Jacques Hétu

(b. 8 August 1938, Trois-Rivières, Québec – d. 9 February 2010, Saint-Hippolyte, Québec).

Canadian composer of mostly orchestral, chamber and choral works that have been performed throughout the world.

Prof. Hétu studied Gregorian chant, harmony and piano with Jules Martel and other teachers at the University of Ottawa in 1955–56 and composition and counterpoint with Clermont Pépin, fugue with Jean Papineau-Couture and harmony with Isabelle Delorme at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal from 1956–61, where he earned a premier prix in composition. He also studied composition with Lukas Foss at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts in 1959, composition with Henri Dutilleux at the École Normale de Musique de Paris from 1961–63, where he earned the Diplôme d'Excellence en Composition, and analysis with Olivier Messiaen at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris in 1962–63.

Among his honours were the Prix de Composition of the Festival du Québec (1961, for Toccata, Op. 1), the Prix d'Europe from the government of Québec (1961, to study in France), the Victor M. Lynch-Staunton Award from the Canada Council for the Arts (1978), and the Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year in the category Large Ensemble (2004, for a recording of four concertos on the label CBC Records). He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada in Ottawa in 1989 and made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001. He received commissions from clarinettist James Campbell, the CBC, flutist Robert Cram, cellist Yegor Dyachkov, Éditions Doberman-Yppan, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, pianists André Laplante and Robert Silverman, the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières, guitarist Álvaro Pierri, Radio Canada, bass Joseph Rouleau, the ensemble and organisation Société de musique contemporaine du Québec in Montréal, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, trombonist Alain Trudel, and the Vancouver New Music Society.

He taught analysis and composition at the Université Laval in Québec, Québec from 1963–77, composition at the Université de Montréal in 1972–73 and in 1978–79 and analysis at the Université du Québec à Montréal from 1979–2000.


E-mail address for consulting scores:



Le Prix (opera in 1 act, libretto by Yves Beauchemin), 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, 3 tenors, baritone, bass, mixed chorus, orchestra, Op. 53, 1992


Symphonie pour cordes, string orchestra, Op. 2, 1959

Adagio et Rondo, string orchestra, Op. 3 No. 1a, 1960 (version of work for string quartet, Op. 3 No. 1)

Symphonie No. 2, large orchestra, Op. 4, 1961

Prélude, large orchestra, Op. 5, 1961

Rondo, cello, string orchestra, Op. 9, 1967

Double Concerto, violin, piano, small orchestra, Op. 12, 1967

L'Apocalypse, large orchestra, Op. 14, 1967

Concerto No. 1, piano, large orchestra, Op. 15, 1969

Passacaille, large orchestra, Op. 17, 1970

Symphonie No. 3, Op. 18, 1971

Fantaisie, piano, large orchestra, Op. 21, 1973

Antinomie, Op. 23, 1977

Concerto, bassoon, small orchestra, Op. 31, 1979 (also version of second movement as Élégie, bassoon, piano, Op. 31a)

Mirages, Op. 34, 1981

Concerto, clarinet, small orchestra, Op. 37, 1983

Symphonie concertante, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, string orchestra, Op. 40, 1986

Concerto, trumpet, small orchestra, Op. 43, 1987 (also version for trumpet, symphonic band, Op. 43a, 1994)

Images de la Révolution, large orchestra, Op. 44, 1988

Poème, string orchestra, Op. 47, 1989

Concerto, Ondes Martenot, orchestra, Op. 49, 1990

Concerto, flute, small orchestra, Op. 51, 1991

Le Tombeau de Nelligan, large orchestra, Op. 52, 1992

Symphonie No. 4, Op. 55, 1993

Concerto, guitar, string orchestra, Op. 56, 1994

Concerto, trombone, orchestra, Op. 57, 1995

Concerto, marimba (+ vibraphone), string orchestra, Op. 61, 1997

Sérénade héroïque, French horn, large orchestra, Op. 62, 1998

Concerto No. 2, piano, orchestra, Op. 64, 1999

Concerto, organ, large orchestra, Op. 68, 2001

Triple Concerto, violin, cello, piano, large orchestra, Op. 69, 2002

Concerto, oboe (+ English horn), large orchestra, Op. 72, 2004

Variations concertantes, large orchestra, Op. 74, 2005

Concerto, viola, small orchestra, Op. 75, 2006

Légendes, large orchestra, Op. 76, 2007

Concerto, 2 amplified guitars, small orchestra, Op. 77, 2007

Sur les rives du Saint-Maurice, Op. 78, 2008

Variations sur un thème de Mozart, 3 pianos, orchestra, Op. 79, 2008


Adagio et Rondo, string quartet, Op. 3 No. 1, 1960 (also version for string orchestra, Op. 3 No. 1a)

Trio, flute, oboe, harpsichord, Op. 3 No. 2, 1960

Quatre Pièces, flute, piano, Op. 10, 1965

Variations pour violon seul, violin, Op. 11, 1967 (also versions as Variations pour alto seul, viola, Op. 11a, 1967; Variations pour violoncelle seul, cello, Op. 11b, 1967)

Quintette pour instruments à vent, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, Op. 13, 1967

Quatre Miniatures, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 1967

Cycle, piano, ensemble (flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, French horn, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones), Op. 16, 1969

Quatuor à cordes No. 1, string quartet, Op. 19, 1972

Rondo varié, violin, Op. 25, 1977

Nocturne, clarinet, piano, Op. 26, 1977

Aria, flute, piano, Op. 27, 1977

Incantation, oboe, piano, Op. 28, 1978

Lied, French horn, piano, Op. 29, 1978

Élégie, bassoon, piano, Op. 31a, 1979 (version of second movement of Concerto, Op. 31)

Suite, guitar, Op. 41, 1986

Sérénade, flute, string quartet, Op. 45, 1988

Fanfare pour Lanaudière, 4 French horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 1989 (also version as Petite Fanfare pour Lanaudière, French horn, 2 trumpets, trombone, tuba, 1989)

Quatuor à cordes No. 2, string quartet, Op. 50, 1991

Scherzo, string quartet, Op. 54, 1992

Sonate pour violon et piano, violin, piano, Op. 58, 1996

Sonate pour 13 instruments, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, harp, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, harpsichord, Op. 60, 1996

Sonate pour violoncelle et piano, cello, piano, Op. 63, 1998

Fanfare pour une fête, 4 French horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, 2000

Fantaisie sur le nom de Bach, flute, Op. 67, 2001

Sextuor à cordes, 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, Op. 71, 2004

Trio, clarinet, cello, piano, Op. 73, 2005

Intermezzo, guitar, Op. 80, 2009

Trio, oboe, violin, piano, Op. 82, 2009


Les Djinns (text by Victor Hugo), mixed chorus (24–32 voices), mixed chorus (80–120 voices), piano, 6 percussion, Op. 22, 1975

Missa pro trecentesimo anno (text from the Mass), mixed chorus, organ, orchestra, Op. 38, 1985 (some sections may be performed separately as Quatre Interludes, organ, Op. 38a)

Les Illusions fanées (text by Émile Nelligan), mixed chorus, Op. 46, 1988

Passage (text by the composer), mixed chorus, Op. 65, 1999

Hear my prayer, O Lord (text from Psalm 102), mixed chorus, Op. 66, 2000

Symphonie No. 5, 'Liberté' (text by Paul Éluard), mixed chorus, large orchestra, Op. 81, 2009


Les Clartés de la nuit (text by Émile Nelligan), soprano, piano, Op. 20, 1972 (also version for soprano, orchestra, Op. 20a, 1986)

Les Abîmes du rêve (text by Émile Nelligan), bass, large orchestra, Op. 36, 1982


Prélude en fa mineur, 1956

Toccata, Op. 1, 1959

Sonate pour deux pianos, 2 pianos, Op. 6, 1962

Petite Suite, Op. 7, 1962

Variations pour piano, Op. 8, 1964

Prélude et Danse, Op. 24, 1977

Ballade, Op. 30, 1978

Sonate pour piano, Op. 35, 1984

Fantaisie, Op. 59, 1996

Impromptu, Op. 70, 2003


Quatre Interludes, Op. 38a, 1985 (sections of Missa pro trecentesimo anno, Op. 38; may be performed separately)

Variations pour orgue, Op. 42, 1986