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Chris Meyer

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Chris Meyer


Chris Meyer is a Canadian composer, orchestrator, arranger and pianist.

Mr. Meyer writes:

I have followed an unusual path in my musical training. There was no prodigious start or discovery of talent at a young age – in fact, I resisted any attempt to be educated musically. One thing I remember is trying out one of the very early musical-notation programs for my Commodore 64, drawing pictures with musical notes and listening to the resulting sounds. Little did I realize that work would have qualified for an arts council grant. It was not until I was a teenager when my parents brought home a synthesizer (Ensoniq ESQ-1) that I discovered the value of having some musical training. However, soon after starting piano lessons, I discarded the synthesizer and schmaltzy pop songs, and became fascinated with classical music.

My introduction to classical music came from two sources. My parents would listen to Choral Concert on CBC radio every Sunday morning – a program I continued listening to until the retirement of Howard Dyck. The other source was the musical soundtracks to Looney Tunes cartoons. Alas, do the youth of today have pictures of Bugs and Elmer dancing in their heads when they hear Rossini's Barber of Seville or listen to Wagner's Tannhauser?

Throughout high school, I diligently worked on my piano studies and became interested in composition under the encouraging eye of James Carswell. Despite progressing rapidly, by the time of graduation I was still of modest ability, leading me to choose a scientific path for my university studies. At the University of Toronto I completed a degree in physics -- my other lifelong interest -- and then set off to teacher's college to become a high school science teacher. It was there that I met Ronald Royer.

Ron has nurtured many young musical talents under his guidance at the University of Toronto Schools. From him I took a few composition, counterpoint and orchestration lessons, which marked the end of my “formal” musical education.

What followed over the next few years were lessons much more valuable as I essentially worked as an apprentice in his musical workshop. While undergoing my apprenticeship I also continued my piano studies with Nada Engl, earning the performance A.R.C.T. from the Royal Conservatory of Music – my musical “credential”.

The first orchestral performances of my music were with the Mississauga Symphony under the leadership of John Barnum. From there my musical activities have led to performances and commissions by a variety of orchestras in Southern Ontario: Stratford, Sarnia and Port Huron, Mississauga, Huronia (Barrie), Georgian Bay and Scarborough. I have since served as composer in residence for the Stratford Symphony Orchestra (2009-2015) during which time I wrote many new works and arrangements. October 2015 saw a performance of my work by the Toronto Symphony as part of an open call for scores. In December 2015 I was awarded a commission by the National Youth Orchestra to write a piece for their 2016 summer tour.

Works for Winds