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Calixa Lavallée

Calixa Lavallée from 1873
Born December 28, 1842
Died January 21, 1891
Occupation Quebecois musician and composer
Calixa Lavallée, 1967 art by Frédéric Back at Place-des-Arts metro station.

Calixa Lavallée, (December 28, 1842 – January 21, 1891), born Calixte Lavallée, was a Quebecois musician who composed the music for the Canadian national anthem "O Canada".[1][2]

He was born at Verchères, Quebec. He went to the U.S in 1857 and lived in Rhode Island where he enlisted in the Union army in the American Civil War and eventually attained the rank of Lieutenant.[2]

During and after the war he moved between Canada and the United States and developed a career in music. Lavallée traveled around the States including residing in Louisiana, California, and also in the growing French Canadian community of Lowell, Massachusetts where he married an American woman, Josephine Gentilly or Gently, in 1867. He was also a director, conducting major orchestral and operatic productions in important concert halls like the Montreal Academy of Music in Montreal and the Grand Opera House in New York. He was commissioned to compose "O Canada" to be performed during the St. Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations in 1880.[2] He died in Boston in 1891. His remains were reinterred to Montreal in 1933 as a result of the campaing of Montreal based music director of the Victoria's Rifles, Joseph-Laurent Gariepy, and laid to rest in the Montréal Côte-des-Neiges Cemetery.[1]


Musical works

  • Loulou (Comic Opera)
  • The Bridal Rose Overture (Operetta)
  • The King of Diamonds (Operetta)
  • L'Absence[3]
  • L'Oiseau Mouche, Bluette de Salon, Op.11 [4]
  • Le Papillon (The Butterfly) Étude de Concert for flute, clarinet and piano.[5]
  • Marche funèbre[6]
  • O Canada[7]
  • Une Couronne de Lauriers, Caprice de Genre, Op.10
  • Violette, cantilène [8]


The town of Calixa-Lavallée, northeast of Montreal, is named after him.

The following roads were named to honour Calixa Lavallée:

See also


External links


Simple English

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