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Michael Purves-Smith (1945-2018)

Michael Purves-Smith (1945-2018)

January 19, 2018

The Canadian Music Centre joins with the music community to mourn the death of Canadian composer and CMC Associate Composer, Michael Purves-Smith (1945-2018). An ongoing contributor to the former CMC Notations magazine, he was also involved in the evaluation and grading of wind repertoire in the CMC collection. A conductor, composer, performer (oboe, recorder, keyboards) and environmental activist, Purves-Smith earned a Master of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia in 1971, studying under the composer, Elliot Weisgarber.

Although his compositions include many works for wind ensemble, and for various instrumental chamber configurations, his passion was for the voice. He wrote operatic stage works, such as a setting of the complete Rape of the Lock (Alexander Pope), a full length opera, Temple de la mémoire, and a fête galante, Le Chien de Watteau, which has been staged in France, Germany, and Canada. His 12 song cycles and four extended dramatic arias qualify him as one of the most prolific Canadian composers of art song.

For an extended biography, please consult:

A tribute to Michel Purves-Smith can be found at

Related Composers: Michael Purves-Smith