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Ottawa Celebration of Composers: Biographies

Margaret Ashburner | Maya Badian | Roddy Ellias | Gabor Finta | Victor Herbiet | Jan Jarvlepp | Colin Mack | Angus McLachlin | Daniel Mehdizadeh | Robert Rival

Margaret Ashburner

Margaret Ashburner studied music composition with Linda Catlin Smith and Peter Hatch at Wilfrid Laurier University and with Christopher Butterfield at the University of Victoria. Margaret’s music has been performed throughout Canada: They Let Their Brushstrokes Show has been performed at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Through a Window or a Door at the Open Ears Festival in Waterloo, and Ink Blot by the Bozzini Quartet at Chapelle Historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montreal. She has been commissioned by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Ottawa Chamber Orchestra and the Thin Edge Collective. Her work Small Rooms for solo harp is published with the Avondale Press and listed in the Royal Conservatory of Music’s 2009 Harp Syllabus; Small Rooms has recently been recorded by Lori Gemmell on “Canadian Music for Harp” which was supported by the Ontario Arts Council.


Maya Badian

Dr. MAYA BADIAN is the only Romanian-born Canadian composer to have her life and accomplishments reflected in an international biography work: The Life and The Music of Maya Badian: A Privilege to Soar, Biography by Fred Popovici (published 2010, Pro Ars Publications, Canada). The book was launched on November 5, 2010, at The School of Music of the University of Ottawa in Ottawa. “Maya Badian’s music does reflect the accumulated wisdom of a century of experiment and invention.” - The Ottawa Citizen “Maya Badian comes from a multinational and artistic family: Professor Suzana Badian, her mother is the founder of the Stage Movement Department at the Ion Luca Caragiale Institute for Theatre and Film in Bucharest, Romania; and, T.K. Thomas, Maya’s uncle established himself as a worldwide renowned painter. Maya Badian’s commitment to composition was made early, passionately, and never withdrawn. Her work represents a powerful connection between two so different cultures: South-Eastern European, and North American. The structure of Badian's works evolves from the internal coherence of her music, creating a sense of organic integrity. Her music is a testimony to her constant reflection upon the state of humankind. Her compositions signify an important and meaningful synthesis at the close of the past Millennium.” - Fred Popovici, “The Life and The Music of Maya Badian: A Privilege to Soar”

A prolific internationally acclaimed composer, Badian has more than 120 published compositions including all genres but opera, as well as musicology and pedagogy works in the collections of Library and Archives Canada, Library of Congress in Washington, U.S.A., and other prestigious libraries around the world. Her music has been performed all over the world and the many commissions she has received are warrants of the high esteem in which her music is regarded. Along with her major compositions either for orchestra or for other ensembles, “The multiculturalism that made an early impact has proven to be a huge influence in her compositions, as has our country's varied and beautiful landscape. The titles of many of her works reflect her love of Canada, including MultiMusic Canada, A Legacy for the New Millennium, Fresco for Orchestra, Chorus, and Multimedia; Reflets laurentiens, Double Concerto for Clarinet and Saxophone; Canadian Wilderness and Stillness, Symphonic Evocation on the Group of Seven; and Mirrored Reflections in the Ottawa Valley for String Orchestra. “Her compositions, praised for their musicality and balance, are well structured and very contemporary without being avant-garde.” (Kitchissippi Times).” – Kitchissippi Times An enthusiastic advocate of Canadian music, Dr. Badian organized the first Canadian Chamber Music Concert at The International Music Festival in Budapest. She is the first musicologist to lecture on Canadian Composers from Atlantic to Pacific throughout Europe. She represented Canada as a jury member in various international competitions, such as the 46th CIEM in Geneva, Switzerland, and The Béla Bartók International Choir Competition in Debrecen, Hungary.

Maya Badian graduated at the National University of Music in Bucharest with a Master's degree in Composition, before attending seminars in orchestral conducting in Weimar, Germany. …Home Away From Home… Despite a thriving career in Romania, Maya Badian immigrated in Canada in 1987 and initially settled in Montreal, before relocating in Ottawa in 1995. She became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1990. Maya Badian was at the Université de Montréal the only student ever to complete a doctoral degree in the unique impressive period of only two years, and with highest distinction. Dr. Badian is a member of the Canadian League of Composers and an associate composer with the Canadian Music Center; a member of the Romanian Union of Composers and Musicologists; an honourary member of the International Biographical Center, Cambridge, England, and of the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Moldova. Professor Dr. Maya Badian is a Senior Theoretical Examiner of the College o Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations (Canada) and the National Music Certificate Program (U.S.A.).

Maya Badian's Catalogue is handled exclusively by LUCIAN BADIAN EDITIONS, since 1993. The Library of Congress, Washington DC; The International Library of Contemporary Music, Paris, France; and Library and Archives Canada has participated in acquiring them for their collections. Library and Archives Canada has requested and preserves Dr. Badian's entire output of manuscripts, archival documents and recordings officially titled THE MAYA BADIAN ARCHIVAL FONDS MUS 228 (since 1993). Dr. Maya Badian and husband Lucian Badian - a Business Manager with the Federal Government of Canada, and the founder and publisher of LUCIAN BADIAN EDITIONS - reside in Ottawa. In their spare time they enjoy attending concerts, theatres, exhibitions, movies, lectures, and reading, travelling, swimming.


Roddy Ellias

Roddy Ellias was born in Quebec in 1949 and studied guitar and composition in Ottawa, Toronto, New York and Philadelphia. He completed a Masters in Music specializing in composition under the guidance of André Prévost and Massimo Rossi at the Université de Montréal. Since 1980, he has taught composition, guitar and improvisation at several Canadian universities, most recently at Concordia University in Montreal where he is now Professor Emeritus. Currently, he teaches guitar and various courses at Carleton University on a part-time basis.

Roddy Ellias’ compositions have been performed and recorded by many renowned artists including American violin virtuoso Anne Akiko Meyers and I Musici de Montréal. In addition to orchestral works and chamber pieces for various ensembles, he has written many pieces for solo guitar, guitar trio, and guitar with other instruments. He is also writing music for The Walrus Guitar Quartet, of which he is a founding member. As a performer Roddy Ellias is an accomplished classical guitarist and improviser. He has performed throughout Canada and the United States and in Europe.


Gabor Finta

Murielle Gábor Finta was born and educated in Hungary. His post-secondary musical studies between 1963-1970 led to a degree in piano, choral conducting and music education from the Franz Liszt University of Music, Budapest, Hungary. He also studied in Germany at the International Musikseminar in Weimar. After graduation he taught at the Liszt Academy’s Teacher Training Institute and became the director of the Béla Bartók Music Conservatory in Miskolc. He wrote weekly music reviews for the daily paper Északmagyarország.

After immigrating to Canada in 1982 he taught piano (his students won many prizes; among them the 1991 Ontario Young Artist competition) conducted several community orchestras and appeared as soloist in Ottawa, Brandon, Calgary, London, Brockville. He also instructed at several universities across Canada as guest professor. Mr. Finta often judged choral and piano competitions both in Hungary and Canada and has been examining for the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto for seven years. His compositions include pieces written for piano, chorus, solo voice, orchestra and other instruments and have been performed at the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Festival Music and Beyond, in Hungary and several other countries.


Victor Herbiet

Victor Herbiet studied saxophone and composition at the University of Ottawa where he obtained a Bachelor's and Master's degree in saxophone performance. At the University of Ottawa, he studied saxophone with Peter Smith and Noël Samyn and composition with Steven Gellman. Victor later pursued his saxophone studies with Sébastien Tremblay in the Réseau des Conservatoires du Québec where he was awarded the "Prix de Conservatoire." Since 1999, Victor has been employed by the Canadian Forces bands. He is currently a member of the Central Band of the Canadian Forces based in Ottawa. Outside of the Canadian Forces mandate, Victor is active as a soloist, composer and teacher. Victor has been playing in concerts for the Ottawa Chamber Music Society and International Chamber Music Festival since 2004 where he has performed numerous premieres, including some of his of his own works. Victor Herbiet teaches saxophone at the University of Ottawa.


Colin Mack

Colin Mack was born in Ottawa in 1957. After studying piano with Jean-Paul Sévilla at the University of Ottawa, he began his composition studies with Steven Gellman. He received a Master of Music in 1985 from the University of Montréal under Michel Longtin, André Prévost and later Serge Garant with an Ontario/Québec Exchange Fellowship. His compositions include a variety of solo,chamber, orchestral, vocal,choral and film music.Commissions have come from the Ontario Arts Council,the City of Ottawa and Espace Musique. His music has been recorded for CBC, Radio-Canada, the NFB and performed in Canada and internationally. His CD "Imprints" was released in 2009 (CanSona). A concert dedicated to his music was performed July 11, 2011 at the National Gallery of Canada (Music and Beyond Festival).

Angus McLachlin

Angus McLachlin was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C. He began studying piano at the age of five, and violin at the age of nine. At age 12, Angus became interested in more popular styles of music, and after having moved to Ottawa at age 13, formed and played electric guitar in a number of rock and metal bands throughout high school. Angus then attended the University of Ottawa where he returned to studying classical music, specifically composition under direction of Steven Gellman. After completing his degree, Angus lived for two years in Montreal where he continued to compose, as well as play in bands. He then returned to Vancouver, where he now resides. Angus has written 2 string quartets, a piano suite, two piano sonatas, numerous piano pieces, a work for choir and strings, and has recently completed a symphony.


Daniel Mehdizadeh

Daniel Mehdizadeh is a composer and pianist based in Ottawa. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, from an early age he studied with Iranian composer Abbas Khoshdel, learning piano and music theory. Daniel has been studying with renowned Canadian composer Steven Gellman since 2008, and is continuing his Masters in composition under the guidance of Steven Gellman and John Armstrong.


Robert Rival

Robert Rival, born in Calgary, joins the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra as Composer in Residence in the 2011/12 season. Critics have described his work, written in a contemporary tonal style, as "well crafted", "engaging", "immediately appealing", "melodic and accessible", "memorable"—and his song cycle, Red Moon and Other Songs of War, as "an unequivocal hit". His music for orchestra, chamber ensemble, voice and the stage has been broadcast on CBC radio and performed by the Gryphon Trio and other leading Canadian musicians, ensembles and orchestras. His orchestral works include a one-movement Symphony "Maligne Range", inspired by a hike through the Rockies, and a children's work, Maya the Bee, based on the classic tale. Committed to music education and appreciation, he has taught theory and composition to students of all ages, at several universities as well as privately, and has written liner and program notes for major festivals, presenters and record labels. Rival holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Toronto. In his spare time you will find him playing shinny hockey at the local rink or out for a run. He lives with his wife Chantal-Andrée Samson, a realist oil painter, and their son Raphaël.


Jan Jarvlepp

Composer Jan Järvlepp returned to his native Ottawa, Canada in 1981 after completing his doctoral studies in composition and twentieth century music at the University of California, San Diego. His composition teachers over the years were Luis de Pablo, Alcides Lanza, Will Ogdon and Roger Reynolds. Once back, he joined the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and has been active as a freelance cellist, composer, teacher, recording technician and as a contractor for chamber music groups. He has written chamber works for the Chamber Players of Canada, the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, the Nishikawa Ensemble of Japan, the Denis Schingh Ensemble, the Caliban Quartet and is preparing a new string quartet for the forthcoming Music and Beyond Festival. for more info: www.janjarvlepp.com


Want to watch the works of these composers performed on March 19th or March 20th? Click here to buy tickets or Click here to view the Concert Series page for more info.
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