N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: May 24, 1967
Discipline / contribution: music - composition
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor: On behalf of the University Council and Senate, I present to you JEAN PAPINEAU-COUTURE, one of Canada’s most distinguished composers. He was born in Montreal and educated at the Colleges of Saint Ignace and Jean de Brebeuf. In 1940 the Government of the Province of Quebec awarded him a scholarship to continue his studies in Boston, where his teachers were Quincey Porter in composition, Francis Findlay in conducting, and Beveridge Webster in piano. Later he became a member of that elite group of composers studying with Nadia Boulanger of Paris, France. It was from Nadia Boulanger that Jean Papineau-Couture learned to be direct, concise, and at all times clear.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
The name Papineau-Couture has both political and musical significance in the history of French-speaking Canada. Jean Papineau—Couture’s paternal grandmother was a grand-niece of Louis-Joseph Papineau, the instigator of the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837. His grandfather, Guillaume Couture was one of the most prominent figures in Canadian music during the second half of the last century. He was a composer, teacher, church musician and conductor, and was an intimate of Vincent d’Indy, Saint-Saens and others. He has in fact been referred to as having been “one of the greatest pioneers of music in Canada.” It was in such a musical milieu that Jean Papineau-Couture grew up.
He is at present Professor and Secretary of the Faculty of Music at the University of Montreal. He has been the President of the Canadian League of Composers, a member of the board of the Canadian Music Centre, President of the Montreal section of Les Jeunesses Musicales, and in addition to these and many other important responsibilities, he has somehow managed to produce an impressive list of works.
We, in Saskatoon have had the honor of presenting world premiere performances of two important works by Jean Papineau-Couture. One commissioned by the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in 1961, and another specially written for our University’s Golden Jubilee in 1959. His music, which has been warmly received internationally, is notable for its clarity, elegance, depth and originality.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you JEAN PAPINEAU-COUTURE, and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Murray Adaskin, composer-in-residence
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