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Forsyth, Malcolm (Denis)

Forsyth, Malcolm (Denis)

Forsyth, Malcolm (Denis), South African-born Canadian composer, trombonist, conductor, and teacher; b. Pietermaritzburg, Dec. 8, 1936. He was educated at the Univ. of Cape Town (M.Mus., 1966; D.M.A., 1972), numbering among his mentors Stefans Grove, Matyas Seiber, and Gideon Pagan (composition), George Hurst and Georg Tintner (conducting), and Hans Grin (trombone). He was co-principal trombonist in the Cape Town Municipal Orch. (1961–67) before settling in Canada; in 1974 he became a naturalized Canadian citizen. He played in the Edmonton Sym. Orch. (from 1968), serving as its principal trombone (1973–80); also was a member of the Univ. of Alberta Brass Quintet (1975–83), and founder-leader of the Malcolm Forsyth Trombone Ensemble (1976–83). He served as conductor of the St. Cecilia Orch. in Edmonton (1977–86). In 1968 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Alberta, becoming artistic director of its music dept. in 1986. As a composer, he successfully applied both African and North American folk elements.


ORCH Erewhon, overture (1962); Jubilee Overture (Cape Town, May 5, 1964; rev. 1966); Essay for Orchestra ’67 (Cape Town, Dec. 15, 1967); 3 syms.: No. 1 (1968–72; Cape Town, Sept. 5, 1972), No. 2, …a host of nomads… (1976; Edmonton, March 11, 1977), and No. 3, African Ode (1980–87; Edmonton, Jan. 30, 1987); Sketches from Natal (CBC, March 23, 1970); Piano Concerto (1973–75; Edmonton, March 30, 1979); 3 concert! grossi: No. 1, Sagittarius (Banff, Aug. 16, 1975), No. 2, Quinquefid (1976–77; Edmonton, April 6, 1977), and No. 3, The Salpinx (1981; Edmonton, Feb. 5, 1982); Images of Night (1982); Rhapsody for 14 Strings (1982; Edmonton, April 18, 1983); Ukuzalwa (1983); Springtide (Banff, April 3, 1984); Atayoskewin, suite (Edmonton, Nov. 16, 1984); Serenade for Strings (1985–86; Toronto, May 12, 1986); Trumpet Concerto (1987; Montreal, Jan. 11, 1988); Songs from the Qu’appelle Valley for Brass Band (1987); Little Suite for Strings (1988); Valley of a Thousand Hills (1989). CHAMBER: Quartet ’61 for Brass (1961); Pastorale and Rondo for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon, and Piano (1968–69); Quartet 74 for Brass (1974); 6 Episodes after Keats for Violin, Viola, and Piano (1979–81); Music for Wit and Science for Recorder, Lute, and Viola da Gamba, or for Flute, Guitar, and Cello (1982); Wind Quintet (1986); Soliloquy, Epitaph, and Allegro for Trombone and Organ (1988); Zephyrus for Brass (1989).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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