Louis-Honoré Bourdon | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Louis-Honoré Bourdon

Louis-Honoré Bourdon. Impresario, b Longueuil, near Montreal, 13 Sep 1890, d Montreal 8 Jun 1974.

Bourdon, Louis-Honoré

Louis-Honoré Bourdon. Impresario, b Longueuil, near Montreal, 13 Sep 1890, d Montreal 8 Jun 1974. He studied cello and solfège at the Ghent Cons, following in the footsteps of a musical family which included several cellists: his mother Caroline Derome; his stepfather Jean-Baptiste Dubois; his brother, the conductor Rosario Bourdon; and his half-brother Jules Dubois, later director of solfège for the province of Quebec. On his return to Montreal Louis-H. Bourdon became an impresario. In 1910 he presented the Dubois String Quartet in its first concert. The first foreign artist he presented was Mary Garden, 9 Apr 1912 at the Montreal Arena, a fee of $2000, thus incurring a loss of $300. When he presented Enrico Caruso 27 Sep 1920 at the Aréna Mont-Royal, he gave the artist the highest fee he had ever paid anyone, a reported $20,544. Bourdon was the first Canadian impresario to bring a French artist to North America, the tenor Edmond Clémeont, whom in 1921 he presented on tour in Canada and the USA. On his own initiative, and without subsidy, he presented the stars of the day - Kreisler, Paderewski, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Heifetz, la Argentina, Melba, and Calvé. At the St-Denis Theatre 28 May 1925 he arranged a large benefit concert for Emma Albani. He retired in 1947 after 40 years of activity. For Bourdon the hiring of an artist was based primarily on intuition.


Louis Bourdon, 'Réminiscences,' VM, vol 9, Oct 1968

Further Reading

Challenge yourself - take the CC Quiz!

The Canadian Encyclopedia is a project of Historica Canada, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization devoted to teaching Canadians more about our shared country.  We also produce the Heritage Minutes and other programs. If you believe all Canadians should have access to free, impartial, fact-checked, regularly updated information about Canada’s history and culture in both official languages, please consider donating today. All donations above $3 will receive a tax receipt.

Book a Speaker