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Musical ProdigiesInterpretations from Psychology, Education, Musicology, and Ethnomusicology$
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Gary E. McPherson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685851

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685851.001.0001

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André Mathieu (1929–1968)

André Mathieu (1929–1968)

The emblematic case of the “young Canadian Mozart”

(p.667) Chapter 30 André Mathieu (1929–1968)
Musical Prodigies

Danick Trottier

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the case of the Canadian pianist and composer André Mathieu (1929–1968), who began his career as a musical prodigy at the age of four. Mathieu grew up in a family of musicians and went on to achieve international fame. Many well-known critics of the time, such as Émile Vuillermoz, saw Mathieu as a “young Canadian Mozart,” which coincided with the neoclassicism values of that time. However, once the sensation had passed, the adolescent Mathieu had a more difficult time developing a professional career; his personal life deteriorated into family tensions, promiscuity, and alcoholism, a situation that raises the ethical stakes. Mathieu is a persuasive example of the rise and fall of precocity in music in front of classical music values. Thus the current chapter studies the case of Mathieu through the lens of music history, sociomusicology, and aesthetics.

Keywords:   André Mathieu, pianist, composer, prodigy, precocity, classical music, neoclassicism, sociomusicology, aesthetics

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