John Metcalf (composer)
John Metcalf MBE (born 1946) is a British and Canadian composer. He has worked in many forms, including large-scale operas, choral and orchestral works, and chamber music, both instrumental and vocal. His music is tonal, and is often rhythmically complex, with much use of polyrhythms.
John Metcalf was born in Britain in 1946, at Swansea, and spent his childhood in nearby Gower, at Reynoldston and Penmaen. When he was six, the family moved to Cardiff, where his father had taken a new job. He was educated at Dean Close School, Cheltenham. He intended to read classics at university, but he sent a composition to the composer, Alun Hoddinott, who encouraged him to study music at Cardiff University.
In 1986 he moved to Canada, to teach on the Music Theatre course at the Banff Centre in Alberta. He was afterwards appointed Artistic Director of the programme and Composer-in-residence. At Banff he composed his second opera, Tornrak, with a libretto by Michael Wilcox, which draws on Inuit musical traditions; and this and other operas were workshopped there.
In 1991 he returned to Britain and settled at Llanfair Clydogau, near Lampeter, Ceredigion. There he built an energy-saving house from reclaimed materials. He resumed direction of the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, which he made a festival presenting the work of living composers only.
Several of Metcalf's works are available on the album "In Time of Daffodils". This includes "Paradise Haunts", "Three Mobiles" and "In Time of Daffodils". These pieces are performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. (Excerpts from "Paradise Haunts" were used as part of the Queensland Ballet Company production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.) A complete discography is given on the composer's website.
- 'Interview' in Review Wales, 2013 January 16.
- The London Gazette: . 31 December 2011.
- John Metcalf's official website
- Vale of Glamorgan Festival
- Swansea Festival of Music and the Arts
- Biography at MusicFest Aberystwyth website
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