André Gagnon

André Gagnon OC OQ (born 2 August 1936) is a Canadian composer, conductor, arranger, and actor. He is known for his fusion of classical and pop styles,[1] including compositions Neiges, Smash, Chevauchée, Surprise, Donna, and Mouvements in the disco and pop fields.[2] Gagnon has also composed for television, including La Souris Verte, Vivre en ce Pays, Format 60, Format 30,Techno-Flash, and Les Forges de Saint-Maurice[2] as well as for theatre with such productions as La Poudre aux Yeux, Doña Rosita, Terre d'Aube, La Dame de Chez Maxim's, and Wouf-Wouf.[2] Some of his most notable songs are "Pour les Amants", "Turluteries", and "Mes Quatre Saisons".[2]

Early lifeEdit

Gagnon was born in Saint-Pacôme-de-Kamouraska, Quebec, Canada.[3][4] The youngest of nineteen children, Gagnon began composing at the age of six and according to the Canadian Encyclopedia, "He took theory lessons with Léon Destroismaisons in Ste. Anne-de-la-Pocatière from 1952-53 and studied at the Conservatoire de musique à Montréal with Germaine Malépart (piano), Clermont Pépin (composition), and Gilberte Martin (solfège) from 1957 to 1961."[2]


According to Gagnon's official website, "In 1974, André Gagnon released Saga, his first album, composed solely of original instrumental pieces" .[2] In 1975, the album Neiges stayed on the American Billboard's Top 10 for twenty-four weeks and sold 700,000 copies worldwide.[2] In May 1976, Gagnon did four concerts in Mexico and in September of the same year, Neiges was released in New York under the title Driven Snow[2] In 1977, Neiges won a Juno award for the most purchased album in Canada[5] while Gagnon's album Le Saint-Laurent rapidly reached 100,000 sold copies. In 1978, André Gagnon was made an officer of the Order of Canada.[2][2] In the fall of 1979, Gagnon received his first Félix, an award created by the Quebecois music industry in the instrumental category for the album Le Saint-Laurent. He also began to add film scores to his repertoire, among them the soundtracks to Running (1979), the John Huston film Phobia (1980), and The Hot Touch (1981), directed by Roger Vadim. Gagnon went on world tour in 1981 to the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Greece, and Romania. During this year, he also composed original music for the film Tell Me That You Love Me, a production of Astral Films.[2] In October, he recorded Impressions in the famous Abbey Road studio.[2]

In February 1990, the opera Nelligan was released, for which Gagnon wrote the music. The opera was presented first at the Grand Theater of Quebec and then the Place of the Arts of Montreal and finally at the National Center of the Arts of Ottawa. Following the opera's Canadian release is the release of the studio-recorded double album, Nelligan.[6]

In January 1992, Gagnon composed the music for the film The Pianist. In 1999, the album Juliette Pomerleau was released. In 2011, the album Les chemins ombragés was certified a gold album having sold 40,000 copies.[6]

André Gagnon has also composed music for many artists, such as Diane Dufresne (Le 304), Renée Claude (Je suis une femme d'aujourd'hui, Ballade pour mes vieux jours) and Nicole Martin (Mannequin).

Awards and recognitionEdit

Juno awardsEdit

He has received Juno nominations in several other years.

Government honoursEdit

Gagnon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1978 and an Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2018.



Year Title
1964 André Gagnon - Piano et orchestre
1965 Léveillée-Gagnon
1966 Une voix, deux pianos
1968 Pour les amants
1969 Notre amour
1969 Mes quatre saisons
1971 Let It Be Me
1972 Les Turluteries
1972 Encore
1973 Projection / Les forges de St-Maurice
1973 Les grands succes d'André Gagnon
1974 Saga
1975 Neiges
1977 Le Saint-Laurent
1978 Movements
1981 Left Turn
1982 Les grands succès/Greatest Hits
1983 Impressions
1986 Comme dans un film
1986 Des dames de coeur
1990 Nelligan (with Michel Tremblay)
1992 Noël
1993 Les jours tranquilles
1993 Presque blue
1994 Romantique
1995 Piano
1996 Twilight Time
1996 Musique (Coffret de collection)
1997 André Gagnon au Centre Molson
1997 Éden
1997 La collection émergence
1999 Juliette Pomerleau
1999 Printemps
1999 Été
1999 Automne
1999 Hiver
2001 Histoires rêvées
2003 Piano solitude
2010 Les chemins ombragés
2011 Dans le silence de la nuit (Christmas album)
2016 Les voix intérieures


Year Title
1968 "Pour les amants"
1969 "Chanson pour Petula" b/w "La fête"
1971 "Rainbow"
1975 "Wow" b/w "Ta samba" (#4 CAN)
1976 "Surprise" b/w "Douce image"
1977 "Donna" b/w "Holiday Feeling"
1978 "Smash" b/w "Rendez-vous"
1977 "Weekend" (#16 CAN AC)
1980 "A Ride to Ville Émard" b/w "Beautiful Days"
1981 "Left Turn" b/w "Two Days in the Country"


  1. ^ Jean-Pierre Thiollet, 88 notes pour piano solo, Neva Editions, 2015, p.162. ISBN 978-2-3505-5192-0
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "André Gagnon - Biographie." André Gagnon Dans De Silence De La Nuit. Les Disques Audiogramme Inc., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.
  3. ^ Bush, John. "André Gagnon: Biography", Allmusic. Retrieved 23 June 2013.
  4. ^ "André Gagnon." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica-Dominion, n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.
  5. ^ Martin Melhuish (23 April 1977). Juno 1977. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 76–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  6. ^ a b André Gagnon - Biographie." André Gagnon Dans De Silence De La Nuit. Les Disques Audiogramme Inc., n.d. Web. 06 Jan. 2013.

External linksEdit