Rea, John (Rocco)

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Rea, John (Rocco)

Rea, John (Rocco) , Canadian composer and teacher; b. Toronto, Jan. 14, 1944. He studied at Wayne State Univ. in Detroit (B.Mus., 1967). Following training in composition with Weinzweig and Ciamaga at the Univ. of Toronto (M.Mus., 1969), he studied with Babbitt and Westergaard at Princeton Univ. (Ph.D., 1978). In 1973 he became a teacher of composition and theory at McGill Univ. in Montreal, where he also was dean of the faculty of music (1986–91). He was composer-in-residence in Mannheim in 1984 and of the Incontri music festival in Terra di Siena in 1991. In his music, Rea has explored various genres and styles, and has utilized both Western and non-Western elements in a number of his scores.


DRAMATIC : The Days/Les Jours, ballet (1969; suite, Toronto, July 11, 1974); The Prisoners Play, opera (Toronto, May 12, 1973); Corn-possession, “daemonic afterimages in the theatre of transitory states” (1980). ORCH.: Piece for Chamber Orch. (1967; rev. 1971); Hommage à Vasarely (1977); Vanishing Points (1983); Over Time (1987); Time and Again (Montreal, March 1987). CHAMBER : Sestina for Chamber Ensemble (1968); Fantaisies and/et Allusions for Saxophone Quartet and Snare Drum (1969); Anaphora I-IV for Various Instruments (1970–74); Jeux de scène, fantaisie-hommage à Richard Wagner for Horn, Oboe, Cello, Piccolo, Flute, Piano, Marimba, 3 Glockenspiels, and Blacksmith’s Anvil (1976; Vancouver, Feb. 27, 1977); Les Blues d’Orphée for Flute, Clarinet, Viola, Cello, and Piano (1981); Le Dernière Siràne for Ondes Martenot, Piano, and Percussion (1981); Médiator “…pincer la musique aujourd’hui…”; for Chamber Ensemble (1981); Treppenmusik for Saxophone Quartet, 4 Clarinets, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, and Tape (1982); Glide Reflexions for 2 Clarinets and 2 Cellos (1984); Les Raisons des forces mouvants for Flute, Alto Flute, and String Quartet (1984); Spin for String Quartet and Piano (1984); Some Time Later for Electronic String Quartet (1986); Big Apple Jam for Saxophone Quartet and Tape (1987–91; Montreal, March 19, 1991); Kubla Khan for Chamber Ensemble (Waterloo, Ontario, May 1989). Piano : What You Will for Piano, 2- or 4- Hands (1969); Las Meninas (1990–91). VOCAL : Prologue, Scene, and Movement for Soprano, Viola, and 2 Pianos (1968); Le Petit Livre des “Ravalets”; for 4 Narrators, Early Music Instruments, and Tape (1983); Litaneia for Chorus and Orch. (1984); Offenes Lied for 2 Sopranos and Clarinet (1986). TAPE : S.P.I.51 (1969); STER 1.3 (1969).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire