Denis Gougeon

Last updated: November 23, 2022

Quebec, Canada | b. 1951

Denis Gougeon’s love for music blossomed when he was a teenager. Teaching himself guitar at the age of 15, he soon after performed a solo recital on the instrument. He knew this was an area he wanted to further explore.

His growing passion for music laid the groundwork for Gougeon to learn more about how music worked—“he wanted to understand the principles behind the music” (La Scena Musicale, n.d.).

Among Gougeon’s musical strengths is his intuition—his practiced ability to reach a listener’s emotions. “I believe that music must be immediately accessible to the listener; we must not draw it out unnecessarily.” (La Scena Musicale, n.d.)

Not only does Gougeon enjoy connecting with his audiences, but also with the musicians that perform his works as well: 

“I work hard to make my [music] seem simple while providing performers with material that excites them. That is where the joy lies for me, in that special relationship with the performers, when I see their eyes light up, or in the eyes of my composition students when something works! That, to me, is at the heart of it all.” (La Scena Musicale, n.d.)

Having written over 80 compositions to date, Gougeon continues to connect and inspire both his audiences, students, and the musicians that perform his work.

Source: Great Canadian Orchestra Field Trip, Episode 2 Learner's Companion