Founded in 1966, the SMCQ’s mandate is to promote contemporary music at large, either Canadian or international. The organization is managed by composers for the benefit of composers and has had successively three of them as artistic directors: Serge Garant (from 1966 to 1986), Gilles Tremblay (1986 to 1988), and Walter Boudreau since 1988.
The Ensemble de la SMCQ is renowned for its exceptional level of cohesion, precision, and expressive means. The Ensemble—a group of excellent musicians that can vary from 5 to 45 individuals—is at the core of its concert activity, and is often joined by prestigious visiting ensembles or guest soloist, like Yvonne Loriod, Robert Dick, Louise Pellerin or Claude Helffer, or prestigious international ensembles such as the Ensemble InterContemporain, the Arditti Quartet or Steve Reich and musicians.
A leader in new and avant-garde music in Quebec, the SMCQ mounted the very first Montreal\0x252FNew Music International Festival in 2003, in collaboration with McGill University’s Faculty of Music, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Radio Canada’s Chaîne Culturelle, and CBC Radio Two.