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About2

Rodney Sharman lives in Vancouver, BC. He has been Composer-in-Residence with the Victoria Symphony, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In addition to concert music, Rodney Sharman writes music for cabaret, opera and dance. He works regularly with choreographer James Kudelka, for whom he has written scores for Oregon Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. Recent premieres include Notes on "Beautiful", a transformation of music by Stephen Sondheim for New York pianist Anthony de Mare, and Violin Concerto, for Jonathan Crow and the Victoria Symphony conducted by Tania Miller. Sharman was awarded First Prize in the 1984 CBC Competition for Young Composers and the 1990 Kranichsteiner Prize in Music, Darmstadt, Germany. His chamber opera, Elsewhereless, with libretto and direction by Atom Egoyan, was performed in concert in Amsterdam, and staged thirty-five times since its 1998 premiere in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.


RODNEY SHARMAN (b. 1958) is a composer living in Vancouver, Canada. His work has been performed in more than thirty countries and at festivals of new music including the Bourges Festival (France), Ars Musica (Belgium), International Gaudeamus Music Week, Festival Confrontaties, Holland Festival (Netherlands), Wien Modern (Austria), Nyyd Festival (Estonia) the Almeida and Huddersfield Festivals (UK), ISCM World Music Day(Canada, Mexico, Germany, Switzerland), the North American New Music Festival, New Music Across America, Sub-Tropic Music Festival, Bang On A Can (USA) and the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music (Germany), at which he was awarded the 1990 Kranichsteiner Music Prize.

His music has been performed by orchestras in Canada, US, and Europe under conductors Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Mario Bernardi, Andrey Boreyko, Sergiu Comissiona, Charles Dutoit, Hans Graf, Eri Klas, Pavel Kogan, Tania Miller, Ed Spanjaard, Bramwell Tovey, and Bruno Weil. Others who have performed his work include the Aventa Ensemble, Vancouver New Music Society, ARRAYMUSIC, Ensemble SMCQ, Ensemble Exposé, CIKADA Ensemble, het Nieuw Ensemble, Ives Ensemble, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Arditti String Quartet, Quatour Bozzini, St. Lawrence String Quartet, pianists James Clapperton, Anthony de Mare, Michael Finnissy, Louise Bessette, Yvar Mikhashoff and John Snijders, organist Hans Ola Ericsson, violinist Denise Lupien, doublebassists Stephano Scodanibbio and Robert Black, flutist Camilla Hoitenga, harpsichordist Colin Tilney, harpists Erica Goodman, Ernestine Stoop, Sharlene Wallace and Rita Costanzi, the Hilliard Ensemble, musica intima and Chor Leoni, singers Valdine Anderson, Brett Polegato, Benoit Boutet and Romain Bischoff.

His music has been choreographed by Marie-Josée Chartier, David Earle, Christopher House and James Kudelka for Benoit Lachambre, Toronto Dance Theatre, Oregon Ballet Theatre, San Francisco Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. Elsewhereless, a chamber opera with libretto and direction by filmmaker Atom Egoyan, has been performed in concert in Amsterdam and staged thirty-five times since its 1998 premiere in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.

Dr. Sharman is a graduate of the University of Victoria School of Music (Victoria, B.C.), the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik (Freiburg, Germany) and the State University of New York at Buffalo, from which he received a Ph.D. in May, 1991. His former teachers include Murray Adaskin, Rudolf Komorous, Brian Ferneyhough, Morton Feldman, David Felder, Frederic Rzewski, Louis Andriessen and Lucas Foss.

Rodney Sharman was Composer-in-Residence of the Victoria Symphony (2008-2010), the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2004), the Vancouver Symphony (1997-2000) and its Composer/Music Advisor (2000-2001). During 1983-84 he was guest composer at the Institute of Sonology (Utrecht, Netherlands). He has taught at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of British Columbia School of Music, the School for the Contemporary Arts and Faculty of Graduate Liberal Studies, Simon Fraser University.

Rodney Sharman was President of the Canadian League of Composers (CLC) from 1993-98 and was president of the Canadian Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) from 1991-95. He served on the CLC Council from 1988 to 1999.


I was born in 1958 in Biggar, a small farming community in central Saskatchewan. My father's family were English. His father (my grandfather) was schoolmaster on Thunderchild Indian Reserve; my father grew up speaking Cree as well as English. My mother was born in Prince Albert, a small city in Northern Saskatchewan. Her family were ethnic Moravians who fled Czarist Russia in 1898. My first exposure to Classical Music was CBC television, our only station in the 1960's. Glenn Gould hosted a Sunday afternoon TV show called Music to See, where I first heard Gould and Menuhin play Schoenberg; my first exposure to opera and ballet were televised versions of Britten's Billy Budd and Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat. I began playing all the woodwinds and writing music at an early age on manuscript paper I drew myself - there was no score paper even in the music stores of the nearest city. I placed heavy books on the keys of my mother's electronic organ and improvised on the strings of the large upright piano, recording my efforts on a portable tape recorder. When I was fifteen, my family moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where I began to study, play and write music seriously. I studied composition with Murray Adaskin, one of Canada's most important musicians, a great inspiration and friend. (He's still writing music at age ninety-three.) I gave my first solo flute recital at age sixteen and began to teach; among my first students was Eve Egoyan, now a pianist devoted to the performance of new music. So began my private and public musical life. I have had the pleasure of studying with, working with and socializing with many great artists, musicians, dancers, choreographers, writers and film-makers. Each one has left a mark on my work and my character: Brian Ferneyhough, Yvar Mikhashoff, Michael Finnissy, Louis Andriessen, Kaija Saariaho, Linda Smith, Erica Goodman, Anthony de Mare, Rita Costanzi, Sergiu Comissiona, Charles Dutoit, Atom Egoyan, Joan Skogan, Barbara Ebbeson, David Earle, Marie-Josée Chartier, John Alleyne, James Kudelka... From Victoria I moved first to Freiburg, Amsterdam, Toronto, Buffalo. For some ten years now, I make my home in Vancouver, where I have been takingpleasure in writing music in a way that I have not done since I was a teenager, where I feel my artistic vision can stretch in all directions, where I am can shape culture as well as be shaped by it.

- Rodney Sharman, October, 1999