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Wilfrid Pelletier

Joseph Louis Wilfrid Pelletier (sometimes spelled Wilfred), (20 June 1896 – 9 April 1982) was a Canadian conductor, pianist, composer, and arts administrator. He was instrumental in establishing the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, serving as the orchestra's first artistic director and conductor from 1935–1941. He had a long and fruitful partnership with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City that began with his appointment as a rehearsal accompanist in 1917; ultimately working there as one of the company's conductors in mainly the French opera repertoire from 1929-1950. From 1951–1966 he was the principal conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. He was also a featured conductor for a number of RCA Victor recordings, including an acclaimed reading of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem featuring baritone Mack Harrell and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and chorus.

Pelletier was one of the most influential music educators in Canada during the 20th century. It was largely through his efforts that the Conservatoire de musique et d'art dramatique du Québec (CMADQ), an organization which has established and oversees nine different schools of higher education in music and theatre in Quebec, was established in 1942. From 1943 through 1961 he served as the director of the CMADQ and its first school the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal. He also served as the first director of the CMDAQ's second school, the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Québec, from 1944–1946, and was instrumental in establishing the Conservatoire d'art dramatique du Québec à Montréal in 1954.

As a pianist, Pelletier was active during the 1920s and 1930s as one half of a piano duo with partner Arthur Loesser, the half-brother of Broadway composer Frank Loesser. The two made a number of recordings together that were made under the direction of Arthur Bodanzky. He also made a number of solo recordings and Ampico piano rolls in the early 1920s, playing mostly piano reductions from the operas of French composers like Georges Bizet, Charles Gounod, and Jules Massenet. As a composer, he produced only a small body of work, most notably In the Dark, in the Dew (published in Boston, 1923) which soprano Maria Jeritza included in a number of her recitals. He was married three times in his life, notably to opera singers Queena Mario and Rose Bampton.

Birth and Death Data: Born June 20th, 1896 (Montreal), Died April 9th, 1982 (Wayne)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1939

Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, piano

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 44 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-31928 10-in. 2/9/1925 Allerseelen Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-31929 10-in. 2/9/1925 Liebestreu Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-31988 10-in. 2/23/1925 Ah, love, but a day! Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor B-31993 10-in. 2/23/1925 The cuckoo Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-31993 10-in. 10/17/1927 The cuckoo Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CVE-37379 12-in. 1/27/1927 Erlkönig Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CVE-37380 12-in. 1/27/1927 Gretchen am Spinnrade Maria Jeritza Soprano vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BVE-37803 10-in. 2/8/1927 Percussion Victor Orchestra Instructional instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-59003 10-in. 9/22/1932 Swans Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-59004 10-in. 9/22/1932 Do not go, my love Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-59005 12-in. 9/22/1932 Come, beloved Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-73077 12-in. 7/8/1932 Vor der Thur (At the door) Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Conrad Thibault Vocal duet (contralto and baritone), with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-73078 12-in. 7/8/1932 Die Nonne und der Ritter Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Conrad Thibault Vocal duet (contralto and baritone), with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-73079 12-in. 7/8/1932 Es rauschet das Wasser Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Conrad Thibault Vocal duet (contralto and baritone), with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-73080 10-in. 7/8/1932 When I bring to you colour'd toys Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-73081 10-in. 7/8/1932 Light, my light Rose Bampton Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-73083 12-in. 7/8/1932 Air de Lia Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-73084 12-in. 7/8/1932 Wenn ich mit Menschen Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-73085 12-in. 7/8/1932 Denn es gehet dem Menschen Rose Bampton ; Sylvan Levin Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-73086 10-in. 7/8/1932 Ich wandte mich und sahe an Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor BS-73087 10-in. 7/8/1932 O tod wie bitter bist du Rose Bampton ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with piano instrumentalist, piano  
Victor CS-81086 12-in. 1/19/1934 'Tis an earth defiled Wilfrid Pelletier ; Lawrence Tibbett Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-81087 12-in. 1/19/1934 Standin' in de need of prayer Wilfrid Pelletier ; Lawrence Tibbett Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-014636 12-in. 10/6/1937 Salut, demeure John Corigliano ; Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with electric organ and orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-014637 12-in. 10/6/1937 Lohengrin's Abschied Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with electric organ and orchestra conductor  
(Results 1-25 of 44 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Pelletier, Wilfrid," accessed October 19, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104772.

Pelletier, Wilfrid. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104772.

"Pelletier, Wilfrid." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 19 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104772

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