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Jan Jarvlepp: Biography

Jan Jarvlepp
1953 -
Region: Ontario

Jan Jarvlepp

Composer Jan Järvlepp began playing pop guitar at the age of 12 and  took up cello in high school at the age of 14. He also learned to  play bass guitar and harmonica at this time. In university he majored  in composition while developing his cello playing skills. As his  studies progressed, he realized that he was not on the same wavelength as his modernist composition teachers. Järvlepp returned to his native Ottawa in 1981 after completing his doctoral studies in composition and twentieth century music at the University of California, San Diego. His composition teachers over the years were de Pablo, Alcides Lanza, Will Ogdon and Roger Reynolds.  Once back in Canada, Järvlepp joined the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and has been active as a freelance cellist, composer, teacher, recording technician and contractor for chamber music groups.

Once outside of the university environment, he began composing in a newer, postmodern style of neo-tonal music that would not be acceptable among the academics. Järvlepp has been delving deeper and deeper into the world of pop-influenced contemporary "classical" composition. He has completely turned his back on the avant-garde modernism that he was rigorously trained in to concentrate on postmodern style. He has also taken an interest in Hispanic, flamenco, Arab and Nordic folk styles. The result has been a variety of accessible pieces of music that appeal to a surprisingly wide cross section of the public. At times Järvlepp employs unusual combinations of instruments that have not previously been heard in the world of classical music. He has composed over 50 works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra and electronic instruments.


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