Claude Vivier (14 April 1948 – 7 March 1983) was a Canadian composer. At the age of 34, he was the victim of a shocking murder, leaving behind some 49 compositions in a wide range of genres. Many consider Vivier the greatest composer of Canada.


Claude Vivier (14 April 1948 – 7 March 1983) was a Canadian composer.

Life and career

Born to unknown parents in Montreal, Vivier was adopted at the age of three by a poor French-Canadian family. From the age of thirteen, he attended boarding schools run by the Marist Brothers, a religious order that prepared young boys for a vocation in the priesthood. At the age of eighteen, Vivier was asked to leave the novitiate. His earliest works date from this period. He was always openly homosexual.

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 clearly, and sometimes audibly, derivative of his teacher, though his later works bear little audible resemblance. In 1974, he returned to Montreal and began to establish his reputation. He spent some years travelling in places such as Japan, Bali and Iran.

Vivier's opera Kopernikus, to his own libretto, was premièred on 8 May 1980, at the Monument-National in Montreal.

Vivier returned to Paris. He was murdered on 7 March 1983 by Pascal Dolzan, a homeless 19-year-old truqueur (a "trickster" who pretends to accept homosexual 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 on 12 March.

Selected works

  • Ojikawa for soprano, clarinet and percussion (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, four violins and two violas (1974)
  • Lettura di Dante for soprano and mixed septet (1974)
  • Liebesgedichte for voices and ensemble (1975)
  • Hymnen an die nacht for soprano and piano (1975)
  • Pianoforte for piano (1975)
  • Siddhartha for orchestra (1976)
  • Learning for four violins and percussion (1976)
  • Pulau Dewata for any combination of instruments (1977)
  • Shiraz for piano (1977)
  • Journal for voices and percussionist (1977)
  • Paramirabo for flute, violin, cello and piano (1978)
  • Greeting Music for flute, oboe, percussion, piano and violoncello (1978)
  • Kopernikus: 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)
  • Lonely Child for soprano and orchestra (1980)
  • Zipangu for string orchestra (1980)
  • Cinq chansons for percussion (1980)
  • Bouchara for soprano and chamber orchestra (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)
  • Et je reverrai cette ville étrange for ensemble (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)
Info: Canadian composer
Index: 7.0
Type: Person Male
Period: 1948.4.14 - 1983.3.7
Age: aged 34
Area :Canada
Occupation :Composer
Periods :Modernist Music
Sect :Spectral Music


Update Time:2018-06-22 17:01 / 5 years, 9 months ago.