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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 to 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 to 1950. From 1951 to 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 to 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 20, 1896 (Montreal), Died April 9, 1982 (Wayne)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, piano

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 51-64 of 64 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BS-033735 10-in. 2/16/1939 Pourquoi me reveiller Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-033739 10-in. 2/16/1939 Amor ti vieta Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-033740 10-in. 2/16/1939 If thou be near me Richard Crooks ; Wilfrid Pelletier Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-048199 12-in. 3/22/1940 Il nome vostro Giuseppe De Luca ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Lily Pons Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-048405 12-in. 3/22/1940 Dunque io son Giuseppe De Luca ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Lily Pons Vocal duet (soprano and baritone), with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-056449 12-in. 10/7/1940 Adieu, notre petite table Grace Moore ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-056450 12-in. 10/7/1940 Gavotte : Obéissons, quand leur voix appelle Grace Moore ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-066317 10-in. 6/21/1941 O Canada Disciples de Massenet ; Montreal Festivals Orchestra of 1941 Mixed vocal chorus and orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-066318 10-in. 6/21/1941 God save the King Disciples de Massenet ; Montreal Festivals Orchestra of 1941 Mixed vocal chorus and orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-075259 10-in. 6/5/1942 Si mes vers avaient des ailes Grace Moore ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor BS-075260 10-in. 6/5/1942 Psyché Grace Moore ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-075261 12-in. 6/5/1942 Phidylé Grace Moore ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-075262 12-in. 6/5/1942 Il est doux, il est bon Grace Moore ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
Victor CS-075263 12-in. 6/5/1942 Ouvre ton cœur Grace Moore ; Wilfrid Pelletier ; Victor Symphony Orchestra Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra conductor  
(Results 51-64 of 64 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Pelletier, Wilfrid," accessed April 25, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104772.

Pelletier, Wilfrid. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 25, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/104772.

"Pelletier, Wilfrid." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 25 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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