Tobin Stokes

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Tobin Stokes
Born 1966
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation Composer

Tobin David Stokes (born 1966) is a Canadian composer, notable for his work in opera, choral music and television. His classical works have been performed by many organizations including City Opera of Vancouver, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, and the Victoria Symphony. He also writes extensively for television including scores for documentaries by the BBC, ABC, and PBS.[1][2][3]

Early life and career[edit]

Stokes was born in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He studied the piano from the age of three and became a charter member of the Powell River Boy's Choir at age seven, performing, competing and touring internationally with them until he was fourteen. After high school he was accepted to the University of Victoria School of Music studying percussion and computer music. He went on to complete a BMus in percussion at the University of Victoria in 1989. Stokes has been composer in residence at the biannual International Choral Kathaumixw Festival in Powell River, British Columbia, B.C. since 1994, creating large oratorio works often with First Nations themes, stories, elders, dancers, and soloists, performed with massed choirs and orchestra.[4] He has written numerous massed choir pieces, including the Spacious Firmament, and the Kathuamixw Anthem. He became a composer in residence with the Victoria Symphony in 2006 and for three years wrote and arranged numerous works. In 2004 he became composer in residence for the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific.[5] He is currently Composer In Residence for both the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy in Powell River B.C., and past composer of the Urban Youth Choir Festival in Orebro, Sweden.

Stokes has composed several operas: Pauline, The Vinedressers, Rattenbury, Nootka, and Fallujah. Pauline, a chamber opera in two acts with a libretto by Margaret Atwood, premiered on 23 May 2014 at Vancouver's York Theatre. Commissioned by City Opera of Vancouver, the opera is set in Vancouver in March 1913 during the final days in the life of the Canadian writer and performer Pauline Johnson.[6][7]


  1. ^ James Adams (2013-02-27). "Vancouver stage veteran Norman Armour to direct world premiere of Pauline". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  2. ^ "International Choral Kathaumixw". Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  3. ^ War trauma in the wings at City Opera Vancouver. Marsha Lederman, The Globe and Mail, 19 November 2011
  4. ^ "VOICE projects ni Sweden 2013 and 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-10-17. 
  5. ^ Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2014.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Vancouver Sun (11 March 2008). "Atwood pens opera piece about Vancouver first nations writer-performer". Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  7. ^ CBC News (23 May 2014). "Margaret Atwood's opera debut Pauline opens in Vancouver". Retrieved 1 July 2014.