Composer Profile – Jocelyn Morlock

Juno-nominated composer Jocelyn Morlock is one of Canada’s most distinctive voices. She begins her term as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s Composer in Residence on September 1, 2014. She has just completed a term as inaugural Composer in Residence for Vancouver’s innovative concert series, Music on Main (2012 – 2014.)

“A lyrical wonder, exquisite writing” with “an acute feeling for sonority” and an approach that is “deftly idiomatic” (Vancouver Sun), Morlock’s music has received numerous accolades, including: Top 10 at the 2002 International Rostrum of Composers; Winner of the 2003 CMC Prairie Region Emerging Composers competition; winner of the Mayor’s Arts Awards in Vancouver (2008); two nominations for Best Classical Composition at the Western Canadian Music Awards (2006, 2010) and a Juno Nomination for Classical Composition of the Year (2011, Exaudi.) Her first full-length CD release, Cobalt, was  nominated for three Western Canadian Music Awards, for Classical Composition (Oiseaux bleus et sauvages and Cobalt) and Classical Recording of the Year, and won Classical Composition of the year (for Cobalt, featuring the NACO with soloists Jonathan Crow and Karl Stobbe, conducted by Alain Trudel) in 2015. Excerpts from the Cobalt CD can be found here.

jocelynMorlock’s international career was launched at the 1999 International Society for Contemporary Music’s World Music Days with Romanian performances of her quartet Bird in the Tangled Sky. Since then, she has become the composer of record for significant music competitions, including the 2008 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition and the 2005 Montreal International Music Competition, for which she wrote Amore, a tour de force vocal work that has gone on to receive more than 70 performances and numerous radio broadcasts.

Highlights of recent premieres include Earthfall for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Undark for Standing Wave, Big Raven for the Emily Carr String Quartet,  Three Meditations on Light, written for the debut concert of the Couloir duo at Music on Main’s Modulus Festival; Luft, a 35-minute music and dance production with choreography by Simone Orlando, featuring Josh Beamish and the dancers of MOVE: The Company, written for Turning Point Ensemble’s Rio Tinto Alcan prize-winning production Firebird 2011; In Situ, a large-scale collaboration with the Aeriosa Dance Ensemble premiered during the 2010 Cultural Olympiad and attended by over 7000 people; Theft for Standing Wave’s Too Strangean exploration of magical realism in music, and two CBC commissions: Asylum, a piano trio written for the 10th anniversary of the Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival and the 200th anniversary of Robert Schumann’s birth; and The Jack Pine, written for The Gallery Project, a partnership between Music and Beyond, CBC Radio Two and the National Gallery of Canada.

New CD releases featuring Morlock’s work include Cobalt, a disc of six of her orchestral works featuring the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Pacific Baroque Orchestra, the Windsor Symphony and the late, great CBC Radio Orchestra, as well as a piano trio featuring Duo Concertante; Couloir’s Wine-dark Sea, musica intima’s Into Light, (nominated for two 2010 Western Canadian Music Awards and two 2011 Juno Awards: Classical Album of the Year, and Classical Composition of the Year for Morlock’s Exaudi), Other notable, recent releases include Fringe Percussion’s eponymous debut album (nominated for a 2010 Western Canadian Music Award), pianist Rachel Iwaasa’s Cosmphony, the Canadian Chamber Choir’s In Good Company, and Tiresias Duo’s Delicate Fires (nominated for a 2008 Western Canadian Music Award.)

Jocelyn Morlock completed a Bachelor of Music in piano performance at Brandon University, studying with pianist Robert Richardson. She received both a Master’s degree and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of British Columbia. Among her teachers were Gerhard Ginader, Pat Carrabré, Stephen Chatman, Keith Hamel, and the late Russian-Canadian composer Nikolai Korndorf.

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