Canada Music

Canada Music

In the organization of musical life in Canada, a particularly significant first moment is the creation in the first decade of the 20th century of real musical institutions, such as the Société symphonique du Québec (1902), the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (1904) and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1906), which was followed in the following decades by the establishment of new prestigious symphonic ensembles, such as the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

In general, towards the middle of the century, all major Canadian cities had their own permanent orchestras, while the activity of numerous professional and semi-professional orchestras still extended to the different regions of the country. With the growth of musical activity there was also a progressive spread of musical competitions on the model of the oldest and most prestigious Edmond Festival (1908), so that already at the end of the Thirties there were at least 50 music festivals operating annually. Important orchestral groups for chamber music had sprung up at the end of the last century, and continued to develop during the first decades of the new one.

In the sector of religious music, traditionally cared for by both the Catholic and Protestant Churches, highly prestigious institutes such as the Royal Canadian College of Organists, founded in 1909, are still active today. The opera activity had a particular diffusion around the 1940s. in conjunction with the foundation of the Montreal Opera Guild (1941), which was later joined by the Canadian Opera Company (1958), both as regards the attendance of a wider international repertoire than in the past, and above all for the development of production Canadian in this area. The task of assisting and increasing Canadian music was, moreover, in those years entrusted to specific institutions, such as the Composers Authors and Publishers Association of Canada (1947), the Canadian League of Composers (founded in 1951 by J. Weinzweig), which carried out a work of coordination between the various centers of the country, in order to guarantee an adequate diffusion of Canadian music also at an international level; and finally the Canadian Music Center (1959), which among other things promoted the establishment of important musical libraries and repertoires, also favoring the increase of book and record editions, particularly in the contemporary Canadian music sector.

According to Cachedhealth, with the spread of public teaching starting from the 1950s, Canadian music education found its appropriate seats in conservatories and music faculties of the country’s universities, with a progressive decrease in the traditional importance that private teaching had always had in this sector..

Of the generation of composers who established themselves with some international resonance during the 1930s, it is possible to remember the names of BL Pentland (b.1912), JJ Weinzweig (b.1913), J. Papineau-Couture (b.1916)), president of the Société de Musique contemporaine du Québec between 1966 and 1973, O. Morawetz (b. Svĕtlá nad Sázavon, Czechoslovakia, 1917), K. Talivaldis (b.Liepaja, Latvia, 1919), I. Anhalt (b. Budapest 1919), founder in 1963 of the electronic music studio at McGill University, and finally H. Freedman (b. Lódź, Poland, 1922).

Of the later generation should be remembered H. Stewart Sommer (b.1925), J. Beckwith (b.1927), member of the board of directors of the Canadian Music Center, RM Schafer (b.1933), one of the most representative figures, founder of the company The Centuries Concerts and author of a large production in almost all musical genres; and finally B. Mather (b. 1939).

The last generations of composers have shown a more marked interest in avant-garde compositional techniques and means. In particular electronic and computer music has had a good diffusion in recent years. Among the most significant figures of this musical genre is B. Truax: a pupil of Schafer and current head of the World Soundscape Project started by the master, he currently directs the Computer Music center at the Center of the Arts of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby (Vancouver), the most important Canadian center in this sector. Among the last compositions of Truax to remember Wave Edge (1983), for quadraphonic tape, Etude (1983-84), for cello and tape, and Solar Ellipse, music presented at the International Computer Music Conference, held in Vancouver in 1985. Other young composers specializing in electroacoustic music are M. Bartlett and M. Gotfrit.

Canada Music