After studying clarinet and saxophone interpretation at the Conservatoire de Montréal, Simon Bertrand decided to fully dedicate himself to composition at the age of 24, following a decisive internship with the French master Henri Dutilleux. Since receiving a first prize in composition in France under the direction of Claude Ballif and a doctorate at the University of Montreal under the guidance of José Evangelista and Denis Gougeon, Simon Bertrand has emerged as one of the most prolific and active Quebec composers of his generation, both in Canada and abroad. His works are regularly performed by orchestras, ensembles, and soloists such as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, National Orchestra of Île-de-France, SMCQ Ensemble, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Quasar, New Danish Saxophone Quartet, Utrecht String Quartet (Netherlands), Friction Quartet (USA), Pro Musica Nipponia (Japan), Gustav Mahler Orchestra (Hong Kong), Trio Fibonacci, flutists Guy Pelletier and Claire Marchand, clarinetists Jean-Guy Boisvert, Simon Aldrich, and Lori Freedman, pianist Louise Bessette, soprano Marianne Lambert, mezzo-soprano Marie-Annick Béliveau, violists Brian Bacon and Marina Thibault, and thereminist Thorwald Jorgensen (Netherlands).
He has won multiple awards, including the OPUS “Composer of the Year” award in 2013. He has also composed several film scores, notably for Zentropa (Lars Von Trier’s production company) and more recently for the film “Pays” by Chloé Robichaud (2016).
Originally from Montreal, Giancarlo Scalia is highly active as a pianist, vocal coach, and composer. He has served as a music director and répétiteur for several companies, including Opéra immédiat (Chauve-Souris, Carmen, Aïda, l’Elisir d’amore, I Capuleti e I Montecchi, Don Pasquale), Opéra bouffe du Québec (Les Brigands, Véronique, Le Baron tzigane, Le Chanteur de Mexico, La fille du tambour-major, La Belle de Cadix), and the Halifax Summer Opera Festival (Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Armide), as well as Contact Theatre (Next to Normal, Reefer Madness), Lakeshore Light Opera (The Mikado, Thespis, Iolanthe, The Gondoliers), Light Opera of Montreal (The Tender Land, Sweeney Todd), Snowglobe Theatre (The Medium, Riders to the Sea), Haskell Opera House (La Traviata), OperAmore (Don Giovanni), Opéra Outside the Box (Le Téléphone), the Festival Classica, and the operetta workshop at the Vincent d’Indy School of Music. He has performed as a collaborative pianist across Canada, as well as in France, Austria, Germany, Italy, the United States, and China. He has collaborated with the Opéra de Montréal and its Atelier lyrique, Opéra de Lévis, Mediterranean Opera Festival in Sicily, Opera Atelier in Toronto, Gesellschaft für Musiktheater in Vienna, Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Montreal, Montreal Italian Week, and the Société d’art vocal de Montréal. As an accredited composer of the Canadian Music Centre, he has composed for various soloists and ensembles, including the Orchestre de la Francophonie, Ensemble Paramirabo, Ensemble Saxologie, Académie Francis Poulenc in Tours, soprano Sophie De Cruz, mezzo-soprano Rose Naggar-Tremblay, violinist Nikita Morozov, cellist Julie Hereish, West Island Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Leonardo da Vinci Wind Orchestra. His works have been performed in Canada, the United States, and Europe. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree and a DESS in piano performance under the direction of Jimmy Brière and Marc Durand, and a Master’s degree in instrumental composition under the direction of Denis Gougeon at the University of Montreal. He continued his studies privately with pianists Walter Moore and Norman Shetler in Vienna, and Claude Webster in Montreal. He has also participated in vocal accompaniment programs at the Orford Arts Centre, Wiener Musikseminar in Vienna, Vox Musicae in Senigallia, and COSI in Sulmona (La bohème).