Claude Vivier

born in 1948 in Montreal, Québec, Canada

died in 1983 in Paris, Île-de-France, France

Claude Vivier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Claude Vivier (14 April 19487 March 1983) was a Canadian composer.

Life and career

Born to unknown parents in Montreal, Vivier was adopted at the age of three[1] by a poor French-Canadian family. From the age of thirteen, he attended boarding schools run by the Marist Brothers, a religious order that prepared young boys for a vocation in the priesthood. At the age of eighteen, Vivier was asked to leave the novitiate.[2] His earliest works date from this period. He was always open about his homosexuality.

In 1971, following study with Gilles Tremblay, he began a period of three years' study in Europe, first with Gottfried Michael Koenig at the Institute for Sonology in Utrecht, and then in Cologne with Karlheinz Stockhausen. Vivier learned much from Stockhausen, and his early works have aspects that are clearly, and sometimes audibly, derivative of his teacher, even though his later works bear little audible resemblance.[3] In 1974, he returned to Montreal and began to establish his reputation. He spent some years travelling in places such as Japan, Bali and Iran.

Vivier's opera Kopernikus, to his own libretto, was premièred on 8 May 1980, at the Monument-National in Montreal.

Vivier returned to Paris. He was murdered on 7 March 1983 by a 19-year-old male prostitute he had met that evening at a bar. His body was discovered five days later, on 12 March.

Selected works

  • Ojikawa for soprano, clarinet and percussion (1968)
  • Prolifération for ondes Martenot, piano and percussion (1969)
  • Musik für das Ende for twenty voices and percussion (1971)
  • Deva et Asura for chamber orchestra (1972)
  • Chants for seven female voices (1973)
  • O! Kosmos for soprano and choir (1973)
  • Désintégration for two pianos, four violins and two violas (1974)
  • Lettura di Dante for soprano and mixed septet (1974)
  • Liebesgedichte for voices and ensemble (1975)
  • Hymnen an die nacht for soprano and piano (1975)
  • Pianoforte for piano (1975)
  • Siddhartha for orchestra (1976)
  • Learning for four violins and percussion (1976)
  • Pulau Dewata for any combination of instruments (1977)
  • Shiraz for piano (1977)
  • Journal for voices and percussionist (1977)
  • Paramirabo for flute, violin, cello and piano (1978)
  • Greeting Music for flute, oboe, percussion, piano and violoncello (1978)
  • Kopernikus: Rituel de la Mort opera in two acts, premiered in Montreal on 8 May 1980 (1979)
  • Orion for orchestra (1979)
  • Lonely Child for soprano and orchestra (1980)
  • Zipangu for string orchestra (1980)
  • Cinq chansons for percussion (1980)
  • Bouchara for soprano and chamber orchestra (1981)
  • Prologue pour un Marco Polo for thirteen instruments, four voices and narrator (1981)
  • Samarkand for wind quintet and piano (1981)
  • Wo bist du Licht! for mezzo-soprano, orchestra and tape (1981)
  • Et je reverrai cette ville étrange for ensemble (1981)
  • Trois Airs pour un opéra imaginaire for soprano and ensemble (1982)
  • Glaubst du an die Unsterblichkeit der Seele for voices and ensemble (unfinished) (1983)


  1. Claude Vivier Biography. Boosey & Hawkes, Inc.. Retrieved on 2008-08-15.
  2. Gilmore 2009, 18.
  3. Gilmore 2009, 3637.


  • Gilmore, Bob. 2007. "On Claude Viviers Lonely Child". Tempo, new series 61, no. 239:217.
  • Gilmore, Bob. 2009. "Claude Vivier and Karlheinz Stockhausen: Moments from a Double Portrait". Circuit: musiques contemporaines 19, no. 2:3549. (Subscription access)
  • Lesage, Jean. 2008. "Claude Vivier, Siddhartha, Karlheinz Stockhausen: La nouvelle simplicité et le râga". Circuit: musiques contemporaines 18, no. 3:10720.
  • Mijnheer, Jaco. 2001. "Vivier, Claude". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan Publishers.
  • Tannenbaum, Peter. 1991. "Claude Vivier Revisited". SoundNotes SN1:1227.


  • Prologue pour un Marco Polo for 13 instruments, 4 voices and narrator (1981), Bouchara for soprano en chamberorchestra (1981), Zipangu for stringorchestra (1980), Lonely Child for soprano en orchestra (1980). Schönberg ensemble, Asko ensemble director Reinbert de Leeuw. Susan Narucki Alison Wells, Helena Rasker, Peter Hall, James Ottaway, Harry van der Kamp, Johan Leysen. CD Philips 454 231-2

External links

This page was last modified 11.12.2013 11:12:44

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