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  Denys Bouliane (Bio)

Born in the village of Grand-Mère in Quebec, Bouliane came to music in the 1960s playing guitar in an amateur rock band. He began his first musical training in 1972 at Laval University where he studied piano and violin and completed a Master's degree in composition in 1979. With grants from Quebec and Canada he first attended in 1980 the Darmstadt Summer Courses, settled down in Cologne and then continued his studies with György Ligeti at the Hochshule für Musik in Hamburg from 1980 to 1985. He has lived primarily in Cologne between 1980 and 1995; he now shares his time between Montreal and Cologne.

Bouliane is considered one of the most prominent Canadian composers; for over two decades his music has received much international attention in festivals like ISCM, Musik der Zeit Köln, Musik der Zeit Stuttgart, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Pro Musica Nova Bremen, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Wittener Tage für Neue Musik, Darmstadt, A*Devantgarde in Munich, Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, Wien Incident in Jazz, Salzburg stART Festival, Gaudeamus MusikWeek, Holland Festival, Ars Musica Brussels, Rencontres internationales de Metz, "38è Rugissants" in Grenoble, Musiques en scène Lyon, Royaumont Voix Nouvelles, Radio-France Présences, Canterbury Festival, London South Bank, Music of Today, San Francisco Wet Ink, Santa Fe Festival, Telluride Colorado, Québec Musiques-au-présent, MNM (Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques), Toronto Massey Hall Festival, Toronto Encounters, Winnipeg New Music Festival, Ekatarinenburg Music Festival, amongst others.

His works have been regularly broadcast in North America and throughout Europe, commissioned and performed by such Canadian ensembles as the SMCQ, NEM, Fibonacci Trio and the Bozzini Quartet, New Music Concerts, Soundstream, by European ensembles such as Ensemble Köln, Ensemble Modern, MusikFabrik, Stuttgart Windquintet, Calamus Quintet, Contrasts (West Germany), the Delta Ensemble and the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Amsterdam), the London Sinfonietta, the Nash Ensemble, Lontano and Continuum (London), l'Itinéraire, Court-Circuit (Paris), orchestras like l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec, l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Toronto Symphony, Esprit Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony, the National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), Philharmonia Orchestra (London), the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Heidelberg Philarmonisches Orchester, Bochumer Symphoniker, WDR Sinfonieorchester, the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg. He has been Composer-in-Residence with l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec, the Heidelberg Philarmonisches Orchester and the National Arts Center Orchestra.

In 1995, Bouliane was appointed professor of composition at McGill University, and director of the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble in 1996. He has given guest lectures at many institutions and international festivals.

As a conductor, he has worked with Ensemble Modern, MusikFabrik, Série B (Germany) Court- Circuit (France), CAPUT Ensemble (Iceland), New Music Concerts, Soundstream, Esprit Orchestra (Toronto), the McGill CME, Uccello, Orchestre symphonique de Qué bec, Orchestre symphonique de Montré al and the National Arts Center Orchestra. In the 1990s, he was a regular conductor of the Ensemble XXe siècle of the OSQ as well as a special counselor to the orchestra. In the 1980s he toured Europe extensively as sound manager for Ensemble Köln, and in 1991, founded Sé rie B. He has also worked in close collaboration with director Denis Marleau (Büchner's Woyzeck, 1993 and Wedekind's Lulu, 1995-96).

Artistic director of the MusiMarch Festival, Bouliane has also been co-artistic director, with Walter Boudreau, of MNM (Montréal/Nouvelles Musiques), Québec-Musiques-au-présent and the Millennium Symphony project. On his return to Quebec in 1995, together with Lorraine Vaillancourt, Bouliane founded the Rencontres de Musique Nouvelle du Domaine Forget, for which he currently serves as co-artistic director.

The composer's achievements include numerous prizes for individual works, including awards from the CBC (1982), the Gaudeamus Foundation in Holland (1982), the Performing Rights Organization of Canada, the Canadian Music Council (1983), Governor General Jules-Léger foundation (1987), the City of Cologne (1985), the WDR's Forum junger Komponisten (1989), the Fondation Emile Nelligan (Prix Serge Garant in 1991), and the Conseil québécois de la musique (1999). Bouliane's original stylistic approach has been described by German musicologist Peter Niklas Wilson as "Music of magical realism, akin to a virtuosic game of criticism, bordering on stylistic mystification, following in the footsteps of Jorge-Luis Borges, Italo Calvino and Boris Vian." A subject of controversy in so-called avant-garde milieux, his music appears at a crossroads between North America and Europe, and at the center of debates on modernity and postmodernity.

Source: Documentation Dr. Hermann Conen (Cologne, December 2007)

Denys Bouliane