Queen's University


Faculty Research Spotlight:

John Burge

Professor (Theory and Composition) 

Email: burgej@queensu.ca

B.Mus. (Toronto), M.Mus. (Toronto), D.M.A. (U.B.C.), A.R.C.T. (Piano), F.R.S.C.

In addition to a number of smaller composition projects, 2017 was a significant year for John Burge as two large works, requiring many years of research and preparation,  were presented for the first time on the stage and in the concert hall.  The first of these projects was the premiere in January of ONE LAST NIGHT WITH MATA HARI, a one-woman, cabaret-style show that requires a pianist who must also act. The book and lyrics for the show were written by Craig Walker, Director of the Dan School, and the show premiered at the Isabel Bader Performing Arts Centre starring Patricia O’Callaghan with Gregory Oh on the piano. More information about the show including a nine-minute trailer can be found at: Mata Hari Homepage.  

The second work completed was written to satisfy a multiple orchestra commission and is titled, FOUR SEASONS OF THE CANADIAN FLAG and was composed in tribute of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation. With funding provided by the Ontario Arts Council, this work is based on the art work of B.C. artist, Maxwell Newhouse, and was written in a small orchestra version for the Saskatoon and Kingston Symphony Orchestras to play in their home cities and a large, Romantic orchestra version for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada to play in Stratford, Montreal and Nanaimo. Do check out the work's homepage to see a photograph of the four canvases that inspired the piece as well as to hear a CBC interview with the artist and composer: Four Seasons of the Canadian Flag Homepage. The NYOC will be releasing a CD recording of the work in the Fall of 2017.  

Additionally, as a pianist, John Burge has two performances scheduled in 2017 that feature his own TWENTY-FOUR PRELUDES for solo piano. The first performance is part of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Summer Summit in Calgary on the last weekend of August then in Vancouver at the Canadian Music Centre’s B.C. Office’s Theatre on Sunday night, October 15th (Check out the CMC-BC Office for details in the fall).