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Robert Bauer: Biography

Robert Bauer
1950 -
Region: Atlantic

Robert Bauer

ROBERT PAUL (BOB) BAUER was born in Welland, Ontario on January 24th, 1950 and began his musical studies at age seven. Throughout his youth he played guitar and saxophone in rock and dance bands, often arranging and composing for these ensembles. At the same time he was developing an interest in jazz and classical music and after high school he entered the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto. There he studied composition with John Beckwith and John Weinzweig, materials of music with Oskar Morawetz, Godfrey Ridout, Lothar Klein, Derek Holman and Gustav Ciamaga, saxophone with Paul Brodie and guitar with Eli Kassner.

It was during these years that he began integrating some of the elements that are now a part of his personal style: rhythmic irregularity, angular melodic line with an underlying, often subtle, lyricism and a preoccupation with impressionistic tone colours.

Following his graduation in 1972 with a B. Mus. he was one of the founders of ARRAYMUSIC and began teaching guitar at the Brodie School of Music. In 1976, he joined the CBC in Toronto, first as a technician and later as a producer. He was also composing actively for his own instruments, both guitar and saxophone, as well as for mixed chamber ensembles through commissions from Paul Brodie, ARRAYMUSIC and others. One work from this period which he finds particularly satisfying is Tabito... returning to his old home. The sentiment expressed in this piece and its sound palette are very near to his ideal. Also during these years Bauer became interested in electroacoustic music producing several works at the University of Toronto Electronic Music Studio.

In 1980, his CBC work took him to Ottawa. There he was associated with conductor Peter McCoppin and this led him to do some orchestral composition. He again composed much for the guitar -- a duet for Wilson and McAllister, a Trio for the Amsterdam Guitar Trio and a solo work for Douglas Reach. One major work which bridges his Toronto/Ottawa years is Nocturne, which was commissioned by the CBC and premiered by New Music Concerts.

In 1988 Bauer relocated once again, this time to Halifax. The move to Halifax was a tremendous catalyst for Bauer's creativity. In 1990 he founded the new music and improvisational ensemble UPSTREAM. Bauer has written numerous works for this ensemble as well as it's collaborations with Symphony Nova Scotia as part of the "Open Waters Festival of New and Improvised Music." As well he has been active in the Atlantic Canadian Composer's Association. In October of 2000 Bauer presented a retrospective concert of his chamber works title "Spirit Through Time." In March of 2002, he was invited as one of three featured composers at the University of New Mexico's Composer's Symposium.

In December of 2007 Bauer retired from CBC radio. Since then he has remained active as a composer, arranger, guitarist, conductor and arts administrator.

For several years he was actively involved in the Oscillations Festival of Electroacoustic Music. Currently he is on the Atlantic regional board of the Canadian Music Centre and is one of the co-artistic directors of Musikon concerts in Halifax, a group that presents performances of exclusively Canadian repertoire. Also in his retirement years, Bauer has taken up conducting of two community groups - the Bedford Leisure Club Orchestra and the Dartmouth Concert Band.

SOCAN, Canadian League of Composers, AFM

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