Nicolas Gilbert

Gilbert studied analysis, and composition at the CMM with Michel Gonneville and Serge Provost, and at McGill with John Rea.

Nicolas Gilbert

 Nicolas Gilbert. Composer, born at Montreal 19 Oct 1979; Prix avec grande distinction (Conservatoire de Musique du Québec à Montréal [CMM]) 2003, D Mus Composition (McGill) 2008.


Gilbert studied analysis, and composition at the CMM with Michel Gonneville and Serge Provost, and at McGill with John Rea.

He has written for orchestra, chamber ensemble, piano, voice, percussion and electronics in various combinations, and his music has been performed by the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO), the Société de Musique Contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ), the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne (NEM), the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, New Music Concerts, the Molinari Quartet, Continuum, cellist Matt Haimovitz, the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, and many other artists in Europe, Asia and North America.

Awards and Premieres

Among his honours have been several SOCAN young composer awards including the John Weinzweig Grand prize (2008), the Serge Garant Award (Le temps des impossibles for violin, clarinet, cello and piano), and the Sir Ernest MacMillan Award (L'entreprise de séduction for solo cello and chamber ensemble (both shared 3rd prizes, 2009). In 2008, he won the Prix Opus award as Composer of the Year, and in 2006 he was accorded a special prize at the Serocki International Competition in Poland for his work Topographie d'un lieu imaginaire for orchestra, premiered in Warsaw at the Witold Lutoslawski Hall by the Polish Radio Orchestra.

Other premieres in 2006 were L'ordre des choses for clarinet, saxophone, and piano (Belgium) and Avant la descente by the VSO. Surenchères. Commissioned by Radio-Canada was premiered in 2007 by the NEM under Lorraine Vaillancourt.

Among others who have commissioned his works are the Quasar Saxophone Quartet (La vie Quotidienne 2010), Bradyworks, and Kaida (Amsterdam.)

In 2010, Gilbert was named the RBC Foundation's Composer-in-Residence for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYCO), a 2 year position for which he was selected from among several hundred candidates. In 2012, the NYCO premiered his Résistance. Gilbert's work based on Little Red Riding Hood, commissioned by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, a companion to Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, received its world premiere at the Maison Symphonique in 2013 in their Children's Corner concerts.

Gilbert has received support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts et lettres du Québec.

Affiliations and other activities

Gilbert was resident composer at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal (2003-2005) and president of Codes d'accès (2002-2004). In 2005-2006, he was in residence at GRAME (the Centre National de creation musicale) in Lyons, France.

Gilbert has served on the artistic board of the SMCQ. An affiliate composer with the Canadian Music Centre (CMC), he has held the position of chair of the CMC's Québec Regional Council, and in 2012-2013 was on the organization's National Board of Directors.

In addition to his musical activities, Gilbert has published several novels: Le récital (2008); Le joueur de triangle (2009); and La fille de imprimeur es triste (2011).