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COMPOSER SHOWCASE

J.A. Creaghan: Biography

J.A. Creaghan
1953 -
Region: Prairie

J.A. Creaghan

J. ANDREW CREAGHAN (b. October 22, 1953) is a composer, performer and writer who has been a leader in the field of music for his generation. His recordings have received international acclaim and his concerts have taken him across Canada and abroad. His many compositions have been performed around the world, and span the known genres of music including symphonies, solo and chamber works and choral music.

1953- born in Moncton New Brunswick. Began playing the guitar at 14. A year later, he received a scholarship to study at Jeunesse Musicales with Alexandre Lagoya.

1971- moved to Montreal. Received a grant from the New Brunswick Cultural Development Board to attend McGill University and completed his degree (B MUS.) Attracted to the formal qualities of Schoenberg's works but prefered the more tonal and ritualistic works of Stravinsky. Compositions from this time center around pedagogy for the guitar and art song. Read Helena Blavasky's seminal work The Secret Doctrine.

1977- Under the auspices of the Canada Council, he traveled to Spain to study guitar with Jose Tomas. Did graduate work at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Began the study of Alice Bailey and met painter Benjamin Creme.

1978- moved to Edmonton and started teaching at Alberta College. He and Jonathan Bailey started the Edmonton New Music Concerts at Latitude 53. Multimedia works and first recordings date from this period.

1982-84 received scholarship to Banff School of Arts for project on improvisation, and his compositions took on some of these qualities. Sponsered two lectures by painter Benjamin Creme in 1982 & 84. Stopped composing 1983-84.

1985-1996 Started composing again. Works included first settings of The Call from Agni Yoga A more individual language developed in his work as he searched for more simplicity in form and melody. Worked with a new tonality stripped of its accretions.

1997-Currently lives and works in Edmonton. His work is now heavily influenced by Alice Bailey and the Agni Yoga teachings. Composition becomes more abstract and internal as he seeks to express creative ideas that reveal the inner spiritual world of meaning.

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