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Cherney, Brian (Irwin)

Cherney, Brian (Irwin)

Cherney, Brian (Irwin), Canadian composer and teacher; b. Peterborough, Ontario, Sept. 4, 1942. He studied composition with Dolin in Toronto (1960–64) and also studied at the Univ. of Toronto (piano with Jacques Abram, 1961–62; Mus.Bac, 1964; composition with Weinzweig; Mus.M., 1967; Ph.D. in musicology, 1974, with the diss. The Bekker-Pfitzner Controversy: Its Significance for German Music Criticism During the Weimar Republic). He likewise attended the summer courses in new music given by Ligeti, Stockhausen, Kagel et al. in Darmstadt (1966, 1969). In 1971–72 he was a lecturer at the Univ. of Victoria. In 1972 he became an asst. prof., in 1976 an assoc. prof., and in 1986 a prof, at McGill Univ. He publ. the biography Harry Somers (Toronto, 1975). Cherney’s String Trio (1976) tied for first place among the recommended works at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris in 1979, and his River of Fire for Oboe d’amore and Harp (1983) won the Jules Léger Prize for Chamber Music in 1985. In his later works, he developed an individualistic style marked by harmonic coherency, poetry, lyricism, and color.


orch.: 2 sets of Variations (1962, 1967); Violin Concerto (1964); 6 Miniatures for Oboe and Strings (1968); 7 Images for 22 Players (1971); Adieux (1980); Into the Distant Stillness...(1984); Illuminations for Strings (1987); Oboe Concerto (1989); Transfiguration (1990); Et j’entends la nuit qui chante dans les cloches... for Piano and Orch. (1990); Et la solitude dérive au fil des fleuves...(1995). concert band: In the Stillness between...(1982). chamber: Violin Sonata (1961); Quintet for Alto Saxophone and String Quartet (1962); Wind Quintet (1965); 4 string quartets (1966, 1970,1985, 1994); Kontakion: Quiet Music for 11 Players (1969); Notturno for Wind Quintet (1974); Chamber Concerto for Viola and 10 Players (1975); Tangents I for Cello and Tape (1975) and 17 for Oboe and Tape (1975–76); String Trio (1976); Group Portrait—with Piano for Wind Quintet (1978); Trois petites pièces desséchées...en forme de sandwich for Viola and Piano (1979); Triolet for Flute, Harp, and Bassoon (1980); Playing for Time for Oboe, Percussion, and Piano (1981); Beyond the 7th Palace for Viola and Percussion (1982); Gan Eden for Violin and Piano (1983); River of Fire for Oboe d’Amore and Harp (1983); Accord for Accordion, Oboe, and Cello (1985); In Stillness Ascending for Viola and Piano (1986); In the Stillness of the Summer Wind for Oboe and String Quartet (1987); Shekhinah for Viola (1988); Dunkle Rande der Nacht for Viola, Cello, and Double Bass (1988); Apparitions for Cello and Chamber Ensemble (1991); Doppelganger for 2 Flutes (1991); In the Stillness of September 1942 for English Horn and 9 Strings (1992); Like Ghosts from an Enchanter Fleeing for Cello and Piano (1993); Music for a Solitary Cellist (1993); Die klingende Zeit for Flute and Chamber Ensemble (1993–94); Echoes in the Memory for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1997); Jam for Frances for Trombone (1997); Entendre marcher un ange... for Flute and Percussion (1998). keyboard: piano: 6 Miniatures (1965); Fantasy (1966); Sonata (1966); Jest (1967); Intervals, Shapes, Patterns (1968); Pieces for Young Pianists (1968); Elegy for a Misty Afternoon (1971); Dans le crépuscule du souvenir (1977–80); In the Stillness of the 7thAutumn (1983); Quelquefois, à l’ombre de la lointain...(1991–92); Tombeau (1996). organ:Gothic Scenes and Interludes (1983–87). vocal:2 Songs for Soprano and Chamber Orch. (1963); Mobile IV for Soprano and Chamber Ensemble (1969); Eclipse for Soprano, Flute, and Piano (1972).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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