12th Oktober 1858
28th Oktober 1918
Joseph Pierre Alexis Contant was a Canadian composer, organist, pianist, and music educator. The first notable Canadian composer to be entirely trained in his native country, he stated "I write not for glory but rather to satisfy an irresistible need." Although he had considerable training as a pianist, his knowledge of musical composition was largely self-taught, although not by choice as his life afforded him little opportunity to find suitable teachers. Much of his time was spent dedicated towards teaching, family, and work as a church organist, and his compositional output was minimal before 1900. As his children grew older, he was able to devote more time to composition and therefore his later life was his most productive. A stroke in 1914 virtually ended his activity as a composer.