Born: 1948, Montreal, Canada
Died: 1983, Paris, France
“My music is a paradox. Usually in music, you have some development, some direction, or some aim. . . I just have statements, musical statements, which somehow lead nowhere. On the other hand, they lead somewhere but it's on a much more subtle basis.”
An orphan raised by a poor French-Canadian family, Vivier studied composition with Gilles Tremblay at the Conservatoire in Montreal, and then in Cologne with Karlheinz Stockhausen. A trip to Japan and Indonesia also proved influential on his music, as did subsequent study with the French spectralists Gérard Grisey and Tristan Murail. He was stabbed to death in Paris, leaving a score unfinished at a point that seemed to prophesy his murder. He left around 50 compositions, exploring and exploiting most genres in highly personal manner, with music of great harmonic and instrumental color.
WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln
Peter Rundel, conductor (Kairos)
ASKO Ensemble, Schönberg Ensemble
Reinbert De Leeuw, conductor (Philips)