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Patrick Cardy: Biography

Patrick Cardy
1953 - 2005
Region: Ontario

Patrick Cardy

(b. 1953 d.2005) PATRICK CARDY was born in Toronto, and raised in Kitchener. He held a Mus.B. degree (Theory and Composition) from the University of Western Ontario, where he studied with Arsenio Giron and Donald Steven. He also had M.M.A. and D.Mus. degrees (Composition) from McGill University, where he studied with Bengt Hambraeus. In 1977 he taught in the Music Department (as of 1991 it became known as the the School for Studies in Art and Culture) at Carleton University, where he was a Full Professor.

He received over 40 commissions from numerous performers and institutions, including:

  • Divertimento Orchestra (new work for orchestra)
  • Lisgar Collegiate String Ensemble (Hope (2002), for string orchestra)
  • Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival (Zodiac Dances, Book Three (2002), and Balulalow (2003), for voice and piano)
  • Saxart (Peregrine (2001) and Juggernaut (2001), for saxophone quartet)
  • The National Arts Centre Orchestra and Platypus Theatre (Rhythm in Your Rubbish (2001), for orchestra)
  • The Edmonton Symphony (Trobadores (2000), for orchestra)
  • The St. Lawrence String Quartet (Zodiac Dances, Books One and Two (2000), for string quartet and (optional) visuals and dancer(s))
  • The Hannaford Street Silver Band (Kalenda Maya (1999), for brass band), cl
  • arinetist Paul Bendzsa and the Newfoundland Symphony (Bonavista (1997), for clarinet and orchestra), baritone Brian McMillan
  • Thirteen Strings and mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah (...and in the night the gentle earth is falling into morning... (1998), for voice and string orchestra (or piano))
  • The Ottawa Chamber Music Festival (Chasing Beethoven (1998), for string quartet)
  • Mary Bullock (The Return of the Hero (1997), for voice and piano)
  • Stephen and Catherine Rollins (Sans Souci (1996), for flute and guitar)
  • Cellist Julian Armour (Liesel, Suse, Ilze and Gerda (1996), for violoncello (or violin or viola) and piano)
  • l'Ensemble du Jeu Présent (La Folia (1996), for chamber orchestra)
  • The CBC for the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra (Dreams of the Sídhe (1995), for string orchestra)
  • The CBC for Les Sonneurs and the Toronto Consort (Te Deum (1995), for voices and brass)
  • Pianist Angela Hewitt (Silver and Shadow (1994), for piano)
  • Ottawa's Thirteen Strings (Fhir a Bhata: The Boatman (1994), for string orchestra)
  • Violist Maria Lambros Kannen (Elegy (1994), for two violas)
  • Flutist Robert Cram and the Ottawa Symphony (Et in Arcadia ego (1994), for flute and orchestra)
  • the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival (Danses folles et amoureuses (1993) , for flute, oboe (or clarinet), violin, violoncello and harpsichord)
  • The Ottawa Quartet ("Dulce et decorum est..." (1993), for string quartet)
  • The Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (Autumn (1992), for voice and piano)
  • The Composers' Orchestra and marimbist Beverley Johnston (Chaconne (1992), for marimba and chamber orchestra)
  • Clarinetist Gene Ramsbottom (Serenade (1992), for clarinet, bassoon and string orchestra)
  • The CBC Vancouver Orchestra (Avalon (1991), for orchestra)
  • The Pierrot Ensemble (The Little Mermaid (1990), for narrator and chamber ensemble)
  • The Manfred Trio (Tombeau (1989), for clarinet, violoncello and piano)
  • Clarinetist Robert Riseling (Tango! (1989), for clarinet, violin and piano)
  • Clarinetist James Campbell and the Festival of the Sound (Qilakitsoq: The Sky Hangs Low (1988), for clarinet, bassoon, horn and piano)
  • Violin/viola duo Jerry and Janos Csaba (Mimesis (1987), for violin and viola)
  • Baritone Paul Massel (Les Eaux de Tristesse ! (1986), for baritone and piano)
  • Duo pianists Elaine Keillor and Christina Petrowska (Outremer: The Land Beyond the Sea (1985), for piano four-hand and tuned crystal glasses)
  • The CBC for clarinetist James Campbell and Ottawa's Thirteen Strings (Virelai (1985), for clarinet and string orchestra)
  • Organist David MacDonald and Halifax's inNOVAtions in Music (Éclat (1984), for organ)
  • Toronto's ARRAYMusic (Jig (1984), for clarinet, viola, violoncello, contrabass, piano and percussion)
  • Flutist/saxophonist Jean-Guy Brault (Mirages (1984), for alto saxophone (or flute) and piano)
  • Flutist Carmelia MacWilliam and organist Richard Dacey ("...time presses and night begins to fall..." (1982), for flute and organ)
  • The Canadian Centennial Choir (Jeu d'Enfant (1981), for (optional) solo contrabass and choir)
  • The Concept String Quartet (The Snow Queen (1980), for narrator and string quartet)
  • pianist Dale Maves (Angels (1980), for flute, oboe, violoncello and piano)
  • The Alliance for Canadian New Music Projects (Sparkle (1980), for flute and piano)
  • The Canadian Federation of University Women (Golden Days, Silver Nights (1977), for soprano and chamber ensemble).
  • These and many of his other works, including The Masks of Astarte (1981), for piano, and Re-Atum (1976), for organ, have been performed and broadcast frequently in Canada and around the world.

His music was characterized by colourful, evocative sonorities, a strong sense of dramatic gesture, an elegant lyricism and an accessible directness of expression, traits that have captivated both listeners and performers. His numerous awards included three CAPAC Fellowships (1975, 1978, 1979), the 1976 Canadian Federation of University Women Creative Arts Award, three finalist selections in the CBC Radio Competition for Young Composers (1978 - Sunspots (1975, rev. 1980), for solo electric violoncello; 1980 - Golden Days, Silver Nights; 1982 - Angels), a selection (for Apokalypsis (1978), for orchestra and chamber choir) in the 1980 Gaudeamus International Music Week, a 1992 JUNO Award nomination (for Virelai), and a special shorlist commendation by the jury of the 2003 Masterprize (for Trobadores). Recordings of two of his works are available on CBC Records: Virelai, by clarinetist John Rapson and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, conducted by Mario Bernardi (CBC SMCD5094), and Éclat, by organist David MacDonald (MVCD1104), the latter of which was named Best Classical Recording at the 1999 East Coast Music Awards. A recording of six of his chamber works - Tango!, Tombeau, Sans Souci, Danses folles et amoureuses, Liesel, Suse, Ilze and Gerda and Jig - was released on the CanSona Arts Media label (CAM 2000-01) in August, 2000.

In addition to his work as a composer, Dr. Cardy was active as an adjudicator, broadcaster and lecturer on music, was the past president of Espace Musique, Ottawa's new music concert society, and served previously as the Treasurer of the Canadian University Music Society, and President of the Canadian League of Composers. In 1996, he served as new music advisor to the National Arts Centre Orchestra for its "A Tonal Departure" new music festival.


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