Komorous, Rudolf, Czech-born Canadian composer, bassoonist, and teacher; b. Prague, Dec. 8, 1931. He studied bassoon at the Prague Cons. (1946–52) before pursuing his training with Karel Pivonka (bassoon) and Borkovec (composition) at the Prague Academy of Music (1952–56); later he studied electronic music in Warsaw (1959). After teaching at the Beijing Cons. (1959–61), he returned to Prague as 1st bassoonist in the orch. of the National Theater. In 1961 he was co-founder of Musica Viva Pragensis. In 1969 he emigrated to Canada and in 1974 became a naturalized Canadian citizen. He was a visiting prof, at Macalester Coll. in St. Paul, Minn. (1969–71).In 1971 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Victoria to teach composition and advanced theory, and also organized its electronic music studio; he then was acting chairman (1975–76) and director (from 1976) of its school of music. He was director of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser Univ. from 1989 to 1994, remaining on the Univ. faculty until his retirement in 1996. In his music, Komorous has explored various contemporary paths and byways. In some of his scores, he has made use of musical quotations by other composers. His Sinfony No. 1, Stardust, makes use of Hoagy Carmichael’s famous song.
dramatic:Opera: Lady Whiterose (1966); No no miya, chamber opera (Vancouver, Sept. 30, 1988). orch.:ChamberMusic for Bassoon and Small Orch. (1959); The Gloomy Grace for Small Orch. (1968); Bare and Dainty (1970); Rossi for Chamber Orch. (1974; rev. 1975); Sinfony No. 1, Stardust (Toronto, Nov. 20, 1988), No 2, Canadian (1990; Vancouver, March 17, 1991), and No. 3, Ex c, for Strings (1994–95); Demure Charm for Bassoon, Flute, and Strings (Toronto, Oct. 17, 1990); Bassoon Concerto (1994-95; Rotterdam, Aug. 31, 1995). chamber:Duettino for Clarinet and Bassoon (1954); The Sweet Queen for Mouth Harmonica, Bass Drum, and Piano (1962); Olympia for Flexatone, Mouth Harmonica, Nightingale, Acolyte Bells, Sleigh Bells, and Rattle (1964); Mignon for 4 String Bowed Instruments (1965); Chanson for Guitar, Clock Spiral, and Viola (1965); York for Flute, Oboe or Trumpet, Bassoon, Triangle, Piano, Mandolin, and Double Bass (1967); Preludes for 13 Early Instruments (1974); The Midnight Narcissus for Alto Flute, Piccolo, Horn, Oboe, Cello, Piano, and Triangle (1977); String Trio (1981; rev. as Serenade for String Orch., 1982); Fumon Manga for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, and Horn (1981; rev. 1983); Quartettino: Les Amours Jaunes for Bassoon, Violin, Viola, and Cello (1983); The Necklace of Clear Understanding for Baroque Flute (1986); Ritratto di Laura Battiferri for 2 Violins, 2 Violas, and 2 Cellos (1989); Aokigahara for Bass Flute and Thing-spa (Tibetan Cymbals) (1989); Dame’s Rocket for Clarinet, Cornet, Vibraphone, Marimba, Piano, and Contrabass (1991); Hermione Dreaming for Baroque Flute, Baroque Bassoon, Conga, Harpsichord, Baroque Viola, and Baroque Cello (1992). vocal:23 Poems About Horses for Narrator and 9 Instruments (1978; rev. 1985); Vermilion Dust for Baritone, Chorus, and Small Orch. (1980; rev. 1984); choral pieces; songs. electronic:The Tomb of Malevich (1965); Anatomy of Melancholy (1974); Listening to Rain (1986).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire