is one of Canadaʼs most celebrated and sought-after composers. A versatile, imaginative and prolific creator, she has written for all musical genres, from piano, voice and orchestra to opera and film; her orchestral works have been performed by leading international ensembles, and her music has been selected for productions by the National Ballet of Canada.
Her distinctive style—a blend of Asian and Western influences—draws from a wide spectrum of sources, from her Chinese heritage to her theoretical and performance studies. Though she is a thoroughly Canadian composer, her musical voice is heard, recognized and acclaimed around the world.
Ms. Louie was born in Vancouver and studied at the University of British Columbia and the University of California at San Diego. Her impressive body of work totals nearly 80 compositions, including Take the Dog Sled, for two Inuit throat singers and seven musicians; Scenes from a Jade Terrace, for solo piano, commissioned by Jon Kimura Parker; and O Magnum Mysterium: In Memoriam Glenn Gould, for 44 individual string parts, a tribute to the great Canadian piano virtuoso.
As composer-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company, she composed a full-length opera, The Scarlet Princess, with libretto by Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly). Previously, with librettist Dan Redican and director Larry Weinstein, she created the groundbreaking comedic mini operas Toothpaste and Burnt Toast.
In 2017, her Triple Concerto for Three Violins and Orchestra, jointly commissioned by the Toronto Symphony, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, was performed by all three orchestras during Canada’s 150th anniversary year. In 2019, the prestigious Honens International Piano Festival honoured her with a concert devoted to her compositions.
Alexina Louie is an Officer of the Order of Canada, an Order of Ontario inductee, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Her other awards and honours include the Queen Elizabeth II Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, two Juno Awards, the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, the National Arts Centre Composer Award, the Chalmers Award in Composition, the Molson Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary, and the Governor General’s Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award.
He received his essential training in Montréal, New York, Geneva and London.
He has performed in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East, appearing in renowned venues and festivals, including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Weill Recital Hall (New York), Suntory Recital Hall (Tokyo), the Musikverein (Vienna), Glenn Gould Studio (Toronto), Jordan Hall (Boston), the Tonhalle (Zürich), Royce Hall (Los Angeles), Doha Opera House, Sala Verdi (Milan), Chan Center (Vancouver), Max-Joseph Saal (Munich), Pollack Hall (Montreal), Ravinia Festival, Bath Festival, Festival de Lanaudière, Festival de Montpellier and Festival de Wallonie.
He has also played on radio broadcasts for CBC/Radio-Canada, France Musique, Radio Suisse Romande Espace 2, Westdeutscher Rundfunk WDR 3 and National Public Radio (USA).
His widely acclaimed discography includes a dozen albums.
Without being a specialist of 20th and 21st century music, Marc Bourdeau regularly performs works by composers from his native country, among whom Alexina Louie, Claude Vivier, Jacques Hétu, François Morel, Rachel Laurin, Pierre Mercure, Jean Coulthard, Denis Gougeon, Lionel Daunais, Oskar Morawetz, Harry Somers, André Mathieu, Srul Irving Gluck, Ann Southam and John Rea.
He notably premièred two works by Rachel Laurin: the Sonata for Flute and Piano, opus 29, with Michel Bellavance, and the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, opus 46, with the Orchestre Symphonique de Trois-Rivières under the direction of Jacques Lacombe.
Marc Bourdeau has held positions at the Geneva University of Music (Neuchâtel site), the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec (Trois-Rivières site) and the Qatar Foundation, and has given masterclasses at leading institutions, including the Royal Academy of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the Shanghai Conservatory and the Royal College of Music.