OAF News

Dean Burry, Composer, Educator and Artistic Director Wins the Louis Applebaum Composers Award

Toronto, October 31, 2011 – Composer and educator Dean Burry has won the Louis Applebaum Composers Award. This year's $10,000 award recognizes excellence in a body of work by an artist in the field of music composition for young people. The award was presented at a dress rehearsal of Mr. Burry's opera, Isis and the Seven Scorpions, at the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre on Saturday, October 29, 2011. This is Mr. Burry's second opera for the Canadian Opera Company, and is currently touring Southern Ontario.

Dean Burry is a composer, librettist, lyricist, educator and artistic director. In seeking ways to combine his love of theatre and music, he began composing operas and musicals. In 1998 he was commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company to write The Brothers Grimm, a new opera for the company's annual school tour. The opera was a great success and was the first work to put the composer on a national stage. The Brothers Grimm has been seen by over 120,000 students since 2001.

Other major works include The Hobbit, Baby Kintyre, The Mummers' Masque and The Bremen Town Musicians. The Vinland Traveler, commissioned by Memorial University of Newfoundland, toured 6,500 km throughout the province including performances at several Inuit and Innu schools in Northern Labrador. CBC's Musicraft broadcast a complete performance of The Vinland Traveler in November 2006.

The jurors noted Dean's ability to create "an expressive and innovate sound world which children find captivating (and) you can hear the joy in children's voices during their performances."

Dean is currently working on a new opera for young people and an opera-oratorio based on the story of disgraced child pathologist Charles Smith.

The Louis Applebaum Composers Fund was established at the Ontario Arts Foundation in 1998 by Louis Applebaum to recognize excellence in music composition of any genre. ìCanadian composer Louis Applebaum devoted his life to the cultural awakening of Canada, and this ìmagnificent obsessionî drove him to become a founder of the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre. He was an instrumental figure in the early development of the National Film Board, the Stratford Festival, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. For nearly half a century he composed music for the Stratford Festival, television, radio and filmsî (from Louis Applebaum, A Passion for Culture by Walter Pitman, Dundurn Press).

The Ontario Arts Foundation manages the endowment that funds the Louis Applebaum Composers Award. The Ontario Arts Council administered the nomination and selection process working with Award Committee members Thomas Bell, conductor of Mississauga Children's Choir, Elaine Keillor, music historian and educator, and Cathy Nosaty, composer and artistic director.

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For further information, please contact:
Alan Walker, Executive Director, Ontario Arts Foundation
416 969 7413
awalker@arts.on.ca

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