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Maxime McKinley was born in the Eastern Townships (Quebec) in 1979, and lives in Montreal. He studied composition with Michel Gonneville at the Conservatoire de Montréal, where he graduated with the Prix avec Grande Distinction in 2004. He also studied composition with Isabelle Panneton at the Université de Montréal, where he received a Doctorate in 2009. Since 2007, he has been travelling regularly in Paris where he studied with Martin Matalon and Gérard Pesson.
Maxime McKinley has received commissions from several and very diversified ensembles and organisations, ranging from specialized contemporary music to symphony orchestras, early instruments to multidisciplinary projects. His works have been performed, among others, by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Kent Nagano), the Orchestre Métropolitain (Dina Gilbert), the Calgary Philharmonic Orcehstra (Gary Kulesha), the Toronto Esprit Orchestra (Alex Pauk), Toronto New Music Concerts (Robert Aitken), the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra (Alain Trudel), the Camerata de las Américas (Jose Luis Castillo), Clavecin en concert (Luc Beauséjour), the Orchestre de la francophonie (Jean-Philippe Tremblay), the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal (Louis Lavigueur), the Orchestre de l'Université de Montréal (Jean-François Rivest), the Ensemble Caprice (Matthias Maute), the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (Véronique Lacroix), the Meitar Ensemble, the Bozzini Quartet, the Molinari Quartet, New Orford String Quartet, the Tana Quartet, the Trio Fibonacci, the Trio Hochelaga, the duets Andrew Wan/Jonathan Crow, aTonalHits, Mandolini/Poulin, soloists such as Louise Bessette, Caroline Cren, Julie-Anne Derome, Jérôme Ducharme, Elinor Frey, Pablo Gómez, Vincent Lauzer, Matthias Maute, Matan Porat and Andrea Tyniec, as well as singers such as Marie-Annick Béliveau, Émilie Laforest and Vincent Ranallo.
His works have been presented in many festivals, including the Montreal/New Musics (MNM), the Symposium international d’art in situ de la Fondation Derouin (Val-David), the New Wave Composers Festival (Toronto), the Foro internacional de musica nueva Manuel Enriquez (Mexico) and the Zeitlupe - Hannoversche Gesellschaft für Neue Musik (Hannover). His music is regularly performed all over Canada, as well as in United States, Mexico, Columbia, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and has been broadcasted on CBC Radio Two and Espace Musique de Radio-Canada. Some of his pieces have been recorded on Analekta, Kohlenstoff, Mel-Bay and Starkland labels.
Maxime McKinley has received the 2012-2013 Opus Prize "Composer of the year", the Prix d'Europe de composition 2009 (Père-Fernand-Lindsay Prize), eleven prizes in the Socan national competition for young composers (including the John-Weinzweig Grand Prize ex-aequo in 2011), and the Prix collégien de musique contemporaine (2011). His piece Hommage à Louis-C. Tiffany, composed for the inauguration of the Bourgie Hall of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, was nominated for the 2011-2012 Opus Prize "Premiere of the year". In addition, he was selected to participate in the Young Composers Program of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (2005) and the Génération 2006 Canada-wide tour of the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal. He received various grants, including several from the Canada Arts Council (CAC), the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), the Socan Foundation and the Fonds québécois de recherche - Société et culture (FRQSC). He is a member of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (Socan) and an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre (CMC). He was previously a member of the artistic comittee of the Society Codes d'accès (2002-2003), the national council of the Canadian League of Composers (CLC, from 2009 to 2014), the artistic comittee of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (SMCQ, from 2008 to 2016), the administrative board of the SMCQ (from 2012 to 2016), and is now a member of the editorial board of Circuit, musiques contemporaines journal (since 2012), for which he has been administrative director and editorial secretary from 2010 to 2012, before being appointed as editor-in-chief in 2016.
As a writer, McKinley has published texts in Quebec, Belgium and France, including articles about music in Circuit, Synergie and Revue des Sciences Humaines (RSH), as well as poems in Le Quartanier and Les écrits. He received, for his article about composer Nicole Lizée, published in Circuit, the 2013-2014 Opus Prize "Article of the year". In 2017, his dialogues (correspondence and interviews) with Pascal Dusapin were published in France by the Presses universitaires du Septentrion.
He was composer in residence at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur from September 2011 to May 2014. From 2014 to 2016, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the Chaire de recherche du Canada en esthétique et poétique, where he worked on a research-creation project on the poetry of Philippe Beck. In 2019-2020, he was "professeur invité" at the Faculté de musique de l'Université de Montréal. Since 2017, he has been an occasional professor at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
Works in Paramirabo's repertoire