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Patrick McGraw: Biography

Patrick McGraw
1968 -
Region: Ontario

Patrick McGraw

Patrick McGraw was born in the United States but is now based in Toronto, Canada. A lifelong interest in the sciences led him to a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the California Institute of Technology, but the pull of his other great love, music, proved irresistible. He returned to school to study composition, with David Mott at York University and then with Gary Kulesha and Alexander Rapoport at the University of Toronto. His music sometimes draws direct inspiration from his physics background but more often the influence is subtle, reflected in a concern with the relationship between underlying regularity and its jaggedly contingent realization. His works have been performed in the U.S. and Canada by TorQ Percussion, Reverb Brass, the University of Toronto Wind Symphony, the Cecilia String Quartet and the Toy Piano Composers Ensemble among others. He was awarded the Karen Kieser Prize in Canadian Music in 2014 for his string quartet “Glass,” which was also the winner of the first annual University of Toronto String Quartet Composition Competition in 2013. His “Memories of the San Bernardino Freeway” was a winner of the University of Toronto Wind Ensemble Composition competition in 2012. He is a member of the Canadian League of Composers. Although music is now very much his primary focus, he remains active in the sciences as a teacher and is credited with almost as many publications in Physical Review as major works performed.