La Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) is celebrating its 55th anniversary, with two concerts on December 14 and 15 at the Salle Pierre-Mercure.

Concert 1 – Three orchestral pieces performed by the next generation

First, the SMCQ invites the Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens de Montréal (OPMEM) to participate in this celebration with a major concert.

On the programme: the very popular Keiko Devaux will sweep the audience away with her delicate and atmospheric music, while in contrast, André Hamel will offer a detonating creation with sustained rhythms.

Steven Gellman’s monumental work, considered to be one of the most important in the Canadian repertoire, will flow like a long symphonic poem, thus completing this panorama of pieces for full orchestra that are too rarely presented.

“There is a utopian aspect to this concert of three contemporary pieces played by 71 musicians. It never happens unless we programme it ourselves,” says SMCQ Artistic Director Walter Boudreau.

Concert 2 – Back to basics: the inaugural concert The following day, the SMCQ’s inaugural concert programme will be repeated 55 years to the day after its initial presentation. This event, which confirmed Quebec’s entry into musical modernity, revealed some of our great composers.

“The programming was perfect! We had the ‘pope’ of contemporary music with Boulez and all the great Quebec composers. They were in the vanguard and their music has not aged a bit,” adds Maestro Boudreau.
This revival is a testament to the musical trends of the time, to the emergence of a solid local repertoire … and to the need to commission new works just like the new works added to the original programme.

It should be noted that since its foundation the SMCQ has commissioned more than 100 works from composers in Quebec. In addition, the evening will be “augmented” by an original scenography, imbuing the performance with a contemporary touch and recalling the institution’s role since 1966 as a precursor to contemporary music.

Celebrating 55 years of musical creation with bubbles 

Finally, the youth sector will also be celebrating with the publication of the comic book L’Odyssée de la musique contemporaine. Réjean Beaucage and Elisabeth Eudes-Pascal tell the little story of the SMCQ within the big musical story. The book is available free of charge online, while the printed version will be distributed to thousands of students starting this Fall.


Concert #1: Aujourd’hui et demain…

Tuesday, December 14, 7:30 pm

Salle Pierre-Mercure

Info and box office


Keiko Devaux, À perte de vue… (2018)

André Hamel, L’absurde travail (1988)

Steven Gellman, Universe Symphony (1986)


Orchestre philharmonique des musiciens de Montréal | Philippe Ménard, conductor


Concert #2: Hier et aujourd’hui…

Wednesday, December 15, 7:30 pm

Salle Pierre-Mercure

Info and box office


Pierre Boulez, Structures, 2e Livre (1956-61)

R. Murray Schafer, Loving (Toi) – Air d’ishtar (1963-66)

Petar Klanac, Yerushalayim (création)

Bruce Mather, Fantaisie (1964)

Serge Garant, Anerca (1961/63)

Performers Ensemble de la SMCQ | Sixtrum | Louise-Andrée Baril, piano |Francis Perron, piano | Pamela Reimer, piano | Virginie Mongeau, soprano | Marie-Annick Béliveau, mezzo-soprano | Jean-Michaël Lavoie, conductor.