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Judy Specht: Biography

Judy Specht
1943 -
Region: British Columbia

Judy Specht

JUDY L. SPECHT, composer, performer and educator, was born in Prince Rupert, British Columbia in 1943. Her formal music training began on the piano and the accordion. She earned an ARCT degree in piano at age 19. While at the University of British Columbia she studied composition with Elliot Weisgarber, flute with Harriet Crossland and piano with Glen Geary. She received a B.Mus. degree in 1975 and an M.Mus. in 1980.

Her compositions include concert works for keyboard, chamber ensembles, orchestra, solo voice and chorus, and music for the stage, including an operetta. Her style is lyrical, often contrapuntal, sometimes modal, but usually with a tonal focus. She has been recorded for broadcast by the CBC and published by Gordon V. Thompson and the Canadian National Conservatory of Music.

In the 1990’s she began to compose for theatre, often working closely with Pangaea Arts Society’s intercultural productions to create music with an Asian flavor. In 2009 she was nominated for a Jesse Richardson award for her music for Pangaea’s The Life of Paper, played by the Orchid Ensemble. She also performs as a multi-instrumentalist with the theatre troupe, The Trollsons.

For many years she was an educator: she lectured at the University of Ottawa, at Douglas College (New Westminster), and at Vancouver Community College (Langara Campus), and also taught piano and theory from her own studio in Vancouver. She retired from teaching in 2005, and now composes from her home on Gabriola Island.


CAPAC, Canadian League of Composers, Association of Women Composers, B.C. Registered Music Teachers'Association


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