Location: Quebec, Canada
Donald Patriquin was eleven when he began to compose and though his musical career was briefly “interrupted” by biology studies he was always involved in music as composer, performer, accompanist or conductor, the latter including Gilbert and Sullivan’s and Broadway musicals. Environmental themes are often found in his original music.
Donald graduated from McGill and Toronto Universities where he studied composition with Istvàn Anhalt - a pupil of Bartòk and Kodaly - and John Weinzweig respectively. As professor at McGill's Faculty of Music for many years, he taught theory, musicianship and arranging and directed a variety of ensembles. He now free-lances in his native Eastern Townships, where he conducts, composes, performs, accompanies and publishes.
His output includes many choral and instrumental works, liturgical settings, a piano concerto, works for voice and piano, and music for theatre, ballet and mixed media. He is especially well-known for his folk music arrangements and for his many pieces written specifically for children’s choirs, his initial interest having been stimulated by his creation of the Children’s Musical Workshop while at McGill.
Internationally known, his eclectic output of choral works include a Caribbean Mass based on Caribbean traditions and instruments; Reflections on Walden Pond, commissioned by Pennsylvania's Cantate Carlisle; and Psalms & Canticles of Praise and Peace, a major work commissioned by the American Guild of Organists. His Antiphon and the Child of Mary was awarded first prize in the New York's Melodious Accord Biennial Composition Search for New Choral Music. In Canada, his choral arrangements include World Music Suite One, commissioned by the Toronto Children's Chorus, and World Music Suite Two (a.k.a. Canadian Mosaic), written for the English Montreal School Board Chorale. He was also commissioned by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens to write Hangman's Reel, a ballet score based on the music performed by the legendary Quebec fiddler, Jean Carignan. His original works include Cycles, a setting of Frank Scott's poetry; Tom Barnett’s Songs for the Holy One, a new translation of the Psalms of David, with refrains by Donald; and large-scale compositions such as Earthpeace One and Two, Celebration for the Planet Earth, and Requiem for the Titanic. Donald’s collaboration on a major historical musical, Louisa, with librettist Sunil Mahtani, was produced in April 2005, and most recently he wrote the musical score for Waiting on a Dream (aka Chickasaw/Love and Larceny), a musical comedy with the Canadian connection in the American Civil War as backdrop. He is currently working on a third musical, Miz Laurier for a cast of six, with playwright Joanna Gosse, and is writing new repertoire specifically for men’s chorus (TTBB).
Donald's music is found on many CDs and is often heard on radio. He is a member of the Canadian Music Centre, Canadian League of Composers, SOCAN and Association of Canadian Choral Conductors. He was recently recognized through his inclusion in Who Is Who In Choral Music, the first ever compendium of world choral composers. (Lazri & Simon Kulturprojekte GbR, HYPERLINK "http://www.choralguide.de/"www.choralguide.de; ISBN 978-3-00-022159-0) Donald provided the concluding chapter to a recent book on Canadian choral conductors in which he discusses such topics as copyright, composing/arranging, commissioning, Canadian choral identity, and choir loyalty. The book is available from all music retailers. (In Their Own Words- Canadian Choral Conductors by Holly Higgens Jonas; Dundurn Press, HYPERLINK "http://www.dundurn.com/"www.dundurn.com; ISBN 1-55002-358-6)” More information, catalog of works, sound clips, Youtube videos etc. may be found at donaldpatriquin.com. He is available for commissions, conducting and workshops of his music.