La Scena Musicale

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Composer Malcolm Forsyth Passes Away

By Crystal Chan

Composer Malcolm Forsyth passed away in Edmonton on July 5th. He was 74 and had been battling cancer.

His compositions won him three Junos, several other recognitions, and the title of the Canadian Music Council's Composer of the Year in 1988.

Forsyth was also a trombone player who performed with the Montreal, Cape Town and Edmonton symphony orchestras and taught the instrument for many years, including at the University of Alberta until his retirement nine years ago, one year before he received the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal and was named a member of the Order of Canada.

His final composition, A Ballad of Canada, was premiered with him in the audience on June 9, 2011 by the National Arts Centre Orchestra and a 160-piece choir. Forsyth's daughter Amanda is the principal cellist of the NAC Orchestra and is married to Pichas Zukerman, its musical director.

It will be performed again in Edmonton by the Eaton Singers and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra on  November 11 and 12, 2011.

Read an interview conducted with Forsyth in April 2011 here, wherein he discusses, among other things, what makes art Canadian. 

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