Andrew Paul MacDonald | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Andrew Paul MacDonald

Andrew Paul MacDonald. Composer, guitarist, conductor, teacher, b Guelph, Ont, 30 Nov 1958; B MUS (Western) 1981, M MUS (Michigan) 1982, DMA (Michigan) 1985. MacDonald began guitar lessons in Guelph at age nine, studying with John Becker, and Bruce French.

MacDonald, Andrew Paul

Andrew Paul MacDonald. Composer, guitarist, conductor, teacher, b Guelph, Ont, 30 Nov 1958; B MUS (Western) 1981, M MUS (Michigan) 1982, DMA (Michigan) 1985. MacDonald began guitar lessons in Guelph at age nine, studying with John Becker, and Bruce French. Later, he continued guitar with Alexandre Lagoya, Michael Lorimer, Ray Sealey and Manuel Lopez-Ramos. He studied theory and piano with Rosemarie Hamilton. At Western University, he studied composition with Arsenio Girón and Alan Heard. Following his undergraduate degree he attended the University of Michigan, studying composition with William Bolcom, Leslie Bassett, William Albright, and George Balch Wilson. In 1985 MacDonald returned to Canada; he taught in Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec before settling at Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Que, in 1987. There he helped found the Ensemble Musica Nova.

Career to 1996

Though mainly known as a composer, MacDonald has worked extensively as a performer, premiering his own works and works by Canadian composers such as Glenn Buhr. Between 1984 and 1988 he won eight CAPAC prizes. His first commission was from Stan Fisher for Music for the Open Air (1990) for clarinet and string quartet. (This piece won MacDonald first prize at the International Clarinet Association competition in 1997.)

MacDonald was composer-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company 1988-9, where he wrote the one-act opera The Unbelievable Glory of Mr Sharp (1988). He was commissioned by the CBC to write After Dark . . . (1990) for the pianist Angela Cheng. From that point, commissions came steadily. MacDonald was a finalist at the DuMaurier Arts competition in 1992 with the orchestral work Run Before the Wind, and won second prize the following year for Les Voix Éternelles. This led to the commissioning of Eros for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in 1994. Two years later, MacDonald won the Juno award for best classical music composition for his Violin Concerto, recorded in 1995 by David Stewart and the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra under Simon Streatfeild.

Career 1997-2000s

MacDonald was commissioned by violinist Jasper Wood to write Nausikáa, for solo violin, which Wood premiered Oct 1999. This began an important association that resulted in On the Wine-Dark Sea: Violin Sonata No. 3, and the recording The Great Square of Pegasus, which won a 2005 East Coast Music Award. In the early 2000s, MacDonald turned to large-scale orchestral works, composing Symphony No. 1: The Red Guru for the Calgary Philharmonic in 2003, and War Machine Blues for the Toronto Symphony in 2004. His works have been played by the CBC Radio Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, Evergreen Club, I Musici de Montréal, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Quebec Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, and Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. MacDonald has had works performed by musicians such as James Campbell, Audrey Andrist, Joseph Petric, Mario Bernardi, Bramwell Tovey, Alex Pauk, Peter Oundjian, the Gryphon Trio, the Quatuor Claudel, the Amati Quartet, the Penderecki Quartet, and the Alcan Quartet.

Appointments; Memberships
Andrew Paul MacDonald has been Music Department chair at Bishop's University four times. He is a member of the Canadian League of Composers, was on its executive committee 1993-7, and was its vice-president 1995-7. He is a member of SOCAN and SODRAC, and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

Selected Works

The Unbelievable Glory of Mr Sharp, op. 20. 2 sopranos, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass, clarinet/bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano/synthesizer, percussion. Libretto by Ken Keobke. 1989

Orchestra and Large Ensemble
Run Before the Wind, opus 11. 1985

In the Garden of Gaea, opus 23. 1991. Ms

Les voix éternelles, opus 28. 1992. Ms

Eros, opus 35. 1994. Ms

Circe, opus 65. 2004. Ms

The Red Guru: Symphony No. 1, opus 60. 2003-5. Ms

War Machine Blues, opus 67. 2005. Ms

Symphony No. 2: The Great Wave, opus 73. 2007. Ms

Soloists with Orchestra
Songs of Life's Complaint, opus 12. Soprano, chamber orchestra. Poetry by Shelley, Keats, Blake. 1986. Ms

Violin Concerto, opus 22. Solo violin, chamber orchestra. 1991. Ms

Piano Concerto, opus 36. Solo piano, orchestra. 1995. Ms

The Eleusinian Mysteries, opus 47. Solo harp, gamelan orchestra. 1998. Ms

Triangulum: Concerto Grosso No. 1, opus 46. String orchestra. 1998. Ms

Hermes of the Stars: Concerto Grosso No. 2, opus 48. String orchestra. 1998. Ms

Double Concerto, opus 51. Violin, piano, orchestra. 2000. Ms

Tapestries, opus 66. Viola, string orchestra. 2004

Chamber Music
Quartet, opus 2. Flute, oboe, viola, guitar. 1980. Ms

Kittlin' Hair on Thairms, opus 13. Solo violin. 1986. Ms

Emerald Mirrors: First Sonata for Violin and Piano, opus 14. Violin, piano. 1986. Ms

Music for the Open Air, opus 21. Clarinet, string quartet. 1990. Ms

After Dark . . ., opus 24. Solo piano. 1991. Ms

Quatuor pour Camille (String Quartet no. 2), opus 30. 1993. Ms

In the Eagle's Eye, opus 37. Violin, cello, piano. 1995. Ms

Pythikos nomos, opus 39. Oboe/English horn/oboe d'amore, string quartet. 1996. Ms

The Great Square of Pegasus, opus 42. Mvt 1 violin, mvt 2 viola, mvt 3 cello, mvt 4 double bass. 1997. Ms

The Winds of Thera, opus 44. Accordion, string quartet. 1997. Ms

Pleiades Variations, opus 45. Flute, viola, harp. 1998. Ms

Nausikáa, opus 49. Solo violin. 1998. Ms

Through the Asklepion, opus 54, Violin, cello, piano. 2000. Ms

On the Wine-Dark Sea: Third Sonata for Violin and Piano, opus 55. Violin, piano. 2001. Ms

String Quartet No. 4: Andromache Suite, opus 59. 2002. Ms

Kassandra's Tears, opus 63. Violin, piano. 2003. Ms

Don Quixote: Knight of the Sad Countenance, opus 64. Solo guitar. 2003. Ms

Primavera (after Botticelli), opus 71. Oboe, accordion. 2006. Ms

The Dream of Amphion, opus 53. Solo piano. 2000. Ms

Choral Music
The Birth of Spring, opus 19. Soprano solo, SATB chorus, strings. Poetry by Ralph Gustafson. 1989.

Innocence, opus 26. Voice and piano (high and low versions). Poetry by William Blake. 1991. Ms

A Notebook of Love-Songs, opus 31. Soprano, oboe, guitar. Poetry by Robert Graves. 1993. Ms

Gustafson Landscapes, opus 56. Soprano, guitar. Poetry by Ralph Gustafson. 2001. Ms

Mémoire, opus 68. Soprano, piano. Poetry by Arthur Rimbaud, 2005. Ms

Electronic Music
The Jam at Jerry's Rocks. Stereo tape. 1992.

My Secret Flower! 4 undetermined electronic/amplified instrumentalists, "Typist," MAX/MSP. 2004.

Selected Recordings

For Then and There. Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan, Erica Goodman harp. 2005. Artifact Music, ART 034

Quintette à Vent Estria. Quintette à Vent Estria. 2004. ATMA, ACD2 2357

The Great Square of Pegasus. Jasper Wood violin, Audrey Andrist piano. 2004. CentreDiscs, CMC-CD 10004

Wild Honey. Duo Concertante. 2004. ATMA, ACD2 2335

Premieres! Arthur Campbell clarinet, Dmitri Novgorodsky piano. 2000. GASPARO GSCD-341

Harbord Street. Trio Lyra. 1998. Opening Day, ODR 9315

Among Friends. Trio Des Iscles. 1998. CentreDiscs, CMC-CD 6098

Canadian Music for Chamber Orchestra. David Stewart violin, Simon Streatfeild conductor, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra. 1995. BIS CD-698

Music for the Open Air. David Stewart violin, Gisèle Dalbec violin, Michel Szczesniak piano, Michael Dumouchel clarinet, Quatuor Claudel. 1991. Société Nouvelle d'Enregistrement, SNE-573-CD