Les Éditions du Dos Blanc
Michel R. Edward, composer



imageMontreal-born composer Michel R. Edward began his musical studies under Andrée Bessette, in piano, at the Collège de Musique Sainte-Croix, complemented by studies in music history, theory, and ear training. He followed this with a D.E.C. in music from C.E.G.E.P. Saint-Laurent. Bachelor’s studies in composition were begun under André Prévost and Serge Garant, and completed under Allan Crossman at Concordia University, where he obtained a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music Theory/composition.

During this time, he acted as musical director for Camerata Ars Nova, a chamber ensemble specializing in the performance of lyrical contemporary works for small orchestra (fewer than 15 musicians).  This lead to five years as assistant to Semyon Vekshtein with the Choeur Classique de Montréal at the Festival International de Lanaudière, where he participated as rehearsal pianist, assistant conductor, and chorister. His interest in conducting, along with his passion for the works of Stephen Sondheim, led to performances with various groups, including conducting the Canadian première of Into The Woods.

Through the intervening years, work on scores for various independent short films lead to a disillusionment with the medium of the filmscore, and in turn a return to formal studies. Under Alan Belkin, at Université de Montréal, Michel received a Master’s degree in composition for a thesis exploring the classification and use of polychords. He has since devoted the majority of his time to composition, the preparation of a text on polyharmony, and teaching both composition and orchestration.

Michel now calls the lovely town of Crabtree, Québec, home.

Upcoming performances and events:

"Neige" for string orchestra/pour orchestre à cordes
                                premiere/création Montréal, May/mai 2018, Bologna, Italy, June/juin 2018
                                dans le cadre de l'échange Montréal-Bologne 2017-2018

"Les Sons et les parfums trournent dans l'air du soir" for chamber orchestra
                                premiere/création Seattle, February/fevrier 2018
                                commissioned by Octava Chamber Orchestra Seattle and Maestro Johan Louwersheimer
                                part of the "Composer in residence" program at Octava

Quatuor à cordes
                                commande du Quatuor Claudel-Canimex
                                création avril 2018

Notable and recent performances:

Symphony #3 opus 42 "A War Symphony" for soprano and orchestra
                                commissioned by: Maestro Johan Louwersheimer, for Octava Chamber Orchestra
                                soprano solo: Eliza Woodyard
                                September 24th, 2017

Quintet for clarinet and strings opus 44 "Chasse-Galerie"
                                commissioned by Société musicale Fernand-Lindsay Opus 130
                                clarinet solo: Simon Aldrich, Quatuor Claudel-Canimex, and narrator Yves Lambert
                                March 6th, 2016

Symphony #4 opus 43 "Symphony for strings"
                                commissioned by Maestro Natalie Cadotte, for l'Orchestre de chambre du CÉGEP Saint-Laurent
                                March 4th, 2016

Divertimento opus 38, for three trombones and orchestra
                               commissioned by:
                               Chilliwack Metropolitain Orchestra under Maestro Johan Louwersheimer
                               soloists: Barry A. Eggen, Robert F. Dyck, G. Victor Crewe
                               June 4th, 2011

Adagietto (excerpt from Sonate opus 31) for cello and piano
                               Festival de musique et des arts de Crabtree
                               Gwendolyn Smith, cello, Alan Belkin, piano

Suite Miniature #5  opus 29 for woodwind quintet 
                               Festival de musique et des arts de Crabtree
                               Quintette à vents Prana

Sonate opus 31 for cello and piano
                               Katja Bragina (cello) and Serhiy Salov (piano)
                               Saturday January 24th 2009 Salle Marie-Stéphane
                               628 Chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine, Outremont

Suite Miniature #5 opus 29 for woodwind quintet
                               Quintette à vents Prana
                               Saturday October 25th 2008, Salle Marie-Stéphane
                               628 Chemin de la Côte Sainte-Catherine, Outremont

Sonate opus 35 for clarinet and piano – concert
François Lebrun (clarinet) and Michael Baskin (piano)
                               Université de Montréal

Scherzo pour cordes opus 32 for string orchestra *
                               by  The Octava Chamber Orchestra
                               Seattle, Washington, November 11th, 2007

Sonate opus 31 for cello and piano
                                Marianne Houle (cello) and Tan Trao Phi (piano),
                                Chapelle Historique du bon Pasteur, Montréal
                                CD available for purchase

Petite Sonate en Duo (piano 4 hands)
                                Robert F. Jones and Michel R. Edward in concert at CAMMAC

Suite Miniature #3 (clarinet and english horn)
                                Charles Dallaire doctoral recital

Aspects (a new age suite)
                                In Conference with Pauline Edward, astrologer

"Meditations" for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra
                                Gail Issenman and Camerata Ars Nova

Quintet for piano and woodwinds
                            – Société Radio Canada, Quintessence wind quintet, and the composer at the piano.

* This performance was made possible through the generous financial support