Jérôme Blais (Atlantic) (2012-present)

Jérôme Blais

“I am happy to serve again on the national board of the CNMN. My goal is to help develop a stronger voice for new music in Atlantic Canada and raise the profile of our region at the national level. For over 15 years I have acquired extensive experience with several music organizations, serving on the board of Codes d’accès in Montreal, the regional council of the CMC in Quebec, the Société québécoise de recherche en musique, the Canadian League of Composers and Quasar Saxophone Quartet. I am currently chair of the Atlantic board of the CMC and as such serve on the national board of the organization. Since my arrival in Halifax, almost 10 years ago, I have been an active member of the new music scene as an individual artist, as well as the representative of a major institution, Dalhousie University. Finally, my approach as a composer is broad-ranging, from chamber improvised to orchestral music, which puts me in a good position to reach out to other new music stakeholders, no matter what their background is..” [2014]

After studying Music Theory at McGill University, Jérôme Blais completed Master’s and doctoral degrees in composition at the University of Montreal. His works, which feature a unique encounter between traditional composition and improvisation, have been performed by several ensembles, among which are Symphony Nova Scotia, Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, Rosa Ensemble of Amsterdam, Quasar Saxophone Quartet, Bozzini String Quartet, Bradyworks, Arraymusic and Continuum. He has been invited as featured composer by festivals such as Newfound Music in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Shattering the Silence in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and Ok.Quoi? in Sackville, New Brunswick. In 2010 he was keynote speaker at the Canadian University Music Society’s annual congress. Recent prestigious performances of his works include Es ist genug! by Canadian pianist Ang Li at Carnegie Hall in New York City and in Hong Kong, and an excerpt of his song cycle Songs for Milena (dedicated to the memory of Czech journalist Milena Jesensnká) by Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s Orchestre Métropolitain in Montreal. Mouvance, (a work based on texts by Acadian poet Gérald Leblanc) and Rafales (for solo oboe) were nominated for ECMA’s Best Classical Composition of the Year in 2013 and 2014. Mouvances is on the ECMA’s album Between the Shore and the Ships, an award-winner for Best Classical Recording. He is now Professor of Composition and Music Theory at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.