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Romain-Octave Pelletier I


Romain-Octave Pelletier I (sometimes spelled Peltier) (9 September 1843 – 4 March 1927) was a Canadian organist, pianist, composer, writer on music, and music educator.

Born in Montreal, Pelletier was a member of a prominent musical family. Three of his sons had successful musical careers: Frédéric Pelletier, Romain Pelletier, and Victor Pelletier. His grandson, Romain-Octave Pelletier II, was a well known violinist. His elder brother, Orphir Pelletier, was a composer and organist at St. Patrick's Basilica, Montreal. Largely self-taught, it is from Orphir that he received his only early music lessons. He later studied for two years in Europe during the early 1870s after having worked for almost 15 years as a church organist.

In 1857, at the age of 15, Pelletier succeeded Jean-Chrysostome Brauneis II as organist at Saint-Jacques Cathedral. He remained there for the next ten years, during which time he studied law and obtained certification as a notary. He notably officiated the marriage license of violinist Frantz Jehin-Prume, whom he accompanied numerous times in recital, and mezzo-soprano Rosita del Vecchio in 1866.

In 1866-1867 Pelletier spent some months in Hartford, Connecticut where he made the acquaintance of organist Samuel Prowse Warren. From 1867-1875 he served as organist at the Church of St James-the-Less on St-Denis St where he caused some controversy for daring to play works by Protestant composers like Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn. In 1869 he married, after which he began actively teaching piano and organ lessons privately.



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