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David K. MacIntyre: Biography

David K. MacIntyre
1952 -
Region: British Columbia

David K. MacIntyre

DAVID KEITH MacINTYRE was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan in 1952. He studied music composition with Murray Adaskin at the University of Saskatchewan and Rudolf Komorous at the University of Victoria. In 1979, he joined the faculty of Simon Fraser University where he co-founded the program in contemporary music at the School for the Contemporary Arts. He lives in Vancouver and is Professor of Music at Simon Fraser University where he teaches courses in music composition, artistic collaboration and interdisciplinary graduate studio.

His catalogue features opera, orchestra, chamber, choral, art song, instrumental theatre, site-specific performance and music integrated with dance and theatre projects. His music has been performed and broadcast in Canada, England, Finland, Holland, Italy, Japan, Northern Ireland, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA and Australia/New Zealand. His varied artistic practice includes work as an adjudicator, performer, stage director, choreographer and lyricist. Dedicated to the creation of interdisciplinary works, he has collaborated with some of Canada’s most intriguing artists including playwrights Hiro Kanagawa and Tom Cone; poet Robin Blaser; and choreographers Karen Jamieson, Lola MacLaughlin and the late Jean-Pierre Perreault (1947-2003).

His music is characterized by expressive dramatic gestures, finely drawn lyricism, elegant orchestrations and rhythmic vitality. The New Amsterdam Singers of New York describe his music as possessing “beguiling syncopation” and “hypnotic rhythms of great power and urgency.” Goran Forsling of Sweden’s International Concert Review writes that his vibrantly original Ave Maria “seems predestined to become a standard choral work”; that it is “deeply fascinating – and beautiful.”

David MacIntyre has been commissioned and performed by CBC Radio Orchestra, BBC Singers, Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City, Elektra Women’s Choir, First New York International Festival of the Arts, Festival Vancouver, Fondation Jean Pierre Perreault, Ian Hampton, Holland Festival, Le Groupe de la Place Royale, New Music America, Purcell String Quartet, Princeton Singers, Rumble Productions, ensemble Standing Wave, Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Chamber Singers, Vancouver New Music and Vancouver Playhouse.

Among his opera/music theatre projects is the narrative sequel to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly titled Tom Pinkerton, The Ballad of Butterfly’s Son (2008) a musical drama in two acts created in collaboration with playwright Hiro Kanagawa commissioned by Rumble Productions; Love in Public (2004), a ninety-minute cabaret on words by EB Browning for four singers (SATB) and piano; Communion (1996) an a cappella opera for thirty women on words by the composer commissioned by Elektra Women’s Choir and performed in excerpt by Sound Circle of Denver, Colorado; The Architect (1994) an opera in two acts on a libretto by Tom Cone commissioned and produced by Vancouver Opera; Heartland (1987) a rhythm and blues mono-drama in two acts for tenor, two saxophones, keyboards, guitar, and percussion on words by the composer; State of the World (1986) choreographed music theatre for two actor/dancers and two musicians staged by the composer and produced at the Firehall Arts Centre; Songs of the New Vaudeville (1983) for dancer, singer, piano and percussion on choreography by Susan Osberg and words by the composer performed at Dance Theatre Workshop in New York; Aria da Capo (1982) an opera in two acts on a libretto by Edna St. Vincent Millay; Refrains-An Opera (1981) an experimental opera in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Perreault for 40 performers premiered at Simon Fraser University; and Humulus the Mute (1977), an opera in one act on a libretto by Jean Anouilh staged by the composer at University of Victoria in 1979 (featuring Richard Margison and conducted by George Corwin), followed by a new production in 1994 directed by David Walsh.

His vocal works include Hammer (2008) for mixed chorus in six parts (SMATBB) on words by Tom Wayman commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre – BC Region; Angels Reel (2006) for women’s chorus (SSAA) on words by 2008 Giller Prize poet Robin Blaser; Radio Songs (2005) an a cappella collection of twelve songs for three singers (SMT) on words by Robin Blaser produced by Music on Main; Say the Names (2003) for children’s choir, coloratura soprano soloist and marimba on words by Al Purdy commissioned by Surrey Children’s Choir; Because of Love (2002) a song cycle for soprano, baritone and piano on words by Robin Skelton commissioned and produced by Festival Vancouver in 2003; In Flanders Fields (1999) for men’s chorus on words by John McCrae premiered by Chor Leoni; Psalm 23 (1999) for mixed chorus; Ave Maria (1994) commissioned and premiered by Elektra Women's Choir and sung by choirs around the world; and Addio (1994) commissioned and premiered by Vancouver Chamber Choir in Tokyo, Japan.

His instrumental works include Trudeau Dances (2003) for large orchestra performed by Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bramwell Tovey in a series funded by SOCAN Foundation; Berceuse in Memory of Murray Adaskin (2002) for piano trio commissioned by Ian Hampton as the competition work for the Contemporary Music Showcase at The Langley Community Music School and later performed by Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble in 2006 and Calgary’s Lands End Ensemble in 2008; Intimate Letters (2001) for trombone and chamber ensemble commissioned and premiered by trombonist Jeremy Berkman and Standing Wave through the Martha Lou Henley Charitable Foundation; Binner Music (2000) percussion solo for four wine bottles and two pencils commissioned by the Young Musicians Millennium Project and performed by school children throughout metro Vancouver; Home (1992) for horn and string orchestra commissioned and premiered by CBC Radio Orchestra for horn player Martin Hackelman; Gazebo (1991) commissioned and premiered by Purcell String Quartet; Sanctuary (1989) a 75 minute work of instrumental theatre for string orchestra, boy soprano and conductor produced by Vancouver New Music conducted by Owen Underhill; and Benedictus (1987) for large chorus and orchestra. He has created dozens of other works for chamber ensemble since 1972.

His catalogue of integrated music for dance and theatre includes Squeeze (1998) a seventy-five minute duet for concertina player/singer and dancer created and performed with choreographer Catherine Lubinsky at Vancouver East Cultural Centre; Smudge (1990) for dancer and bass clarinetist on choreography by Lola MacLaughlin, bass clarinetist Lori Freedman and staged by the composer for Toronto’s INDE 90; Piazza (1988) for 24 dancers and 10 saxophones on choreography by Jean Pierre Perreault produced at Wave Hill in The Bronx for the First New York Festival of the Arts; The Highway 86 Event for 50 dancers, 8 saxophones and 2 drummers on choreography by Jean-Pierre Perreault produced by World Festival at EXPO 86; A Strange Play about the President of France (1985) for dancer and tape on choreography by the composer for dancer Kathryn Ricketts; Silent Movie (1985) for five dancers and chamber ensemble on choreography by the composer; Sisyphus (1983) and Road Show (1985) on choreography by Karen Jamieson; Calliope (1982) for six dancers playing thirteen harmonicas on choreography by Jean-Pierre Perreault performed by Ottawa’s Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Danse Partout of Quebec City and Le Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault of Montreal. MacIntyre’s integrated music scores for theatre have enlivened productions of Romeo and Juliet (1982) for Vancouver Playhouse, The Owl and the Pussycat (1980) for the Arts Club Theatre and Edmonton’s Phoenix Theatre and Hamlet (1972) for the University of Saskatchewan in a production by Raymond Clarke.

David MacIntyre has been honored with an entry in Canadian Who’s Who since 1992 and Sisyphus (1983), his collaboration with Karen Jamieson for seven dancers and two musicians, was hailed as one of Ten Choreographic Masterworks of the Twentieth Century by Danse Canada Dance magazine in 2003.

November 2008


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