Born in 1947, composer and conductor Walter Boudreau has composed nearly fifty works for various types of ensemble, as well as some fifteen film scores and two ballets. After completing early studies in piano and saxophone, he turned to analysis with Bruce Mather, a subject he also studied with Gilles Tremblay and Serge Garant in addition to composition. As a recipient of a number of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Boudreau later studied in Europe and the US with Mauricio Kagel, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gyorgy Ligeti, Olivier Messiaen, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez. He subsequently undertook a number of concert tours with Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and the Festival Concert Society of Vancouver, in addition to several private workshops in digital music at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, the Center for Musical Experiments in San Diego, and at the Université de Montréal, with the Groupe Informatique-musique.
Artistic director and principal conductor of the Ensemble de la Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ) since 1988, Walter Boudreau has received a number of commissions from orchestras, ensembles and soloists, and has directed various groups in performances of contemporary music, including the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Radio France soloists, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Orchestre Mondial des Jeunesses Musicales (Germany/Poland), the Ensemble de Musique Nouvelle de Liège, Toronto’s Gamelan Evergreen Club, and the Dangerous Kitchen ensemble.
In 1990, Boudreau was named the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s first composer in residence for a period of three years. Together with Denys Bouliane, he assumed the artistic direction of the Orchestre symphonique de Québec’s Musique-au-Présent festival between 1996 and 1999, as well as the 2000 Millenium Symphony. As a result of these fruitful collaborations, Boudreau and Bouliane founded the Montréal/New Music Festival (MNM), an international biennial festival held for the first time in March of 2003.