Raymond Dessaints. Violinist, conductor, teacher, b Quebec City 21 Apr 1932; premier prix violin (CMQ) 1952. His main studies were with Calvin Sieb at the CMQ. The recipient of a bursary from the Quebec government in 1952, he studied 1952-4 in Paris with René Benedetti (violin) and Pierre Pasquier (chamber music) and 1954-6 in Rome with Remi Principe. On his return to Canada he taught 1956-60 at the CMQ as assistant to Calvin Sieb. He was a member of the MSO 1960-8. He studied conducting during the summers of 1966 and 1967 with Otto-Werner Mueller in Victoria, BC, and on a Canada Council grant in the summer of 1968 with Hans Swarowsky in Nice. Under a cultural exchange program he toured Czechoslovakia in 1970 as a conductor with the state radio. In 1968 he began teaching violin at the CMM where he has conducted the symphony orchestra and the youth orchestra. Among his pupils are Angèle Dubeau and Raymond Thibodeau. In 1985 he founded a summer music camp, Camp musical des Laurentides.
Dessaints has been a guest conductor with several Canadian orchestras, including the one heard on the CBC Talent Festival, and has frequently conducted the CBC Quebec Chamber Orchestra and the MSO. In 1977 and 1978 he was music director of the summer concerts for the city of Montreal. In 1977 he made a tour of Tunisia, where he conducted André Mathieu'sConcerto No. 3 for piano, with André-Sébastien Savoie as soloist. He has recorded several works as conductor of various ensembles: with a CBC instrumental ensemble and chorus, the narrator Albert Millaire, and the organist Pierre Grandmaison he recorded Antoine Reboulot'sO Crux Ave in 1979 (RCI 523); with a string ensemble and various soloists he recorded works by François Dompierre at the Domaine Forget in St-Irénée, Que, in 1982 (LP Domaine Forget, Opus 1, Lindof 1-001); with the Ensemble Amati, which he founded in 1985 under the name Ensemble de chambre des Laurentides, he has made two recordings for the SNE - SNE-536 with the trombonist Alain Trudel, and SNE-544-CD with the violinists Johanne Arel, Marie-Josée Arpin, and Élaine Marcil -, and one for Analekta comprising Rossini's six string sonatas (AN-29501-CD).