Surdin, Morris, Canadian composer; b. Toronto, May 8, 1914; d. there, Aug. 19, 1979. He learned to play piano, violin, cello, horn, and trombone; studied composition with Gesensway in Philadelphia (1937) and with Brant in N.Y. (1950). He worked as a music arranger for the CBC and CBS. From 1954 he worked in Canada, primarily in scoring for musicals, radio, television, and films.
dramatic: The Remarkable Rocket, ballet, after Oscar Wilde (1960-61); Look Ahead, musical comedy (1962); Wild Rose, opera-musical (1967). ORCH.: 4 X Strings for Strings (1947); Credo (1950); Inheritance for Wind Quartet and Strings (1951); Concert Ballet (1955); Incident I for Strings (1961); Concerto for Mandolin and Strings (1961-66); 5 Shades of Brass for Trumpet and Orch. (1961); 2 concertos for Free-bass Accordion: No. 1 (1966; Toronto, Jan. 29, 1967) and No. 2, with Strings, Electric Guitar, and Percussion (1977); 2 Solitudes for Horn or English Horn and Strings (1967); Formula I and II for Concert Band (1968-69); Horizon for Strings (1968); Short! No. 1 for Piano and Strings (1969) and No. 2 for Piano, Wind Quartet, and Strings (1969); 6 Pieces in Search of a Sequence for Solo Instruments and Strings (1969-78); Alteration I for Piccolo and Strings (1970) and II for Strings (1970); Terminus for Oboe, Bassoon, and Strings (1972); B’rasheet (In the Beginning) for Mandolin, Clarinet, and Strings (Toronto, June 15, 1974); Eine kleine “Hammer-Klapper” Musik for Chamber Orch. (1976); Berceuse for Horn and Chamber Orch. (1977); A Group of 6 for Strings in first position (1977); 5 for 4 for Strings in first position (1977); Who’s on Bass? for Strings (1977); Violin Concerto (1978). CHAMBER : Suite for Viola and Piano (1954); Carol Fantasia for Brass (1955); Incident II for Woodwinds, Horns, and Harp (1961); Elements for 2 Violins, Double Bass, and Harpsichord (1965); Matin for Wind Quartet (1965); Arioso for 4 Cellos (1966); String Quartet (1966); Trio for Saxophones (1968); Piece for Wind Quintet (1969); Serious I-XVI for Accordion (1969-73); Trinitas in Morte for 3 Oboes, Bassoon, 3 Horns, Timpani, 8 Cellos, and 2 Double Basses (1973); Sly’d Trombones I & II for Trombone and Bass Trombone or Trombone Ensemble (1975); Heritage I-IV for Varying Brass Quartets (1975-79); Landscapes, sonatina for Harp (1978); 2 fabliaux for Cello (1979). Piano: Naiveté, 6 pieces (1962); Poco Giocoso Variations (1966); In Search of Form I and II (1970); Fragmentations I-III (1972). VOCAL: A Spanish Tragedy for Soprano and Orch. (1955); Suite canadienne for Chorus and Orch. (1970); Feast of Thunder for Soloists, Men’s Chorus, and Orch. (1972); Music Fair for Soprano, Cello, and Harp (1975); Quartet for Trio for Low Voice, Cello, and Harp (1976); Pegleg’s Fiddle for Men’s Chorus, Solo Violin, Mandolin Orch., Piano, and Percussion (1977); Leave It Be for Bass, Chorus, and Orch. (1977; based on the musical comedy Look Ahead).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire