Peterborough (Ontario, Canada), 1942

Canadian composer Brian Cherney studied composition with Samuel Dolin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (1960-1963), and later at the University of Toronto with John Weinzweig, where he received graduate degrees in both composition (Mus.M.’67) and musicology (Ph.D.’74). He was appointed to the Faculty of Music at McGill University, where he currently teaches composition.

Cherney has written more than sixty pieces since 1974, in a variety of genres. His music has been performed and broadcast throughout Canada, in Europe, the United States, South America and Japan. He has received commissions from many organizations and performers, including the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec, the Esprit Orchestra, the 1990 New Music America Festival, Rivka Golani, Louis-Philippe Pelletier, Robert Aitken, and Antonio Lysy, among many others.

In 1979, Cherney’s String Trio, a CBC commission, tied for first place among the “recommended” works at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. He later earned the 1985 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music for River of Fire. Recent works include La princesse lointaine, performed by the Toronto Symphony in 2003; Vers minuit, performed by the Orchestre symphonique de Québec in 2002; two works for a cappella choir, Tenebrae and Hannah’s Prayer, for Peter Schubert’s Viva Voce; and Le miroir des anges, commissioned by the Nouvel ensemble moderne (premiered in France, in 2003).

Much of Cherney’s music has been published by Les Éditions Doberman-Yppan. He is also the author of a monograph on the music of Harry Somers, commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre (University of Toronto Press, 1975).