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New curriculum in contemporary music

Throughout its history, the Université de Montréal Faculty of Music has always been stirred by an eagerness to innovate, experiment and be at the forefront of contemporary creation.

In that spirit, beginning with the fall 2023 term, some 40 students in performance programs, from bachelor’s to doctorate, will get the chance to deepen their expertise and expand their skills thanks to a brand new curriculum devoted to the performance of contemporary music. This original curriculum from the Faculty is offered in collaboration with the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), an organization in residence.

Lasting two to three years, this highly professionalizing pathway is designed to enhance the academic curriculum and provide pedagogical reinforcement, in other ways through a mentoring component offered by musicians from the NEM. The goal? To train high-quality performers equipped with the tools needed to tackle the repertoire of today’s music.

Professionalizing curriculum  over 2 to 3 years

*mentoring by musicians from the NEM

For undergraduates: accent on the solo repertoire and creation

As part of the course Atelier de musique contemporaine 1, introduction to the contemporary repertoire, students in classical performance will have the opportunity to acquire keys to understanding, and preparation tools for learning and performing, works composed after 1950. To properly prepare for the final in-concert evaluation, each instrumentalist will benefit from two hours of mentoring offered by a professional performer from the NEM who plays the same instrument.

A true laboratory for the creation of musical works, the Atelier de musique contemporaine 2 makes for an understanding of the different stages of a collaborative process between performers and composers. A group of three to four performers will be matched to a student in composition and sound creation at the Faculty. Throughout the term, the small groups will be called together to rehearse the work being created. This collaborative process will allow all those involved to perfect their practice, whether chamber-music performance or composition. The results of this collaboration will be presented in concert as a final evaluation.

At the graduate level: repertoire for large ensemble with the EMC

Made up of 15 to 25 solo instrumentalists selected by audition, the Ensemble de musique contemporaine de l’Université de Montréal (EMC) is headed by conductor Jean-Michaël Lavoie. For a period of two years, as part of the professionalizing curriculum in contemporary music, each principal in the EMC benefits from the personalized mentorship of musicians from the NEM.

Resource person

Jean-Michaël Lavoie, Associate Dean for the Development of Societal Commitments and Professional Partnerships