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David Jaeger: Biography

David Jaeger
1947 -
Region: Ontario

David Jaeger

Jaeger, David (Trent), CM. Composer, producer, performer, b Green Bay, Wisc, 19 Nov 1947; B MUS (Wisconsin) 1970, M MUS (Toronto) 1972. Upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and continued his studies at the University of Toronto 1970-2 with John Weinzweig and Gustav Ciamaga. He attended the Summer Electronic Music Institute in Dartmouth, NH, in the summer of 1972, working with Jon Appleton and Hubert Howe.

In the early 1970s Jaeger established a digital sound synthesis facility at the University of Toronto, one of the first in Canada. He joined the CBC in 1973 as a radio music producer for various series including 'Music of Today' and 'Music Makers International, and in 1978 he created one of the world's most celebrated new music programs, "Two New Hours", which was heard on the national CBC Radio Two network until spring, 2007. In 1990 his Centrediscs double-CD "Schafer: 5" (String Quartets of R. Murray Schafer with the Orford String Quartet) won two Juno awards. In 1997 & ‘98, Point Music released his productions of the music of English composer, Gavin Bryars, featuring the Hilliard Ensemble and The Gavin Bryars Ensemble. In 2010 his Centrediscs CD “Wild Bird” (music by Schafer, Agocs, & Chan) won the Canadian Composition Juno for Schafer’s “Duo for Violin & Piano”.

From 1974 to 2002 he served as the CBC Radio coordinator of the CBC/Radio-Canada National Radio Competition for Young Composers.

In 2002 David Jaeger was elected President of the International Rostrum of Composers, and was the first non-European ever to be named to this post in the 55-year history of that organization. He served as President of the IRC until 2008.

His commitment to new music has made available to radio audiences a full spectrum of music from around the world, with a special emphasis on Canadian music and performers. Jaeger has encouraged a generation of composers and musicians, aiding in the birth of a number of ensembles and festivals dedicated to this repertoire

Jaeger was a founding member of the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, a group which, when it was formed in 1971, was on the leading edge of live performance with electronic instruments. The ensemble has provided Jaeger with the main outlet for his compositional efforts and experiments. Many of his works include an electronic element, although a few have been written for traditional instruments (eg, Double Wind Quintet, 1975; Lyrics for Solo Marimba (1985), Aria for cello and piano, 1987; and Sonata for viola and piano, 1988). Favour (1980) for electric viola has been recorded by Rivka Golani (1983, Centrediscs CMC-0883) and Shadowbox has been recorded by accordionist Joseph Petric (1988, Centrediscs CMC-CD-3288).

Regarding his compositions, Jaeger is generally considered an experimenter, perhaps a natural outgrowth of his work with the CBC where he was exposed to such a wide range of current musical styles. He has drawn on traditional musical styles and idioms in some of his works such as Fancye (1973) for tracker organ and electronics (recorded on RCI’s 4-ACM 37 CD), Quanza Dueto (1976) for two guitars and tape, and Favour (1980) for viola & signal processing, but has discarded tradition completely in others, eg, his purely electroacoustic works. He seems as comfortable in highly experimental music as he is in a piece which makes no apologies for its attractiveness. He is a member of the CLComp and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. He was named as a member of the Order of Canada in 2018 for being "at the forefront of Canadian music creation, performance and promotion.”


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