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Canadian André MATHIEU

Canadian pianist and composer

Source :  Guy LE RESTE

Born: on February 18, 1929 in Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Died: on June 02, 1968 in Quebec, Canada


Mathieu's father Rodolphe Mathieu was a music teacher and composer, and his mother Wilhemine Gagnon-Mathieu was a cellist and teacher. Mathieu was fascinated by the world of music from an early age, and received his first music lessons from his father. Mathieu as a child was unusually precocious. He spoke his first words at the age of 4 months and took his first steps before seven months.

Rodolphe Mathieu was at first reluctant to teach his son music, and forbade him to touch the piano. This is because the senior Mathieu regarded music as a pauper's profession. Even so, Rodolphe Mathieu resigned himself to teaching his son music, because he recognized the exceptional talent in Mathieu. Mathieu began composing at the age of 4. At age 6 Mathieu gave his first recital of his own composition at the Ritz Carleton Hotel in Montréal, Canada on February 25, 1935. In 1936 Mathieu performed his Concertino No.1 for Piano and Orchestra as a soloist on the CBC network. He was later given a grant by the Québec government that enabled him to go to Paris and study piano with Yves Nat and Mme. Giraud-Latarse. Mathieu also studied harmony and composition with Jacques de la Presle. In December 1936 Mathieu gave a recital of his works at Salle Chopin-Pleyel, and again at Salle Gaveau on March 26, 1939. His recitals were received very enthusiastically by the Parisian critics. They unanimously agreed that André Mathieu was a "little Canadian Mozart". Rachmaninov pronounced him, "a genius, more so than I am".

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See Also :

- Category Composer