While a piano student at the École de musique Vincent d’Indy (B. Music, 1972), he concurrently studied composition and analysis with Gilles Tremblay at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (obtaining First Prize in those two subjects in 1974-75 as well as an equivalent of a Master’s degree). For the following three while in Europe, he studied first with Karlheinz Stockhausen in Cologne (Germany), and then with Henri Pousseur in Liège (Belgium). Since returning to Québec in 1978, Michel Gonneville has equally divided his time to composition, teaching, as well as many projects involving creative music. In 1977, he completed a Doctorate in Composition at Université de Montréal, under de tutelage of Serge Garant, John Rea and Marcelle Deschênes.
Between 1997 and 2015 he taught composition and analysis at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal (CMQM). Michel Gonneville composed for several Québec and foreign soloists and ensembles; his music has been well represented in numerous concerts, on radio, as well as in several Festivals well beyond Québec and Canada: France, Belgium, England, Germany, Mexico, the US, etc. His concert repertoire is augmented by collaborative works with visual artists Mario Côté and René Derouin, as well as with choreographers Jean-Pierre Perreault, Catherine Tardif and Danièle Desnoyers. In 1994 he was awarded the Serge-Garant Prize from La Foundation Émile-Nelligan, in recognition for his outstanding overall work. His composition Chute/Parachute, was recommended to the International Rostrum of Composers, affiliated to UNESCO (Tribune internationale des compositeurs), and was broadcast in over 27 countries.
Michel Gonneville’s involvement in musical creativity in Québec is undeniable: from 1979 to 2006 he was on the Artistic Committee of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, and on several Boards of Directors: L’ensemble contemporain de Montréal, le Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique du Québec, as well as the Fondation Émile-Nelligan, etc. He actively participated in organizing scores of musical events namely for the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal (one amongst many paying tribute to Belgian composer Henri Pousseur in January 2001), as well as for the SMCQ, le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne or l’ensemble contemporain de Montréal. Also, he co-hosted many radio programs, wrote several specialized articles, and sat on numerous juries. Michel Gonneville co-founded the website Cette ville étrange. Chroniques de la création musicale, and was a guest speaker in San-Diego, Liège, London, Mexico, Mons, and Victoria to name only a few locations.