Gilles Tremblay

(b. 6 September 1932, Arvida, Saguenay, Québec – d. 27 July 2017, Montréal, Québec).

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

Prof. Tremblay studied privately with Jocelyne Binet, Edmond Trudel and Gabriel Cusson in the mid-1940s, then studied piano with Germaine Malépart at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal from 1949–54, where he earned a premier prix in 1953. He studied composition privately with Claude Champagne and had a decisive meeting with Edgard Varèse in New York, New York during this time. He studied analysis with Olivier Messiaen, composition and piano with Yvonne Loriod and Ondes Martenot with Maurice Martenot at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris from 1954–61, where he earned a premier prix in 1957 and a première médaille in Ondes Martenot in 1958. In addition, he earned a licence in counterpoint at the École Normale de Musique de Paris.

Among his honours were the Prix Calixa-Lavallée Prix (1967, for Sonorisation du Pavillon du Québec) and a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts (1972, for travel to Asia).

He was also active in other positions. He served as host of the radio programme Festivals in Montréal.

He taught at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal from 1961–98.

His primary publishers are Berandol Music, Éditions Durand-Salabert-Eschig and Éditions Transatlantiques.


E-mail address for consulting scores:



UN 9 (théâtre musical), mime, 2 trumpets, 2 percussion, 1987


Cantique de durées, 1960

Jeux de solstices, flute, clarinet, trumpet, violin, orchestra, 1974

Fleuves, large orchestra, 1976

Compostelle I, clarinet, small orchestra (17 players), 1978

Vers le soleil, small orchestra (25 players), 1978

Katadrone : contrecri, large orchestra (63 players), 1988

Musique du feu, piano, symphonic band, 1991

L'Arbre de Borobudur, French horn, 2 harps, double bass, Ondes Martenot, 2 percussion, gamelan, 1994

Traversée (concerto), flute, orchestra, 1996

Les Pierres crieront, cello, large orchestra, 1998

En Partage (concerto), viola, orchestra, 2002


Mobile, violin, piano, 1962

Champs I, piano, 2 percussion, 1965, revised 1969

Souffles : Champs II, piano, ensemble (2 flutes [both + piccolo], oboe, clarinet, French horn, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, double bass, 2 percussion), 1967

Vers : Champs III, 2 flutes (1st + piccolo), clarinet, French horn, trumpet, 3 violins, double bass, 3 percussion, 1969

...le sifflement des vents porteurs de l'amour, amplified flute, amplified percussion, 1971

Solstices (ou Les Jours et Les Saisons tournent), flute, clarinet, French horn, double bass, 2 percussion, 1971

Le Signe du Lion, French horn, tam-tam, 1981

Envoi (concerto), piano, ensemble (2 flutes [1st + piccolo], clarinet, bass clarinet, French horn, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 violins, double bass, 3 percussion), 1982

Envol : Alléluia, flute, 1984

Triojubilus (à Raphaël), flute, harp, cowbells (1 player), 1985

Cèdres en voiles (Thrène pour le Liban), cello, 1989

Aubes (ou initial), bass flute, double bass, percussion, 1990

Quatuor à cordes, 'Croissant', string quartet, 2001


Matines pour la Vierge, mixed chorus, ensemble, 1954

Les Vêpres de la Vierge, soprano, 2 mixed choruses (44 voices total), 3 flutes (all + piccolo), 2 oboes (both + English horn), 2 trumpets, trombone, double bass, positive organ, 3 percussion, 1985

Avec, wampum symphonique, soprano, bass, speaker, mixed chorus, orchestra, 1992

L'Espace du cœur (Miron-Machaut), 12/24 mixed voices, percussion, 1997


Kékoba (text from a source in Latin, arranged by the composer), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, Ondes Martenot, percussion, 1965

Oralléluiants (text from the Pentecostal Mass), amplified soprano, amplified ensemble (flute, bass clarinet, French horn, 3 double basses, 2/3 percussion), 1974

DZEI (voies de feu) (text by Heraclitus), soprano, flute, bass clarinet, piano, percussion, 1982

À quelle heure commence le temps ? (text by Bernard Lévy), bass-baritone, piano, ensemble (flute [+ piccolo], oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, 2 percussion), 2000


Phases, 1956

Réseaux, 1958

Traçantes, auprès, au loin, 1976


Vers une éltoile (Compostelle II), 1993


Exercice I, fixed media, 1959

Exercice II, fixed media, 1960

Sonorisation du Pavillon du Québec, fixed media (24 tracks), 1967


L'Appel de Kondiaronk : symphonie portuaire (environmental work), battle sirens, 2 locomotives, 2000


Dimensions soleils, fixed media, 1970 (Raymond Brousseau)