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Maya Badian: Biography

Maya Badian
1945 -
Region: Ontario

Maya Badian

Dr. MAYA BADIAN is the only Canadian / Romanian composer to have her life and accomplishments reflected in an international biographical work.

After the international success of the first biographical book (published 2003, Editura Muzicala, Romania), at music libraries requests, an updated and expanded new book was recently released: The Life and The Music of Maya Badian: A Privilege to Soar, Biography by Fred Popovici (published 2010, Pro Ars Publications, Canada). The book was launched on November 5, 2010, at The School of Music of the University of Ottawa in Ottawa.

A prolific internationally acclaimed composer, Maya Badian has more than 100 published compositions including symphonies, orchestral music, concertos, cantatas, chamber music, music for multimedia, as well as musicology and pedagogy works in the collections of Library and Archives Canada, Library of Congress in Washington, U.S.A., and other prestigious libraries around the world. Her book, 100 Canadian Composers from Atlantic to Pacific, has become a primary reference used worldwide. Her music has been performed all over the world and the many commissions she has received are warrants of the high esteem in which her music is regarded. “Her compositions, praised for their musicality and balance, are well structured and very contemporary without being avant-garde.” (Kitchissippi Times).

Born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1945, Maya Badian started to compose at the age of five. She graduated at the National University of Music in Bucharest with a Master's degree in composition (1968), before attending seminars in orchestral conducting in Weimar, Germany (1972). Badian presented Romanian contemporary music at the International Seminars for Studies and Research in Musical Language, in Vicenza, Italy (1973 and 1974).

Despite a thriving career in Romania, Badian, her husband and son fled the communist country in 1987 to escape the oppressive Ceausescu regime. They initially settled in Montreal to join family there. However, new challenges awaited Maya: In September 1988, her only son Mircea, 21, already a very gifted and handsome musician and a brilliant virtuoso percussionist, suddenly fell ill. He had liver cancer. On March 7, 1989, Mircea passed away. Words cannot be found to describe the grief Maya and her family shared... In 1990, Maya and her husband Lucian became naturalized Canadian citizens and, in 1995, they relocated to Ottawa.

Maya Badian was at the Université de Montréal the only student ever to complete a doctoral degree in the unique impressive period of only two years, and with highest distinction (A+).

Along with her major compositions either for orchestra or for other ensembles, “The multiculturalism that made an early impact has proven to be a huge influence in her compositions, as has our country's varied and beautiful landscape. The titles of many of her works reflect her love of Canada, including Reflets laurentiens (Double Concerto for Clarinet and Saxophone), Canadian Wilderness and Stillness (Symphonic Evocation on the Group of Seven) and Mirrored Reflections in the Ottawa Valley.” (Kitchissippi Times).

She organized the first Canadian Chamber Music Concert at The International Music Festival in Budapest (1991). She is the first musicologist to lecture on Canadian Composers from the Atlantic to the Pacific in Budapest, Hungary (1992), in six cities in Germany (1993 and 1994), in Bucharest, Romania, and Chisinåu, Republic of Moldova (2000). She represented Canada as a jury member in various international competitions, such as the 46th CIEM in Geneva, Switzerland (1990), and The Béla Bartók International Choir Competition in Debrecen, Hungary (1991 and 1992).

Dr. Maya Badian is a member of the Canadian League of Composers and an associate composer with the Canadian Music Center; a member of the Romanian Union of Composers and Musicologists; an honourary member of the International Biographical Center, Cambridge, England, and of the Union of Composers and Musicologists of Moldova. Professor Dr. Maya Badian is a Senior Theoretical Examiner of the College o Examiners for the Royal Conservatory of Music Examinations (Canada) and the National Music Certificate Program (U.S.A.).

All Maya Badian's works are published and internationally distributed by LUCIAN BADIAN EDITIONS. The Library of Congress, Washington DC; The International Library of Contemporary Music, Paris, France; and Library and Archives Canada has participated in acquiring them for their collections.

Library and Archives Canada has requested and preserves Dr. Badian's entire output of manuscripts, archival documents and recordings officially titled THE MAYA BADIAN ARCHIVAL FONDS MUS 228 (since 1993).

Reviews. Selection:

• “Dr. Maya Badian's work represents a powerful connection between two so different cultures: South-Eastern European, and North American. The structure of Badian's works evolves from the internal coherence of her music, creating a sense of organic integrity. Her music is a testimony to her constant reflection upon the state of humankind. Her compositions signify an important and meaningful synthesis at the close of the past Millennium.” Fred Popovici, Author, “The Life and the Music of Maya Badian; A Privilege to Soar”, Biography

• “Maya Badian is the creator of three premiere compositions ever written for these specific instruments in Romanian music history: the first Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, the first Concerto for Marimba, Vibraphone and Orchestra, and the first Concerto for Four Timpani, Obbligato Trumpet and String Orchestra” Electrecord

• “In their structure Maya Badian’s works are contemporary; through the original use of timbre, they become universal.” - Canadian Composer

• « Maya Badian, par le biais de ses compositions et de ses conférences, s'avère donc, pour le Canada et ses musiciens, un véhicule culturel précieux. - Compositeur canadien

• « La musique de Maya Badian juxtapose savamment la science musicale et une résultante sonore émouvante. Le pays a gagné gros en accueillant Maya Badian comme citoyenne et comme musicienne aux talents diversifies... Pour elle, le Canada est un magnifique pays d’accueil et elle remercie le ciel d’être parmi nous. Je crois que nous aussi on doit dire merci à Maya Badian de nous avoir choisi. » Alternance

• « Mozart s’impose et Badian impressionne. - Le nouvelliste

• « Maya Badian est l’exemple même de l’excellence... - André Prévost, Composer, O.C.

• “This impressive work touches the deepest zones. The Nothingness becomes Music - the Music of Death. Flowers and lots of applause to Maya Badian.” Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

• “The highlight of the evening was Holocaust - In Memoriam, Symphony by the Romanian/Canadian composer Maya Badian...”- Ruhr Nachrichten

• “In addition to composing, Maya Badian has presented Canadian and Quebec music at German universities and helped bring eastern European musicians here to learn about Canadian music.” - The Gazette

• “Maya Badian’s music does reflect the accumulated wisdom of a century of experiment and invention.” - The Ottawa Citizen

• “Maya Badian’s masterwork is a great message for present and future generations that the Holocaust should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.” - Yaakov Bergman, Conductor, Colorado Spring Orchestra, U.S.A.

• “MultiMusic Canada for the New Millennium was born out of Badian's extraordinary ability to synthesize the multitude of distinctive sounds belonging to the culturally diverse groups which make up the Canadian mosaic.” O. J. B.

• “For Dearest Maya, with my deepest and profoundest thanks for your tremendous contribution to our 1999 du Maurier New Music Festival. Thank you for your music and thank you for your friendship.”- Bramwell Tovey, Conductor

• “MultiMusic Canada is a polyvalent symphonic canvas. The idea of this work is extremely original. The breadth of its objectives surpasses purely musical considerations. Historical and current sounds are transformed becoming a complete, colorful, and complex sound image. The accomplishment of an objective of this size needed a composer who has mastered the highest level of orchestration and compositional experience. Maya Badian has this thorough, solid musical mentality and the ability to transform the variegated images, senses, motive designs, and uniquely balanced canvas of orchestral sound.” Moldova Suverana

• “As a composer Dr. Maya Badian has achieved wide international recognition. She is a stalwart supporter and wonderful promoter of Canadian music and Canadian composers.” ?Dr. Elaine Keillor, Distinguished Research Professor Emerita, Carleton University

• “Maya Badian is one of our greatest cultural ambassadors, not only for Canada, but also for the world.” Acad. Razvan Theodorescu, Minister of Culture, Romania

• “Interest for Maya Badian Biography Spreads Internationally.” Canadian Music Centre Notations Newsletter

• “Strongly impressed by Dr. Maya Badian's dedication as an artist and as a stalwart promoter of Canadian arts, I decided to publish all of her compositions, writings, and lectures...” - Lucian Badian, Eng./ing., Publisher, Lucian Badian Editions

• “Fortunately, the Beethoven was not the major work of the evening and, in fact, took a back seat to the percussion piece, Maya Badian's Concerto for Marimba, Vibraphone and Orchestra, that gave the evening its character and identity.” The Province

• “Maya Badian composed a Cantata Canada to celebrate Canada's 125th birthday.” - The Ottawa Citizen

• “Badian's concern for the instrumentalists goes further than the technical details of interpretation, the parameters that always determine the way she begins working. She aspires to a kind of 'fluidity' between composer and interpreter... Badian intends her works to be traditional, but in their structure, they are contemporary.” - The Canadian Composer

• “Her compositions, praised for their musicality and balance, are well structured and very contemporary without being avant-garde.” Kitchissippi Times


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