Jean Coulthard: A Life in Music

Jean Coulthard: A Life in Music

by William Bruneau, David Duke

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Jean Coulthard demonstrated that a Canadian woman could be a successful professional composer, whose music was, and still is, played extensively in concert halls across Canada and internationally. Through her seven-decade career she composed in every genre of traditional classical music: opera, symphonies, concerti, chamber music, keyboard, voice, and choir. Coulthard's story was more than that of artist and teacher. She made a place for herself in a male-dominated university and, as a westerner, she fought for the artists of her community. As a traditionalist she upheld aesthetic values she believed important for her and for her audience. This insightful biography shows that behind the productivity and the contented family life, there were intriguing personal and professional friendships, international travel, and cultural politics. She knew and learned from Bartók and Schoenberg, yet in the end, she went her own Canadian way. The Coulthard story is deeply interconnected with twentieth-century Canadian art, and with the rise of Vancouver from provincial outpost to Pacific Rim metropolis. The authors describe several compositions from each stage of Coulthard's life, giving context and assessments of harmonic idiom, form and overall style."Jean Coulthard's harmonies touched me personally and warmed my soul. She has her own musical language, partly West Coast, mostly from another golden universe. She was comfortable with herself, yet kept searching for a different shade of colour to start another canvas. She is a Canadian treasure."—Peter Togni, Composer and CBC Radio Host

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781553800897
Publisher: Ronsdale Press
Publication date: 03/01/2005
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 216
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

William Bruneau began his post-secondary education in Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan, taking degrees in history and in education. He completed his doctorate at the University of Toronto, spending years in Paris and Oxford. He was a member of faculty at UBC from 1971 to 2003. He has lately been a member of the regional council of the Canadian Music Centre, and as a pianist, has been a vigorous proponent and performer of chamber music. When the opportunity arose to write a biography of Jean Coulthard, it was impossible to resist. The project was a collaboration with David Gordon Duke—an accomplished musicologist and composer. Combining history, music, and biography, Bill found the work on Coulthard allowed him to indulge his enthusiasms, and led to the creation of a permanent reminder of Coulthard's person and work. In 2005, he accepted a contract to edit and write a volume in the Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. That project, in collaboration with McMaster historian Stephen Heathorn, is to be published in 2011.
David Gordon Duke, composer, educator and writer, studied with Jean Coulthard and followed closely her career for many years. He presently teaches at the post-secondary level in Vancouver and reviews music for Canadian newspapers.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
A Musical Family17
Chapter 2
Music in Hard Times43
The Music: Variations on Good King Wenceslas (1933)52
Chapter 3
A New Professional Life69
The Music: Quebec May (1948)76
Chapter 4
A Year in France85
The Music: Spring Rhapsody (1958)101
Chapter 5
A Voice of Her Own105
The Music: Octet: Twelve Essays on a Cantabile Theme (1972)116
Chapter 6
At Last, A Time for Music123
The Music: Canada Mosaic (1974)132
Chapter 7
The Music: Image Astrale (1980) & Image Terrestre (1990)151
Chapter 8
Jean Coulthard: Life and Times167
A Selection of Jean Coulthard's Music181
Recordings on Compact Disk185
Publications and Sources193
Complete Citations for Abbreviations197

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