Music in First Person with Diana McIntosh
Sunday June 1, 2014 at 2:30pm
A retrospective of her theatrical music, with a big dash of humour
“An individual but genuinely poetic atmosphere.”
- NEW YORK TIMES
Described on Bravo TV news as a “national treasure”, Diana McIntosh has an active career as a distinctive, original, witty, and invocative composer and performer, inhabiting a unique space between two worlds. Well known for her creative imagination, she has written music for almost all media, and maintains a busy performance schedule. She has performed throughout Canada, widely in the USA, and in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Portugal, and in Kenya, Africa. She has been commissioned several times by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Rosebery Orchestra of London, England, CBC radio, New York New Music Ensemble, the Schnabel Duo of New York, The Royal College of Organists, the U.S. National Flute Association, the University of North Dakota Choir, and by prominent soloists. Billed as a “Festival Favorite”, she has written for, and performed in many of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festivals since their inception in 1990.
Originally from Calgary, McIntosh studied piano there, at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and in Winnipeg with Leonard Isaacs. She received a Bachelor of Music for Performance from the University of Manitoba, and had periodic lessons with Adele Marcus in New York. In 1978, McIntosh and Canadian composer Ann Southam, organized Music Inter Alia, western Canada’s first contemporary music series, centered in Winnipeg, and she was its Artistic Director for 14 years, until she joined two other groups to create Groundswell, of which she continues to be co-artistic director. In 1982 she was named “Woman of the Year in the Arts” in Manitoba, by the YWCA, was Composer-In- Residence at both the Festival of Sound, in Parry Sound, Ontario, and, for several years, at the Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba. In 2008 she received two commissions from the CBC. One was for A Mir Prelude and Fugue, for piano, in honour of Glenn Gould’s life and legacy, and premiered in the Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto. The other, Prodigies of the Nose, for speaking/playing pianist and percussionist, was premiered by McIntosh and Beverley Johnston in an all-McIntosh concert in Toronto’s Hellconian Hall. In 2009 her 60-minute chamber opera, The Rehearsal’s the Thing, for four speaking/playing musicians was performed in Toronto and Winnipeg.
McIntosh was nominated in both categories – Composer of the Year, and CD of the Year – in the Western Canada Classical Music Awards, attended the “Break out West” festival and performed her theatrical piece, “Aunt Kate” in that festival in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2011. In 2011 Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, commissioned McIntosh to write a one-woman theatrical work for the WSO New Music Festival. McIntosh premiered the piece, “You, Me and the Tree”, in their 2012 Festival.
Always explorative, Diana McIntosh is probably the only composer/performer who has performed in the cargo bay of a Bristol Freighter airplane (at the Western Canada Aviation Museum); on top of an airport control tower (at Old Warden Aerodrome, England); in the Royal Canadian Mint, (Winnipeg Branch); in the Scottish National Aviation Museum (East Lothian, Scotland); in The Canadian Aviation Museum (Ottawa); in The Aero Club of East Africa, and the Karen and Muthaiga Clubs (in Nairobi, Kenya); and at the Copall Equestrian Centre (in Winnipeg). Bravo-TV and CBC-TV have both produced two profiles on McIntosh and her music. Two of these may be seen on her website – www.dianamcintosh.com - As well as having her music on the CD’s of many recording artists, she has 3 CD’s exclusively of her own music – The Original McIntosh and Another Byte of McIntosh, and also a video, Serious Fun With McIntosh. Her Centredisk CD, Pinnacles, was launched at McNally Robinson’s Bookstore, Winnipeg on Feb. 24, 2011.