This week brought us the sad news of the death of Jacques Hétu, one of the truly great Canadian composers. He left behind a legacy of symphonies, chamber works and concerti that merit solid places in the international repertoire.
I had the great honour and privilege of meeting Jacques on many occasions, but sadly, not to study with him (he never taught composition).
He is one of the very few Montreal composers who continued to compose in a neo-tonal manner, without being intimidated by the atonal avant-garde. He was refreshingly innovative in his use of tonality, and never consciously avoided non-tonal elements if they served his purpose.
His passing is a very sad moment for all Canadian music.
His being so little known outside of Québec is a sad state for the whole world.
I have been in mourning since the announcement.
Jacques tu va nous manquer terriblement. Je me rappelerai toujours de toi et ton influence. Merci pour ta vie.