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John Winiarz: Biography

John Winiarz
1952 -
Region: Québec

John Winiarz

JOHN WINIARZ was born July 17, 1952 in St. Boniface, Manitoba. His family, of Polish and Ukrainian origin, included painters and potters who influenced the boy's artistic development. He began piano lessons at 10 years old, and was self-taught in guitar, banjo, harmonica, and organ. In 1975 he obtained a B. Mus from the University of Manitoba where his composition teacher was Robert Turner.

Having experimented with electroacoustic music in1972, he pursued this interest with Ann Southam at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. Being also attracted to non-occidental music, he participated in a percussion workshop given by the group Nexus at York University. In 1975 he moved to Montréal to study at McGill University (M.Mus.1981), where his principal teacher was alcides lanza. He also participated in the1984 International Gaudeamus Music Week at Amsterdam, Netherlands and the1990 Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music in Germany.

His music has been performed extensively in Canada, and at various concerts and festivals in Brazil, France, Greece, Italy, Japan and U.S.A. He is laureat of many competitions including those of the CBC, CAPAC, PRO Canada, the Gaudeamus Foundation (Netherlands) and the Greek Broadcasting Corporation. In 1991, the Festival Música Nova (São Paulo, Brazil) invited him to be guest composer, and presented entire concerts of his music in four different cities.

Winiarz's recent works often includes materials from different cultures and historical periods. There is an attempt to balance an objective documentation with a subjective interpretation of these documents. His travels throughout Europe and South America have inspired him to compose a music reflecting the human condition both as witnessed in history and as it presently exists in the modern world.

Since 1977, John Winiarz has been teaching at McGill and Concordia universities. He is also active as a photographer, and directs the J&W recording label.


Canadian League of Composers
Canadian Electroacoustic Community



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