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Wilfrid Pelletier
Birth: Jun. 20, 1896
Montreal
Montreal Region
Quebec, Canada
Death: Apr. 9, 1982
Wayne
Delaware County
Pennsylvania, USA

Conductor. A noted maestro of both the symphonic and operatic repertoire, he is probably best remembered for his years at the Metropolitan Opera. Born Joseph Louis Wilfrid Pelletier, the child of an ameteur musician, he was raised in Montreal, began formal study at eight, and from 1911 until 1913 was rehearsal pianist for the Montreal Opera Company. After that group folded he found such work as he could until a 1915 win in the Prix d'Europe competition enabled him to study in Paris where he used his few months training in several disciplines before returning to the United States in 1917. Thru his friendship with conductor Pierre Montreux he landed a job as rehearsal pianist for the Metropolitan Opera which he held until promoted to assistant conductor in 1922; simultaneously he was pianist for the Metropolitan's Sunday Night Concert series, half of a dual piano team with Arthur Loesser, and a conductor with baritone Antonio Scotti's traveling Scotti Opera Company. Pelletier made his operatic conducting bow in Memphis on May 21, 1920, with a performance of Verdi's "Il Trovatore" by Scotti's ensemble, found time to conduct in San Francisco and Chicago, sang at the Metropolitan a few times during the mid 1920s in the compramario role of Boleslao Lazinski from Umberto Giordano's "Fedora", and finally had his podium debut at the Metropolitan in an April 4, 1926, performance of Pietro Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" starring Carmella Ponselle as Santuzza. Named a principal conductor in 1929 he remained with the company thru May 15, 1950, leading 462 performances of much of his time's standard repertoire. In the early 1930s he was approached about the possibility of starting a symphony in his home city leading to the January 1935 founding of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra where Pelletier was to remain as music director until 1941. While kept busy with multiple projects he was also a frequent guest conductor with Maestro Arturo Toscanini's NBC Symphony; from 1943 until 1961 he headed Montreal's Conservatory of Music And Dramatic Arts (CMADQ) then after he and his wife, soprano Rose Bampton, quit the Metropolitan rather than work for Rudolf Bing he was maestro of the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec from 1951 thru 1966 and a guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic. In 1966 Montreal's Place des Art's Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Canada's largest music hall, was named in his honor and in 1967 he was designated Companion of the Order of Canada (CC). The recipient of multiple honorary doctorates he retired from the podium in the 1970s and thereafter lived in New York and Pennsylvania. A portion of the large legacy which he recorded over many years remains in print. (bio by: Bob Hufford) 
 
Family links: 
 Spouses:
  Rose Bampton (1907 - 2007)
  Queena Mario (1896 - 1951)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Old Saint David Church Cemetery
Wayne
Delaware County
Pennsylvania, USA
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
Record added: May 24, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70311904
Wilfrid Pelletier
Added by: Ron Moody
 
Wilfrid Pelletier
Added by: Paul S.
 
Wilfrid Pelletier
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Craig TenBroeck
 
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- Cheryll Cotten
 Added: Jun. 20, 2016

- elaine bailey
 Added: Jun. 20, 2016

- Tracey Reid
 Added: Jun. 20, 2016
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