It’s with great sorrow that we’ve learned today of the death of the pianist, composer, conductor, and arranger/orchestrator André Gagnon, at the age of 84 from dementia with Lewy bodies. Gagnon had received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2019 Montréal SOCAN Awards.
A wildly talented national treasure, André Gagnon multiplied his accomplishments throughout his career, which began more than 60 years ago. After being the accompanist to many of Québec’s greatest artists – including Claude Léveillée, Clémence Desrochers, Monique Leyrac, and Raymond Lévesque – the piano prodigy embarked on an astonishing, admirable solo career, crossing the boundaries between classical and popular music as he saw fit.
With several gold and platinum records on his wall, notably for his classic Neiges – winner of the JUNO Award for Best-Selling Album in 1977 – the man who composed music for Diane Dufresne, Renée Claude, and Fabienne Thibeault, among others, took his music to the four corners of the earth, from the U.S. to Japan.
Officer of the Order of Canada since 1978, he was named Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec and Officer of the Ordre national du Québec last year.
The great SOCAN family of talented songwriters, composers, music publishers, and employees offers its most sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of this Quebecois musical monument. He has passed away today, but his music will remain in our hearts for decades to come.