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Classical Connections: Canada Dry

Classical Connections: Canada Dry

July 13, 2015
National

"The other night, I was having dinner with some friends at a local Indian place when one of them asked who could name some Canadian composers. Why he asked this I have no idea, because the question was so challenging I forgot to enquire. It shouldn’t be challenging of course, because if he had asked for the names of some American composers, a list would roll off the tongue as easily as it takes to eat a papadum. But Canadian composers?

Canada’s most famous musician was probably the mildly eccentric Glenn Gould, but he was a pianist (and a brilliant one too) not a composer. My friends stared hard into their chicken biryanis mentally searching for names. The only two names I could dredge up were those of Murray Schafer and Allan Gilliland, the second of whom was actually born in Scotland. Schafer has composed a vast amount of music and written a good many books too. But he’s probably most closely associated with music education, after publishing some influential ideas about class teaching in the 1960s..."

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