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Deirdre Piper: Biography

Deirdre Piper
1943 -
Region: Ontario

Deirdre Piper

Born, raised and educated in the United Kingdom, she studied at the Royal College of Music (organ and cello) and at the University of Manchester (Mus.B. and Ph.D. in historical musicology). She has held full-time teaching positions at the University of Manchester Faculty of Music (Research Assistant, Director of the Electronic Music Studio, and Supervisor of Academic Studies for Music undergraduates); Huddersfield Polytechnic School of Music (Lecturer II); and at Carleton University, where she is Associate Professor of Music and Supervisor of performance and Practical Studies. Her current areas of teaching comprise composition, theory, analysis, counterpoint, orchestration, and issues of concert music since the Second World War.

As a composer (SOCAN) she is self-taught. A member of the Canadian league of Composers, she has produced works for various solo, chamber and choral media, and, in addition to regular liturgical performances of church music, has had many public performances and broadcasts of her concert music during the last twenty years.

In addition, she is active as a performer: organist, pianist, and choral conductor. Currently she holds the position of Organist and Choir Director (mixed adult) at St Matthias Anglican Church (Ottawa) where the musical tradition is rooted in the English cathedral repertoire. Outside the ecclesiastical establishment she frequently performs as ensemble pianist and vocal accompanist. She is a member of the American Federation of Musicians (local 180), and of the Royal Canadian College of Organists (Ottawa Centre) where she has served on the executive committee as chair of the academic studies sub-committee, and is currently Vice President.

With the soprano Gloria Jean Nagy, she formed the professional duo Cantabile, performing in twelve consecutive seasons. Repertoire is broad, ranging from art songs to Broadway, baroque to contemporary Canadian, both religious and secular.

As a complement to her work as a musician she has frequently served in an administrative capacity on boards and committees of musical organizations, including having been President of the National Capital Suzuki School of Music and of Espace Musique Concert Society.

Other and more detailed information may be gleaned from her entry (Piper, David) in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (second edition 1992, University of Toronto Press).

April 2006


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