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COMPOSER SHOWCASE

Ronald J. Royer: Biography

Ronald J. Royer
1959 -
Region: Ontario

Ronald J. Royer

Born in Los Angeles into a family of professional musicians, Ronald Royer began his career as a cellist, performing with such ensembles as the Utah Symphony, Pacific Symphony and Toronto Symphony, as well as working in the Motion Picture and Television Industry in Los Angeles.  He moved to Canada in 1985 and holds a Master's Degree in Composition from the University of Toronto.  He has studied with Lothar Klein, Walter Buczynski and Alexander Rapoport.  He is currently serving as an Instructor of Music for the University of Toronto Schools.

Mr. Royer is emerging as a prominent Canadian composer with numerous commissions, performances and commercial recordings.  His compositions have been performed throughout Canada, the United States, Germany and the Czech Republic by such artists as violinist Catherine Manoukian, cellists Shauna Rolston and Simon Fryer, flautist Nora Shulman, pianist Lydia Wong, and the St. Lawrence String Quartet.  More than twenty-five orchestras have performed his works, including the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic, Toronto Sinfonietta, Composer's Orchestra, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Canadian Sinfonietta, Niagara Symphony, Sinfonia Mississauga, and the Okanagan Symphony.  His music has been broadcast across Canada on CBC radio.  From 1998 to 2002, Mr. Royer served as Composer-in-Residence for the Toronto Sinfonietta, for which he wrote six orchestra commissions.

Recordings include the Toronto Sinfonietta's "Romancing Chopin" CD honouring the 150th anniversary of the death of Chopin.  Mr. Royer was commissioned to write three original compositions:  "In Memoriam Fryderyk Chopin", "Fantaisie-Impromptu" and "Nocturne", and arranged three Chopin compositions for chamber orchestra.  Mr. Royer's "A Short Odyssey" for cello and piano was recorded on the CD "Music of a Life So Far" featuring cellist Simon Fryer and pianist Lydia Wong.  In the summer of 2002, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic sponsored the recording and performed his "Overture to an Unscripted Movie".

Commissions for the spring of 2003 include "Love's Labours" based on a text by William Shakespeare for soprano Patricia O'Callaghan, tenor Colin Ainsworth, and the Talisker Players.  The Chamber Music Society of Mississauga, in association with Heritage Mississauga, the Mississauga International Children's Festival, the Peel Board of Education and the Lloyd S. King Elementary School of the Mississaugas of the New Credit Reserve has also commissioned Mr. Royer to compose music to accompany the Ojibway story "The Star and the Lily" with a new text by Mark Brownell.  This is part of a children's theatre project called "A Story Teller's Bag" which will receive numerous performances and will be commercially recorded. 

Performances in the spring of 2003 will include the Mississauga Symphony, the Prince George Symphony, the Canadian Sinfonietta, the Scarborough Philharmonic, the Toronto Wind Orchestra, and the "In Praise of Music" Chamber Orchestra in Los Angeles.

2004 commissions include a Double Concerto for flutist Patrick Gallois and cellist Shauna Rolston to be premiered in Finland, and a new orchestra work for conductor John Barnum and the Mississauga Symphony.

Ronald Royer has written for a variety of ensembles including orchestral, choral, vocal, wind ensemble, and chamber.  His music employs expressive melodies, rich harmonies, energetic rhythms, colourful orchestrations and tight and integrated structures.  Los Angeles music producer and musicologist Jeannie Pool writes, "A Musician's composer, Ronald Royer's music is beautifully conceived, well-structured and intricately detailed.  His musical sensibility, dramatic flair, and clear headedness result in new music which is a joy to listeners and players alike."  He is also in demand as a conductor, lecturer and concert host.

2003

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