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Timothy Corlis: Biography

Timothy Corlis
1972 -
Region: British Columbia

Timothy Corlis

The music of Timothy Corlis emerges from a choral tradition where composition is about singing in the community. It often expresses a spirituality that is deeply rooted in Corlis’ own pacifist beliefs and that arises from his ongoing search for forms of music that share a universal language.

Corlis began his career writing music for church and community choirs in Ontario’s Waterloo region (Canada). His music has since been performed and broadcast internationally, often by some of Canada's most prominent performers. He has been described in the media as “a composer of great depth and passion, not to mention a pristine polished craft.” His music has been described as “atmospherically striking”, “artistically engaging and emotionally moving”, and “superb... bursting with vigour and truth.”

A growing number internationally recognized ensembles have taken an interest in his artistic voice with recent commissions from Noel Edison and The Elora Festival Singers, Bramwell Tovey and The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and James Campbell (clarinet) and the New Zealand String Quartet. In 2009, Corlis’ large-scale choral work “Notes Towards a Poem That Can Never Be Written” was nominated for a JUNO Award (Canada’s most prestigious national award for music) in the category “best classical composition of the year.” Corlis is the first ever to be nominated for this award while still a student.

Corlis holds a Bachelor degree in anthropology and physics from the University of Waterloo, a Masters of Arts in Social and Political Thought from York University, and a Masters of Music from the University of Toronto, where he studied composition under composers Christos Hatzis and Ka Nin Chan, both two-time JUNO Award winners. He is currently a Canada Graduate Scholar (Canada’s highest national award for doctoral studies) at the University of British Columbia.


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