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Robert Rival: Biography

Robert Rival
1975 -
Region: Ontario

Robert Rival

Robert Rival was the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra’s Resident Composer from 2011-2014. His music, written in a contemporary tonal style and inspired by the Canadian wilderness, literature, and classical and romantic musical forms, has been described as "well crafted", "engaging", "immediately appealing", "melodic and accessible", "sophisticated", "memorable"—and his song cycle, Red Moon and Other Songs of War, as "an unequivocal hit". His orchestral works, programmed regularly across Canada, include Lullaby, for the ESO's Carnegie Hall debut—lauded as an "atmospheric dream world" and "a work of quiet rapture and refined sensibility"; the muscular Achilles & Scamander; the dazzling Whirlwind; Northwest Passage Variations on the Stan Rogers tune; the Renaissance-inspired Delights & Discords for chorus and wind ensemble; and the sweeping Symphony No. 2 "Water" whose textures and rhythms were suggested by the ocean and rainforest. His diverse catalogue of chamber music is widely performed. Scholarly publications include articles on Shostakovich and Nielsen. He has written liner and program notes for major festivals and record labels. Rival holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Toronto. Based in Kingston, Ontario, where he teaches at Queen's University, Rival lives with his wife Chantal-Andrée Samson, a realist oil painter, and their son.


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