Biography: Michael Dobinson
His works have been performed many ensembles (Earshot Concerts, Oiseaux Exotiques, the Composers' Orchestra, the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, the Ardeleana Trio, and the Canadian Electronic Ensemble), in cities across eastern Canada (London, Guelph, Toronto, Sudbury, Kingston, Montreal, St. John's, Palmerston, Mt. Forest, Stratford), and across Canada and parts of the USA (via CBC radio).
Michael Dobinson's middle initial is "R". |
Michael explores many themes, idioms, genres and even cultures in his work. He credits his studies at York University with opening his ears to many different influences (he lists Indian music, Gamelan Music, Gustav Mahler, Iannis Xenakis and John Cage as his most powerful influences) which he has drawn on freely and in different ways at different times. He also frequently explores the collision of nature and technology in his music, both in the sounds he uses and the structures he employs. His combination of acoustic and electronic musical instruments also reflects this theme.
Michael completed his musical training in two stages: first at York University (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours Music) and then at the University of Western Ontario (Masters of Music, Composition). During this time, in addition to receiving the normal training in European Classical music, he studied composition/orchestration with (among an unmentioned other or two) James Tenney, Phil Werren, David Lidov, David Myska, Jack Behrens and Peter Clements, and received exposure to Balinese, Indian, Japanese and Persian musical theory and aesthetics.
As a founding member of mmmmConcerts, Michael has been actively composing and performing new works, mostly of an electracoustmatic nature. The mmmmConcerts' 2012 season, commemorating the War of 1812, has been of particular interest to the composer and has (or is) inspir(ed/ing) several new works.
Since 2008, he has worked with the Canadian Conservatory of Music's (CNCM) at their Summer Sizzle pedagogy festivals. In 2008, his Piano Sonata 4 "Lost Rails" was given an abridged premiere in Palmerston Ontario as part of a gala concert of the CNCM's 2008 Summer Sizzle festival; this gala celebrated the publication of the CNCM's collection of piano music "Making Tracks"
He appeared at the Newfoundland Sound Symposium in the summer of 2004, where his Sonata for Violin and Live Electronics was premiered. A recent work for percussion trio, Only Fools, was programmed by Toronto-based Earshot concerts and broadcast on CBC's Two New Hours. His 8 Scenes for Trio was performed by the Composers' Orchestra in their 1997 selection of works from emerging composers. He won the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra's (SSO) Twentieth Anniversary Composers Competition of 1995 (the winning work, Studying Subatomic Particles from the Sun for Those Who Enjoy the Outdoors, was premiered in May of 1996) and was composer-in-residence with the SSO from 1996 to 1998. He placed in the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra composers' competition of 1994 (the placing work was Nadene (version for orchestra)). Another work, 3 Miniatures for Trio, has been performed several times by the Ardeleana trio after it was named the co-winning compostion in their 1993 composition contest.
In addition to his work as a composer, Michael has organized or appeared in numerous independently-produced concerts. At the present time, in addition to his musical activities, he under-works as an internet consultant.