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Donald Patriquin: Biography

Donald Patriquin
1938 -
Region: Québec

Donald Patriquin

Donald Patriquin was eleven when he began to compose, and though his musical

career was interrupted for a while by studies in biology, he was always

involved in musical endeavors as composer, performer, accompanist or

conductor. His first composition lessons were from Jean Papineau-Couture

during a summer session at CAMMAC (Canadian Amateur Musicians/Musiciens

Amateurs Canadiens) while a teen-ager.

Mr. Patriquin is a graduate of Bishop‚s University, and of the Faculties of

Music of McGill and Toronto Universities where he studied composition with

Istvàn Anhalt and John Weinzweig respectively. For three decades he was on

the staff of McGill's Faculty of Music, teaching theory, musicianship and

arranging, and directing a variety of ensembles. He now lives in his native

Eastern Townships of Quebec where he is finding more time to perform,

conduct, compose, produce and publish.

His output includes many short and extended choral and instrumental works,

liturgical settings, a piano concerto, works for voice and piano, music for

theater and ballet and mixed media.

Mr. Patriquin is known internationally particularly for his choral and

instrumental arrangements of folk music. His major choral works include

World Music Suite One, commissioned by the Toronto Children's Chorus, a

Caribbean Mass based on the traditions and instruments of the Caribbean,

Canadian Mosaic, a suite of Canadian folk-based music reflecting the origins

and variety of Canada's indigenous and immigrant populations, commissioned

by the English Montreal School Board Chorale, Reflections on Walden Pond, a

setting of Thoreau's writings for eight-part mixed choir, violin, cello and

piano, commissioned by Pennsylvania's Cantate Carlisle, and Psalms &

Canticles of Praise and Peace - for choir, organ and chamber ensemble

commissioned by the American Guild of Organists for their 2003 convention.

Other works for voice include Cycles, a setting for Soprano, piano and

clarinet of Frank Scott's poetry dealing primarily with Canada's Northern

Shield, and Louisa's Story, a musical written with librettist Sunil Mahtani.

Folk music has been of continuing interest to Mr. Patriquin, and has been an

object of his study for many years. As a prelude to writing the Caribbean

Mass he worked closely in Grenada with Mike Agostini, Caribbean instrument

builder and teacher, learning to play and write for the steel drum. His

Antiphon and the Child of Mary, awarded first prize in the New York's

Melodious Accord Biennial Composition Search for New Choral Music, is based

on a little known Newfoundland carol while his Hangman's Reel, a ballet

score commissioned by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, is based on the

Québécois, American and Irish fiddle music as performed by the extraordinary

  Quebec fiddler Jean Carignan. Of his 'original' works, large-scale

compositions such as Earthpeace One and Two, Celebration For The Planet

Earth, Requiem at Sea and Cycles, have earned him a reputation as a composer

whose music addresses many concerns.

Mr. Patriquin's music, both choral and otherwise,  is found on a number of

CDs.  His choral music is published primarily by Earthsongs (USA), A Tempo,

and Canadian International Music (Canada)

Further biographical information may be found in Holly Jonas: In Their Own

Words. Dundurn Press


Canadian Music Centre,

Canadian League of Composers,

Association of Canadian Choral Conductors.



Click here to listen to all works by Donald Patriquin