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Dinuk Wijeratne: Biography

Dinuk Wijeratne
1978 -
Region: Atlantic

Dinuk Wijeratne

Praised by the CBC as an artist “internationally respected for his virtuosity and sensitivity as a musician”, Sri Lankan-born Dinuk Wijeratne is one of Canada's most eclectic talents. Dinuk made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2004 as a conductor, composer and pianist, performing with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. A second Carnegie appearance followed in 2009, alongside tabla legend Zakir Hussain. Dinuk has composed specially for almost all of the artists and ensembles with whom he has performed; to name a few: David Jalbert, Tim Garland, Ed Thigpen, Pandit Ramesh Misra, Adrian Spillett, Kevork Mourad, Christina Courtin, Sanctuary, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, 4-Mality Percussion Quartet, the NY Kathak Ensemble, the New Juilliard Ensemble, Onelight Theatre, and Symphony Nova Scotia. His debut album, in collaboration with the acclaimed clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, has presented Dinuk at such venues as the Berlin Philharmonie, as well as across North America and the Middle East.

Dinuk Wijeratne's music integrates a great many non-western influences, and seeks to explore the boundary between composition and improvisation. He trained at the Royal Northern College of Music (UK) and was later invited by John Corigliano to join his studio at New York's Juilliard School. Conducting studies followed at the Mannes College of Music. Dinuk now lectures at Dalhousie University, the Nova Scotia Community College, and is Music Director of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra. He has conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra and appeared numerous times with Symphony Nova Scotia during his 3-year appointment as Conductor-in-Residence. He is the recipient of the 2008 Canada Council Jean-Marie Beaudet award for orchestral conducting; double Merritt Award nominations; Juilliard and Mannes scholarships; two Countess of Munster composition grants; the Sema Jazz Improvisation Prize; the Soroptimist International Award for Composer-Conductors; and the Sir John Manduell Prize - the RNCM's highest student honor. His music and collaborative work embrace the great diversity of his international background and influences.