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“Maxime McKinley is one of the most interesting composers of his generation. Painting, literature, philosophy, poetry and music weave an eclectic web in the head of this creator.” (Guy Marceau, Words & Music, 2006)

"["Wirkunst-Gómez"] was rhythmically vibrant and strikingly imaginative. A myriad of musical and cultural references churned in a well-crafted and seamlessly performed collage, often punctuated by rhythmic attacks on the guitar by Pablo Gómez, one of Mexico’s outstanding guitarists." (Anna Höstman, Canadian New Music Review, 2006)

"Maxime McKinley’s “Wirkunst-Nijinski" (2007), inspired by the great Russian dancer’s labyrinth-like notebooks and drawings, was the most kinetic piece of the evening, had a beat, called very interesting sounds out of David Hetherington’s cello, combined hammered church bell sounds with high pitched ref’s whistle and ended peacefully as a requiem." (Stanley Fefferman, Showtime magazine, 2008)

"Plus accessible, le reste du programme n'en était pas moins intéressant. "Les Pavements de San Marco" (2012) de Maxime McKinley, compositeur québécois actuellement en résidence à la Chapelle du Bon-Pasteur, nous invitaient ainsi à suivre de l'oreille quelques brefs motifs musicaux parfaitement identifiables, comme on balaye d'un oeil hypnotisé les récurrences géométriques d'une mosaïque." (Martin Guerpin, ResMusica, 2013) 

"On entre dans les sons; on monte, on marche, on écoute, on s'arrête dans cette pièce ["Dans de la nature", d'après le livre de Philippe Beck] pour écouter l'écho des cors, bois ou cuivres choisis pour leur timbre, puis les écoulements dégouttelants des percussions métalliques, les roulements de tambour et les superpositions de portées. L'imagination est grandement sollicitée." (Guylaine Massoutre, Spirale, 2013) 

"Il est absolument réjouissant d'entendre, dès les premières mesures d'une oeuvre musicale, la patte, la voix d'un compositeur, de reconnaître le compositeur. Maxime McKinley, malgré son jeune âge, a déjà un langage bien à lui." (Normand Babin, Montréalistement, 2014)

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. He stayed in Paris twice, in 2007 and 2009-10, to study with Martin Matalon. He also had masterclasses or private lessons with composers Hugues Dufourt, Peter Eötvös, Kenneth Hesketh, Philippe Leroux, Armando Luna, Bruno Mantovani 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. During the last years, his works have been performed, among others, by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (Kent Nagano), 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 Ensemble Allogène, the Meitar Ensemble, the New Orford String Quartet, the Trio Fibonacci, the Trio Hochelaga, the duets Andrew Wan/Jonathan Crow, aTonalHits, Mandolini/Poulin, soloists such as Louise Bessette, Julie-Anne Derome, Jérôme Ducharme, Pablo Gómez, 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, 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, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and has been broadcasted on CBC Radio Two and Espace Musique de Radio-Canada. 

Maxime McKinley won the 2012-2013 Opus Prize "Composer of the year", the Prix d'Europe de composition 2009 (Père-Fernand-Lindsay Prize), has received 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 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 tour of the Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal (Montreal, Calgary, Victoria, Edmonton, Toronto). He received various grants, including several from the Canada Arts Council, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Socan Foundation, the Faculté des études supérieures de l’Université de Montréal, 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 magazine (since 2012), for which he has been admistrative director and editorial secretary from 2010 to 2012, before being appointed as editor-in-chief in 2016. As a writer, he has published text in Quebec and France, including musicological articles in Circuit and poems in Le Quartanier and Les écrits. He received, for his article about composer Nicole Lizée, published in Circuit, the Opus Prize "Article of the year". He was composer in residence at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur from September 2011 to May 2014. He will be, from 2014 to 2016, postdoctoral researcher at the Chaire de recherche du Canada en esthétique et poétique.

(November 22, 2016)