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Dominique Le Gendre
© Maria Nunes

Dominique Le Gendre

Country of origin: Trinidad and Tobago
Birthday: September 16, 1960

About Dominique Le Gendre

Born and brought up in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominique studied the classical guitar from an early age. She joined her local church choir as guitarist from the age of 10 and wrote calypsos for the annual school calypso competition, composed music for drama productions and briefly played cello pan in the school’s steelpan orchestra. 

Her involvement with theatre, dance, film and music in Trinidad as a teenager was nurtured by the dynamic cultural expression that flourished throughout the 60s and 70s in the independent young nation. Music and dance from folk traditions and steelband music were actively championed, Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theatre Workshop performed the classics of the theatre repertoire alongside his own plays to eager audiences, young dancers fresh from and  their European and North American  training in contemporary dance returned to open their own dance schools, and forge their own Caribbean dance vocabulary, Carnival designers of all ages dazzled with their annual creations enriched by theatre practice,  the pioneering theatre/video production company Banyan Productions, where Dominique worked as a runner, captured the pulse of the nation in documentaries and home grown soap operas.

Dominique trained as classical guitarist in Paris, France with Ramon de Herrera, studied harmony with Yvonnes Desportes and music analysis with Christian Accaoui. She composed music for experimental student films and was assistant to Haitian/French artist Elsie Haas on her documentary film La Ronde des Vaudou.

Based in London for over 35 years, her musical trajectory is informed by her formative years in Trinidad, Martinique and the Caribbean Islands and has spanned performance, composition, musical direction, teaching, curation and producing music events. She has composed music for theatre, dance, art installations, film, television and radio drama for BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. She composed and produced music for all 38 Shakespeare plays recorded for the audio CD collection, The Complete Arkangel Shakespeare, directed by Clive Brill.

Dominique is a former Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which commissioned her opera Bird of Night that premiered at the Linbury Theatre directed by Irina Brown.  She was Associate Artist to Manning Camerata led by Peter Manning who commissioned her musical setting of Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes.

Her chamber works and operas have been commissioned and performed by Nevis Ensemble, Beaten Track Ensemble, ORA Singers, Vasari Singers, Royal Opera House Soloists, Philharmonia Orchestra, Manning Camerata, Lontano, Tête-a-tête Opera, The Ibis Ensemble and Metamorphosis Dance (Trinidad and Tobago), Ensemble du Monde (New York) and Calabash Foundation for the Arts (Trinidad and Tobago) amongst others.

Dominique has been a regular contributor to the Symposia on Caribbean Art Music since its inception in 2013 in The Bahamas. Subsequent symposia have been held in Trinidad and Tobago and Puerto Rico. She is represented by Jonathan Hennessey-Brown of Hennessey-Brown Music.