Steven, Donald. Composer, teacher, b Montreal 26 May 1945; B MUS (McGill) 1972, MFA (Princeton) 1974. After performing and arranging folk and rock music for several years, he studied composition at McGill University with Bruce Mather 1968-72, and at Princeton U, NJ with Milton Babbitt 1972-4. He began teaching composition at McGill University in 1975 and became the head of the performance department in 1986. As a composer he has received several awards, including a BMI Award to Student Composers in 1970, the Canadian Federation of University Women's Creative Arts Award in 1972 and a Juno Award for Pages of Solitary Delights in the best classical composition category in 1987. By 1990, more than 140 performances of 27 of his works had been given in Canada, the USA and Europe, including Images during the ISCM World Music Days in Helsinki, Finland in 1978. His works have been commissioned by such world-renowned artists as Maureen Forrester, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Bertram Turetsky, and from several Canadian musical societies including the SMCQ, Days, Months and Years to Come (Magnetic Band), the Pierrot Ensemble, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, NMC and the CBC. Illusions for solo cello is one of his most frequently performed and broadcast works. Most of his works emphasize instrumental colour and atmosphere. Yet he maintains the elaboration of flexible formal structures while giving his intuition free rein to develop, an influence most likely derived from his longstanding relationship with rock and popular music. Steven won the 1991 Jules Léger Prize for his In the Land of Pure Delight. He has been a member of several national juries and boards of administration, including those of the CLComp and of the Canadian Music Centre, of which he is an associate.
Works in Paramirabo's repertoire
Sapphire Song (1986)