1981), Greeting Music for flute, oboe, percussion, piano and violoncello (1978), Bouchara for soprano and chamber orchestra (1981), Trois Airs pour un opéra imaginaire for soprano and ensemble (1982). Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), conductor: Walter Boudreau, Marie-Annick Béliveau (mezzo-soprano), Marie-Danielle Parent (soprano), Ingrid Schmithusen (soprano). CD ATMA Classique ACD22252.
- Chants for seven female voices (1972–73), Jesus erbarme dich for voice and chorus (1973), Love Songs for four women and three men, a capella (1977), Journal for choir, one percussion player, and four solo voices (1977). Ensemble Solistes XXI, conductor: Rachid Safir. 2 CD Soupir S206-NT103.
- Shiraz for piano (1977), Pianoforte for piano (1975), Désintégration for two pianos, (1972). Kristi Becker, Ursula Kniehs, pianos. CD Pianovox PIA 529-2.
- Shiraz for piano (1977). Jenny Lin, piano. Koch International Classics KIC-CD-7670
- Kopernikus: Rituel de la Mort opera in two acts (1979). Opera Factory Freiburg, Holst-Sinfonietta, conductor: Klaus Simon. CD Bastille Musique 1.
- Kopernikus: Rituel de la Mort opera in two acts (1979) (DVD 1), Prologue pour un Marco Polo for thirteen instruments, four voices and narrator (1981), Shiraz for piano (1977), Lonely Child for soprano and orchestra (1980), Zipangu for string orchestra (1980), Wo bist du Licht! for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and tape (1981), Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele for voices and ensemble (unfinished) (1983) DVD 2. Asko Ensemble; Schönberg Ensemble, conductor: Reinbert de Leeuw. 2 DVD Opus Arte OA0943D.
- Gilmore, Bob. Claude Vivier. A Composer's Life. University of Rochester Press, Rochester, 2014.
- "Claude Vivier Biography". Boosey & Hawkes, Inc. Retrieved 15 August 2008.
- Gilmore 2009, 18.
- "Why Quebec composer Claude Vivier was ahead of his time". The Globe and Mail]. April 13, 2018, by Catherine Kustanczy
- Gilmore 2009, 36–37.
- Gilmore 2014, 223–26.
- Gilmore, Bob. (2014). Claude Vivier : a Biography. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 978-1-58046-841-1. OCLC 881162572.
- Swed, Mark (14 June 2016). "Worlds meet and worlds beyond at Ojai Music Festival". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
- Gilmore, Bob. 2007. "On Claude Vivier's Lonely Child". Tempo, new series 61, no. 239:2–17.
- Gilmore, Bob. 2009. "Claude Vivier and Karlheinz Stockhausen: Moments from a Double Portrait". Circuit: musiques contemporaines 19, no. 2:35–49. (Subscription access)
- Gilmore, Bob. 2014. Claude Vivier: a Composer's Life. University of Rochester Press.
- Lesage, Jean. 2008. "Claude Vivier, Siddhartha, Karlheinz Stockhausen: La nouvelle simplicité et le râga". Circuit: musiques contemporaines 18, no. 3:107–20.
- Mijnheer, Jaco. 2001. "Vivier, Claude". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
- Tannenbaum, Peter. 1991. "Claude Vivier Revisited". SoundNotes SN1:12–27.
- "Claude Vivier biography" (in French). IRCAM.
- "Eternal Recurrence: Aspects of Melody in the Orchestral Music of Claude Vivier" by Janette Tilley. Discourses in Music 2, no. 1 (Fall 2000).
- "A Response to Janette Tilley's Eternal Recurrence: Aspects of Melody in the Orchestral Music of Claude Vivier", by Ross Braes. Discourses in Music 2, no. 2 (Winter 2000–2001).
- L'écriture à haute voix: Lonely Child de Claude Vivier abstract (in French and English) of article by Jacques Tremblay. Circuit 11, no. 1.
- On Claude Vivier's Lonely Child abstract of article by Bob Gilmore in Tempo (2007), 61: 2-17, Cambridge University Press. (Article access by subscription only)
- Guide to Claude Viver's works, a pdf brochure detailing all of Vivier's published works, with notes.