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Coulthard, Jean

Coulthard, Jean

Coulthard, Jean , Canadian composer and teacher;b. Vancouver, Feb. 10, 1908; d. Vancouver, March 9, 2000. She began her studies with her mother, Jean (Blake; nee Robinson) Coulthard (b. Moncton, New Brunswick, Aug. 13, 1882; d. Vancouver, July 16, 1933), a pianist and teacher. Following lessons with Jan Cherniavsky (piano) and Frederick Chubb (theory) in Vancouver (1924–28), she continued her training on scholarship at the Royal Coll. of Music in London (1928–30), where she was a composition student of R.O. Morris and Vaughan Williams; still later she worked with Arthur Benjamin (1939), Bernard Wagenaar (1945, 1949), and Gordon Jacob (1965–66). After serving as head of the music dept at St. Anthony’s Coll. (1934–36) and Queen’s Hall School (1936–37) in Vancouver, she was a lecturer (1947–57) and senior instructor (1957–73) in composition at the Univ. of British Columbia. In 1978 she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Coulthard’s well- crafted works follow along traditional lines.


DRAMATIC Excursion, ballet (1940); The Return of the Native, opera (1956–79); The Devil’s Fanfare, ballet (1958). ORCH.: A Winter’s Tale for Strings (1940); Convoy, later retitled Song to the Sea, overture (1941); 4 syms.: No. 1 (1951), No. 2, This Land, choral sym. for Soli, Chorus, and Orch. (1966–67), No. 3, Lyric Symphony, for Bassoon and Chamber Orch. (1975), and No. 4, Autumn Symphony, for Strings (originally titled Symphonic Images; 1984–85); A Prayer for Elizabeth for Strings (1953); Rider on the Sands (1953); The Bird of Dawning Singeth All Night Long (1960); Fantasy for Violin, Piano, and Orch. (1961); Serenade or a Meditation and 3 Dances for Strings (1961); Piano Concerto (1963); Endymion (1964); Kalamalka: Lake of Many Colors (1974); Canada Mosaic (1974); Burlesca for Piano and Strings (1977); Symphonic Ode for Violin and Chamber Orch. (1977); Symphonic Image: Vision of the North for Strings (1989). CHAMBER : 2 violin sonatinas (1945); Music on a Quiet Song for Flute and Strings (1946); Cello Sonata (1947); Oboe Sonata (1947); 3 string quartets: No. 1 (1948; rev. 1952), No. 2, Threnody (1954; rev. 1969), and No. 3 (1981); 3 violin sonatas: No. 1, Duo Sonata (1952), No. 2, Correspondence (1964), and No. 3, A lajeunesse (1981); Piano Quartet, Sketches from a Mediaeval (1957); Sonata Rhapsody for Viola and Piano (1962); Ballad of the North for Violin and Piano (1965–66); Divertimento for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, and Piano (1968); Lyric Trio for Piano Trio (1968); Lyric Sonatina for Bassoon and Piano (1969); Lyric Sonatina for Flute and Piano (1971); The Birds of Lansdowne for Piano Trio and Tape (1972); 12 Essays on a Cantabile Theme for 2 String Quartets (1972); Music on a Scottish Folk Song for Violin and Guitar (1974); Lyric Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano (1976); Fanfare Sonata for Trumpet and Piano (1978); Shizen: 3 Nature Sketches from Japan for Oboe and Piano (1979); Pas de Deux, sonatina for Flute and Bassoon (1980); Fantasy Sonata for Horn and Piano (1983); Lyric Sonatina for Guitar (1984); Dopo Botticelli for Cello and Piano (1985); Duo Sonata for Violin and Cello (1989); numerous piano pieces, including 2 sonatas (1947,1986). VOCAL : Night Wind for Alto and Piano (1951; rev. for Soprano and Orch.); 2 Visionary Songs for Soprano, Flute, and Strings (1968); Songs from the Distaff Muse I for Soprano, Alto, and Cello (1972) and II for Soprano, Alto, and Piano (1974); Serenade for Alto and Violin (1977); Vancouver Lights: A Soliloquy for Soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1980); Fanfare Overture for Chorus and Orch. (1985); Shelley Portrait for Alto, Flute, Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1987); When Tempests Rise, cantata for Soli, Chorus, and Orch. (based on the opera The Return of the Native, 1988); choruses; other songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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