Thursday evening, June 9th, marked the 2011 presentation of the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. Composer R.Murray Schafer was one of this year’s recipients. The multi-talented Schafer was honoured for his internationally-acclaimed “achievements as a composer, educator, environmentalist, literary scholar, visual artist and provocateur”.
Schafer is a prolific composer and has written works ranging from orchestral compositions to choral music as well as musical theatre and “multi-media ritual”. In 2001-2002 he was commissioned to write a concerto for NEXUS and the student symphony orchestra at the University of Toronto. “Shadow Man” was the result, a work that follows the life of a military drummer from his youth to old age and death from Altzheimer’s disease.
Schafer’s “Epitaph for Moonlight” is part of NEXUS’ repertoire with choir and Bill Cahn also uses it as an example piece in his “Listening Workship” entitled “The Influence of Non-Western Music In Western Art Music”.
NEXUS also shares with Schafer the honour of having been awarded the Banff Centre of the Arts National Award which recognizes those who achieve much in their own careers, contribute significantly to the development of their art form, and encourage and train the next generation.
Congratulations to R.Murray Schafer and the all of this year’s honorees.