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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 26-49 of 49 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor CS-014638 12-in. 10/6/1937 Una furtiva lagrima Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with electric organ and orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-014639 12-in. 10/6/1937 Il mio tesoro Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra (take 3); with orchestra and electric organ (takes 1 and 2) conductor  
Victor CS-014656 12-in. 10/8/1937 Ah! Fuyez, douce image Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra and electric organ conductor  
Victor CS-014657 12-in. 10/8/1937 Vainement, ma bien aimee Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra and electric organ conductor  
Victor CS-014658 12-in. 10/8/1937 L'amour son ardeur--ah! lève-toi soleil Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022489 10-in. 4/22/1938 Carmen : Habanera Bruna Castagna ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022490 10-in. 4/22/1938 Carmen : Seguidilla Bruna Castagna ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022491 10-in. 4/22/1938 Voyons que j'essaie à tour Bruna Castagna ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-022492 12-in. 4/22/1938 Chanson bohême Bruna Castagna ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022493 10-in. 4/22/1938 Chanson bohemienne Bruna Castagna ; Wilfrid Pelletier Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022494 10-in. 4/22/1938 Gavotte (Me voici dans son boudoir) Bruna Castagna ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Contralto vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022495 10-in. 4/22/1938 E lucevan le stelle Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022937 10-in. 4/28/1938 I pagliacci : Prologue Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022938 10-in. 4/28/1938 I pagliacci : Prologue Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022939 10-in. 4/28/1938 Over the steppe Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-022940 12-in. 4/28/1938 Largo al factotum Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022941 10-in. 4/28/1938 None but the lonely heart Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-022942 12-in. 4/28/1938 Non è ver Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022983 10-in. 5/4/1938 Hopak Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-022984 12-in. 5/4/1938 The twenty-Third Psalm Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-022985 12-in. 5/4/1938 The Beatitudes Igor Gorin ; Wilfrid Pelletier Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022986 10-in. 5/4/1938 All of my heart Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-022987 10-in. 5/4/1938 To one away Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-022988 12-in. 5/4/1938 Mi par d'udir ancora Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 26-49 of 49 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Pelletier, Wilfrid," accessed March 7, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104772.

Pelletier, Wilfrid. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 7, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104772.

"Pelletier, Wilfrid." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 7 March 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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