Studies in Poetry Vol 5: Lecture/Demonstration by Dr. John Burge


Tuesday January 23, 2024
11:30 am - 1:00 pm

STUDIES IN POETRY is a series of etudes for solo piano started in 2000 by composer, John Burge, that pay tribute to some of his favourite modern-day poets writing inthe English language. While each piece stands on its own, these virtuosic works are published in volumes containing three etudes and form a pleasantly contrasting set. The music recognizes the poet by interpreting the title of a book of their poetry in a musical fashion. In this presentation and performance, John Burge will talk about finding inspiration, the poets, their poetry, and the music contained in Volume 5, composed from 2020-2022 as follows: LEFT-HANDED [poet Jonathan Galassi], RIPPLE EFFECT [poet Elaine Equi] and GRIEF SEQUENCE [poet Prageet Sharma]. The presentation will open with a performance of Burge’s EVERYTHING WAITS FOR THE LILACS, a piano piece dating from 1996 that was the springboard for the STUDIES IN POETRY series.

Dr. John Burge is a classically trained composer and pianist, holding degrees from the University of Toronto and British Columbia. He has composed a large body of instrumental and vocal music in all genres including opera. Many of his orchestral works, such as SNOWDRIFT, THE CANADIAN SHIELD and ROCKY MOUNTAIN OVERTURE, are regularly performed by orchestras across Canada and internationally. His string orchestra work, FLANDERS FIELDS REFLECTIONS, as recorded by Sinfonia Toronto, received the 2009 Juno Award for the Best Canadian Classical Composition. Since 1987 he has been teaching at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, where he is a full professor at the DAN School of Drama and Music. In 2014 he was inducted as a Fellow into the Royal Society of Canada in recognition of his success as a composer and his leadership and advocacy on behalf of Canadian music. Over the last decade, John Burge has been publishing his piano music with Red Leaf Pianoworks, with a number of these piano pieces being listed in conservatory syllabi and used as test pieces for competitions. He enjoys working with music students of all ages and is in high demand as a music festival adjudicator.

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