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Allan Gordon Bell: Biography

Allan Gordon Bell
1953 -
Region: Prairie

Allan Gordon Bell

Allan Gordon Bell was born in Calgary in 1953. He received a Master of Music degree from the University of Alberta where he studied with Violet Archer, Malcolm Forsyth, and Manus Sasonkin. He also did advanced studies in composition at the Banff Centre for the Arts where his teachers were Jean Coulthard, Bruce Mather, and Oskar Morawetz.

He has created works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra, band, and electroacoustic media. His works have been performed by the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra the Orford String Quartet, the Purcell String Quartet, the ensembles of Toronto New Music Concerts, Arraymusic and the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, and many other professional and amateur organizations in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Israel, and Japan. In 1988, his Concerto for Two Orchestras was performed at the Olympic Arts Festival; in 1989, his Arche II was performed by the finalists at the Banff International String Quartet Competition and was sent by the CBC as the English Network submission to the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris; in 1992, his An Elemental Lyric was performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C., and Symphony Hall in Boston; and in 1996, his Danse sauvage was the imposed piece for the 1996 Esther Honens International Piano Competition. The Association of Canadian Choral Conductors presented him with an award for outstanding choral compositions in both 1994 and 1999. In February of 2001, the Calgary Opera Association and Quest Theatre presented the premiere performances of his chamber opera Turtle Wakes, and in August of 2001, Ensemble Resonance presented the Asian premiere of his a great arch softening the mountains at the Cantai International Festival in Taipei. In February of 2002, Bell was the distinguished visiting composer at the Winnipeg New Music Festival where four of his compositions were performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. CBC Records has released a CD entitled Spirit Trail: The Music of Allan Gordon Bell that contains five of his orchestral pieces.

Bell is Professor of Music at the University of Calgary. From 1984 to 1988, he served as President of the National Board of the Canadian Music Centre. His music is available from the Canadian Music Centre, Alberta Keys and Gordon V. Thompson


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