Joachim, Otto, German-born Canadian composer, violinist, violisi, and teacher; b. Düsseldorf, Oct. 13, 1910. He took violin lessons with his father, then studied at the Buths-Neitzel Konservatorium in Düsseldorf (1916–28) and at the Rheinische Musik Schule in Cologne (1928–31). He fled Germany in 1934 and spent the succeeding 15 years in the Far East, mainly in Singapore and Shanghai; constructed electronic string instruments of the entire violin family (1944–45). In 1949 he emigrated to Canada, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1957. He was a member (1952–57) and later principal violist (1961–65) of the Montreal Sym. Orch.; also was a co-founder-member of the Montreal String Quartet (1957–58) and was associated with Glenn Gould. In 1956 he organized his own electronic music studio; was founder-director of the Montreal Consort of Ancient Instruments (1958–68). He taught at McGill Univ. (1956–64) and at the Cons, de Musique de Montreal et Quebec (1956–76). His music is quaquaversal, but its favorite direction is asymptotic.
ORCH.: Asia, symphonic poem (1928–39); Concertante No. 1 for Violin, String Orch., and Percussion (1955-57; Paris, Sept. 9, 1958) and No. 2 for String Quartet and String Orch. (1961; Montreal, March 12, 1962); Contrastes (Montreal, May 6, 1967). CHAMBER: Music for Violin and Viola (1953); Cello Sonata (1954); String Quartet (1956); Interlude, saxophone quartet (1960); Nonet for Wind Quartet, String Quartet, and Piano (1960); Divertimento for Wind Quintet (1962); Expansion for Flute and Piano (1962); Dialogue for Viola and Piano (1964); Illumination I for Speaker, Chamber Ensemble, and Projectors (1965); Kinderspiel for Narrator, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1969); 12 12-Tone Pieces for the Young for Violin and Piano (1970); 6 Pieces for Guitar (1971); Requiem for Violin or Viola or Cello (1977); 4 Intermezzi for Flute and Guitar (1978); Night Music for Flute and Guitar (1978); Tribute to St. Romanus for Organ, 4 Horns, and 4 Percussion (1981); Paean for Cello (1989). keyboard: piano:Bagatelles (1939); L’Eclosion (1954). o r g a n:Fantasia (1961). electroacoustic and mixed media:Katimavik for Tape (1967); Illumination II for Instruments, 4-track Tape, and Projectors (1969); 5.9 for 4-track Tape (1971); 6 1/2 for 4-track Tape (1971); Mankind for 4 Speakers, 4 Synthesizers, Organ, Timpani, Incense, Slides, and Projectors (1972); Stimulus à Goad for Guitar and Synthesizer (1973); Uraufführung for Guitar, 14 Instruments, and Electronics (1977); 7 Electronic Sketches for Tape (1984); Mobile für Johann Sebastian Bach for 4 Woodwinds, Celesta, Organ, 4 Strings, and Tape (1985).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire