Header - Sheet Music


Inouk Demers: Biography

Inouk Demers
1970 -
Region: International

Inouk Demers

Inouk Demers is a Canadian composer and guitarist currently living in Los Angeles. Works played in Belgium, New Zealand, England, the Netherlands, Scotland, Wales, Germany, Switzerland, France, Mexico, Canada and the United States; broadcast on Canadian and European radio; honoured at festivals (Ars Musica, Festival Manca, Cervantino Festival, June in Buffalo, Domaine Forget, Darmstadt, Voix Nouvelles, Schloss Solitude); and recorded (Ummus/Amberola and Atma labels).

Commissions from: Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal, Continuum Ensemble, Instant Donné (France), Cygnus Ensemble (USA), Princeton Symphony Orchestra (USA), San Diego Symphony (USA), Gaspé Duo, Aiyun Huang, Mark Menzies (New Zealand) and Marc Couroux. Works also performed by SurPlus Ensemble (Germany), 175 East (New Zealand), Toca Loca (Canada), Julie-Anne Derome, Louise Marcotte, Jürgen Ruck, Peter Veale.

Recent events: Charles Dutoit selects Chaque Note for performance by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Release of Demers’ Lo que vendrá on ATMA Records by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne; this recording earns an Opus Award (Canada) for best new music recording of the year. Universal Field commissioned and performed by the San Diego Symphony, conducted by Jahja Ling. Publication of a contribution to the Transonic Forum in die Neue Zeitschrift für Musik (Germany), and performance of Djenoun by Peter Veale and Jürgen Ruck at the Darmstadt Festival in Germany. Laidlaw Foundation grant for Canadian Contemporary Art performed by Toca Voca (Canada). In 2007, a film and piano project in collaboration with pianist Heather O’Donnell and filmmaker Anna Geyer for the Ultraschall Festival (Berlin) in 2007, funded by Tesla and the Berlin Hauptstadtkulturfond.

Numerous grants from both the Canada and Quebec Arts Councils. First prize and Serge Garant prize (1996), representing Canada, at Forum 96, hosted by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne; SOCAN Serge Garant prize (1994) for chamber works; SOCAN Ernest Macmillan prize (1998) for orchestral works; Robert Fleming prize (1998) from the Canada Arts Council; France-Québec joint commission (2000) with residence at Domaine Forget and Royaumont Abbey (France) to work with the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne and Instant Donné; Opus Award nomination (2001) for Lo que Vendrá, the work written during this residency, as premiere of the year.

Guitar studies with Eli Kassner, Norbert Kraft and Alvaro Pierri. He has distinguished himself many times as a guitarist: Belgium Printemps de la Guitare International Guitar Competition, two concerto competitions (1st prize). Regular performance of works by living and established or upcoming composers. American, Canadian, or world premieres of works by Brian Cherney, Alfredo del Monáco, Michael Oesterle, Matthew Shlomowitz and Claude Vivier. His performance of James Dillon’s Shrouded Mirrors for solo guitar earns him praise from the composer. In 1998, with his wife Joanna, founding of the Gaspé Duo; commissioning of works by Chris Burns and Rick Carrick; concerts and workshops at the California Institute for the Arts, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, University of California San Diego.

Composition studies: privately with John Rea, Brian Cherney, Louis Andriessen, Paul Lansky; master classes with Brian Ferneyhough, Jonathan Harvey, Helmut Lachenmann, Richard Barrett, Steve Takasugi, Chaya Czernowin; one-year informal study with Roger Reynolds at UCSD. Bachelor of Music (joint honours, composition and guitar) from McGill University (1993, Montréal, Canada), Masters and PhD (composition) from Princeton University (2000).

Research activities include an interview with Mauricio Kagel at the Tanglewood Festival (1998), and a doctoral thesis on Michael Finnissy (2000), warmly applauded by the composer. An article on Finnissy’s Obrecht Motetten I will appear in a forthcoming edited volume on Finnissy’s works alongside articles by Richard Toop, Christopher Fox, Ian Pace and others. He has also been an actor, a choir singer, and a dancer.


Click here to listen to all works by Inouk Demers