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Alfred Fisher

Dr. Alfred Fisher's major teachers have included David Burge, George Crumb, Douglas Moore and Owen Reed. He holds a Ph.D. in Music from Michigan State University. He has taught at the University of Western Ontario, Acadia University, and the University of Alberta, where he has served as Chairman of Theory and Composition and is presently Professor of Music and Chairman of the Department of Music.

His distinguished record as a composer includes commissions from Radio Telefis Eireann, Wayne State University, The International Suzuki Association, CBC, The Canada Council, CMC and others. His works have been performed and broadcast throughout Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and in Europe.

Fisher says: "It used to be easy to talk/write about my music and to define myself as a composer. To have asserted that my music was serial, or aleatoric, or a mixed-media event, broad as these categories may be, was to establish, if only for my own purposes, a technical/ compositional frame of reference and to suggest a certain set of aural expectations. I am increasingly finding discussion of such matters as "aesthetic position" or "intent" to be awkward and unsatisfying. Now, even though I believe my work of the last ten years to be developing along far more consistent lines, a definition of its structural or stylistic dimensions has become problematic.

In an important sense, my present work reaches back to embrace worlds I thought I had abandoned forever. My involvement with the music of Bach, Schubert, Mahler and others is no longer, as I once thought, an expression of respect, but a vital link with models of great heuristic power. But it is more than this. It is profound nourishment and a stimulus for my work. It has made possible the development of a theoretical/methodological matrix that is both comprehensive and flexible. Through this, I have discovered that, though my musical language may be of considerable complication, it may be secure in its coherence and internal logic without burdening or inhibiting freedom of expression.

Contradiction and self-delusion abound in the world of new music. No doubt, I have a distance to travel before emerging from these shadows. I am beginning to think, however, that this freedom -- a freedom that seems so boundless and absolute, may be within my reach."

CAPAC, Canadian League of Composers


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Canadian Music Centre