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John Fodi: Biography

John Fodi
1944 - 2009
Region: Ontario

John Fodi

John Fodi was born in Nagyteval, Hungary on March 22, 1944 and became a naturalized Canadian in 1961. Fodi studied in Hamilton in 1964 with Lorne Betts (theory and composition), at the University of Toronto 1966-70 with John Weinzweig and John Beckwith (composition) and Gustav Ciamaga (electronic music), and at McGill University 1970-71 with Istvan Anhalt (composition). He was recognized during these years of study with several awards, among them the Canadian League of Composers prize in both 1968 and1970, the CAPAC St Clair Lowe Award in 1970 and the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship also in 1970. He was a founder and the artistic director 1967-70 of the Contemporary Music Group at the University of Toronto and a co-founder with Mickey Cohen of the New Music Group at McGill University. In 1971 he was an active founding member of ARRAY. After composing, during his teens, over 40 works reflecting the influence in turn of Johann Strauss, Mozart and the baroque tradition, Fodi began his current body of work in 1963.

In 1973 he participated at the Composers Conference at Johnson State College in Vermont and attended the Gaudeamus Music Week in the Netherlands. The same year he began to work at the Canadian Music Centre, compiling composer's works lists for inclusion in Contemporary Canadian Composers. Through the Ontario Arts Council's "Creative Artists in Schools" programme he was an artist in the classroom in 1973 and 1974. During the years 1972-74 he was also a full time music copyist for CMC and various composers and publishers, It was during the latter year that he decided to join the Edward Johnson Music Library at the University of Toronto as a library technician, later becoming a recordings cataloguer and in 1982 taking on the position of supervisor of the recordings section.

Fodi has had numerous commissions from the CBC (Dragon Day and Erro), the York Winds (Variations II), Michael Parker (Iz ist in der Werlt wol schin), Joseph Macerollo (Concerto in Four Parts), Days Months and Years to Come (Partimento: Here the Forsaken Virgin Rests...), Christopher Weait (Sonata: Cor Vigilans), Melvin Berman (Sonata: Double Wind Quintet), Hary Sparnaay (Rhapsody), and Bach 300(Concerto grosso).

He has represented Canada at the ISCM in Iceland in 1973 with Concerto for Viola and Two Wind Ensembles (not performed due to ISCM political problems within the organizing countries) and in Boston in 1976 with Concerto a Quattro (String Quartet No.5).

CAPAC, Canadian League of Composers


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