Kunz, Alfred (Leopold)

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Kunz, Alfred (Leopold)

Kunz, Alfred (Leopold), Canadian organist, conductor, and composer; b. Neudorf, Saskatchewan, May 26, 1929. After training in composition and conducting at the Royal Cons, of Music of Toronto (1949–55), he pursued his composition studies in Europe, taking his diploma in choral conducting at the Mainz Hochschule für Musik in 1965. He settled in Kitchener, Ontario, where he founded the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Music Orch. and Choir in 1959. After serving as organist and choirmaster at Mount Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church (1959–64), he was principal of the Canadian Music Teachers’ Coll. in Burlington, Ontario (1965–67) and director of musical activities of the Univ. of Waterloo (1965–79). He also conducted various choral groups, including the German-Canadian Choir from 1965. His extensive output included many choral pieces, piano music, and accordion works. Kunz’s style ranged from tonal writing to advanced contemporary usages.


dramatic:The Damask Drum, chamber opera (1961); The Watchful Gods, operetta (1962); Moses, ballet (1965); Let’s Make a Carol, play with music (1965); Ceyx and Alcyone, opera (1979). orch.: 2 sinfoniettas (1957, 1961); Excursion (1964); 5 Night Scenes (1971); Percussion Concerto (1973); Piano Concerto (1975); Chamber Sym. (1976); 3 Pieces for Clarinet and Strings (1977); Overture for Fun (1978; rev. 1986); Classical Arcade (1984); Spring into Summer (1984); Winterlude (1984; rev. 1986); Saturday Night Barn Dance: Boy’s Night Out (1988; rev. 1989). Also band music. chamber: Violin Sonata (1958); Emanation No. 1 for Violin, Horn, and Piano (1962) and No. 2 for Flute, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon (1964); Fun for 2 for 2 Bassoons or 2 Bass Clarinets (1964); Wind Quintet (1964); many pieces for accordion; piano music. vocal: 2 oratorios: The Big Land (1967) and The Creation (1972); numerous choral works; many songs.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire