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Richard Mascall: Biography

Richard Mascall
1972 -
Region: Ontario

Richard Mascall

Richard Mascall immigrated to Canada with his family at an early age and grew up in the Toronto area. His classical music training began at North Toronto Collegiate Institute, in their notable string program, as well as at the Royal Conservatory of Music where he studied theory with Dr. Anthony Dawson and piano and composition with Canadian composer Pierre Gallant. Mr. Mascall went on to study music at the University of Toronto where he graduated with a B.Mus in Composition in 1997. His principal teachers were Chan Ka Nin, Walter Buczynski and Derek Holman. He also studied at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo with Glenn Buhr for a year. After a few years of musical freelancing, Mr. Mascall returned to U of T to pursue a Masters Degree working with Christos Hatzis.

Mr. Mascall's music first gained national attention when his virtuosic work for unaccompanied violin with digital electronics, Labyrinth, was performed by former Orford String Quartet leader Andrew Dawes at the 1992 CBC Young Composers Competition in Vancouver. It won the Audience award and the Second Prize in the chamber music category. Labyrinth is the first of five movements from his Violin Sonata No.1 which won a SOCAN Pierre Mercure Award in 1994. Labyrinth has since been taken up by many leading Canadian violinists. It was premiered by (and is dedicated to) Vancouver Symphony concertmaster Mark Fewer. Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra concertmaster, Gwen Hoebig presented it at the orchestra's 1993 New Music Festival. Scott St. John delivered the American premiere at his debut recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in 1995. Penderecki String Quartet leader Jerzy Kaplanek also gave a notable performance at a Kitchener-Waterloo NUMUS concert in 1997. It has been played by numerous other soloists across the country including a performance by Angela Luchkow in the 1995 Edmonton New Music Festival. Labyrinth was chosen by the CBC to represent Canada at the 1993 International Rostrum of Composers in Paris, France where it was voted fourth overall in the 'under-30' category. It has been broadcast many times on CBC Radio as well as internationally in over ten countries.

This exposure led to the 1994 CBC commission of Illumination for the inaugural concert of Scott St. John's Millennium Ensemble. The premiere was given by some of Canada's leading soloists: Scott St. John, James Parker and Thomas Wiebe with Israeli clarinetist Sharon Kam in Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio. Subsequently, Mr. Mascall's String Quartet was premiered by the principals of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra at the 1995 Winnipeg New Music Festival. Grunge for drum kit and orchestra was premiered by Chosei Komatsu and the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony at the 1998 Open Ears New Music Festival. All of these pieces have been recorded and broadcast by CBC Radio.

In addition to his interest in writing concert music, Mr. Mascall has pursued more commercial endeavours as well. In 1999, he wrote the score for Anais Granofsky's debut film 'Have Mercy". This independent feature has been broadcast repeatedly on the Bravo network as well as Toronto's 'CityTV'.

Mr. Mascall is presently the Composer-in-Residence of the Georgian Bay Symphony as well as the music director of the Georgian Bay Symphony Youth Orchestra. He lives with his partner composer, Stephanie Moore in Leith, a small rural community near Owen Sound.