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Stephen Chatman's Dilemma 2008

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K C Y M Docket no.: 1127 Version no: 2 Client : UBC Research Date: 2005 April 03 Item: Frontier magazine Size: 8.5x11.75 inches Logos: repro Photos: fpo Line Screen: 150 line Fonts: DIN, A Garamond Pro Proofed by: gq 21May 2006 K C Y M Docket no.: 1127 Version no: 2 Client : UBC Research Date: 2005 April 03 Item: Frontier magazine Size: 8.5x11.75 inches Logos: repro Photos: fpo Line Screen: 150 line Fonts: DIN, A Garamond Pro Proofed by: gq All trapping is the responsibility of the printer/ pre-press company outputting fi nal fi lm/plates. STEPHEN CHATMAN’S When Stephen Chatman was a student of composition at the University of Michigan, he was devoted to exploring the boundaries of contemporary music — a pursuit his teachers and peers encour- aged. And he was really good at it; he won three consecutive BMI awards for student composers, the only North American to do this. He created atonal, virtuosic compositions that require technical excellence to perform and demand a lot of the listener as well. In 1976, he became a professor at UBC’s School of Music and continued his experimental work. But in his spare time, Chatman began to develop another interest, one that he kept quiet: “At a certain point in the early 1980s, I started writing these very traditional choral works. And at fi rst I was ashamed that I was writing these pieces and certainly didn’t want to show them to my colleagues, or other composers. But I didn’t mind showing them to choir directors. And with each choral work, there seemed to be some kind of spinoff . Two choir directors in Vancouver, James Fankhauser and Jon Washburn, kept asking for more pieces, so I’d do one or two a year. I had my two styles — I had my very traditional, tonal choral style, and I had my more experimental, instrumental style, virtuosic and complicated.” As music publishers and choir directors came calling, he embraced his success as a composer of choral work. Th e demand for his choral compositions grew, especially in the United States. While Canadian choirs are familiar with his repertoire, the US became the biggest market for his work — about half of his commissions come from there. Now, American choir directors recognize him as a Canadian composer, with no awareness of his early origins. Th is is something that Chatman fi nds a bit ironic: “I’m an American immigrant, but I’ve become a Canadian composer and am considered a Canadian composer by Americans. My publisher in Boston thinks of me as a Canadian composer.” Chatman moves easily between the two cultures and enjoys his role in bringing Canadian music to American audiences: “We are always complaining about importing American culture, but I’m exporting Canadian culture in a big way, and I’m proud of that. Th ere aren’t many classical composers who are doing this, and they tend to be choral composers.” Chatman has tapped into an area of growth and opportunity for his work; he says the appetite for choral music is growing across North America, including Canada. Over the past 10 or 15 years, a lot of amateur choirs have been formed. He points out that in Vancouver there used to be only two or three choirs, but now there are at least 10. And similar growth can be seen across the continent. One part experimental composer, one part choral craftsman, Stephen Chatman reveals the unique harmony of his musical double-life Photo> Paul Joseph 22 May 2006 K C Y M Docket no.: 1127 Version no: 2 Client : UBC Research Date: 2005 April 03 Item: Frontier magazine Size: 8.5x11.75 inches Logos: repro Photos: fpo Line Screen: 150 line Fonts: DIN, A Garamond Pro Proofed by: gq All trapping is the responsibility of the printer/ pre-press company outputting fi nal fi lm/plates. K C Y M Docket no.: 1127 Version no: 2 Client : UBC Research Date: 2005 April 03 Item: Frontier magazine Size: 8.5x11.75 inches Logos: repro Photos: fpo Line Screen: 150 line Fonts: DIN, A Garamond Pro Proofed by: gq Happily for Chatman, the choral music scene has blossomed, and choirs are commissioning and performing contempo- rary music. It’s not likely to be highly experimental music; as Chatman explains, choir directors tend to choose music they think will appeal to their choir and to their audience. It’s likely to be tonal and more accessible. But all of his success in the world of choral composition has not eclipsed his more experimental work; he continues to compose instrumental pieces that meet with acclaim. One recent composition, “From Pent-Up Aching Rivers,” was created on commission for well-known Vancouver violinist Gwen Th ompson. She premiered the piece in December 2004, at a concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Th e work is challenging; it’s written for an unusual duo of violin and cello. And its fi rst performance faced challenges of its own; just before the premiere, the cellist backed out of the concert. While this could have been a disaster, Chatman says the change was lucky: “It turned out for the better, because the substitute was a young, up-and-coming cellist, Clancey Newman, who won the Naumberg Award last year. He was fantastic and learned it in six or seven days. Th e performance was sold out, they turned people away … and the audience just loved it.” Chatman now plans to bring Newman to Vancouver in May to record the piece. Chatman has created four CDs of his work; the latest, Vancouver Visions, was released in January 2006. It features recordings of his instrumental work and, with one exception, the performances were recorded in the UBC recital hall. One of the tracks, “Lawren S. Harris Suite for Piano Quintet,” was inspired by the famous Canadian artist who lived just outside the gates of UBC for 30 years. Another CD, Proud Music of the Storm, was a particular success. One track, “Tara’s Dream,” was short- listed for the BBC Masterprize in 2001; Chatman is the fi rst Canadian to be a fi nalist for this award. Th e title track, “Proud Music of the Storm,” was given the 2005 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Classical Composition. One reason Chatman is so thrilled by the success of this work is the recognition it brings to UBC: “It was broadcast nationally 12 or 13 times on CBC radio last year and every time it played, the UBC orchestra and UBC singers were credited. It’s a real accomplish- ment for everyone, and a milestone, and a fi rst.” Th is achievement is rare. Only a few Canadian orchestral recordings are made each year. Chatman says McGill is the only other university in Canada to release an orchestral recording. Chatman considers his music to be a form of art, and he points out that it’s often diffi  cult to categorize art as research. But, he says, UBC has a long tradition of including the creative arts within the scope of academic research, an attitude Chatman describes as “enlightened.” In fact, the UBC Hampton Fund off ered support for the creation of Proud Music of the Storm as a major creative research project. He hopes its success will encourage other composers also to seek support from the Hampton Fund. After two decades of leading a musical double life, producing both virtuosic instrumental compositions and traditional choral music, Chatman’s biggest challenge now is meeting the demand for his work. But whatever he’s focused on, his inspiration arises from his sense of his audience: “I’m just following my instincts — trying to produce something I fi nd attractive, that other people might fi nd attractive too. It’s true of other artists, also — you want to be excited about what you’re making. Just like Lawren Harris, it has everything to do with feeling this joyous reaction on the part of the viewer. Th at’s the excitement.”  “WE ARE ALWAYS COMPLAINING ABOUT IMPORTING AMERICAN CULTURE, BUT I’M EXPORTING CANADIAN CULTURE IN A BIG WAY, AND I’M PROUD OF THAT ...” Stephen Chatman has received support from The Hampton Fund. CHEMISTRY PROFESSOR EARNS CANADA’S TOP SCIENCE AWARD UBC’s Dr. David Dolphin is the winner of the 2005 Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Metal for Science and Engineering. He is responsible for the creation of Visudyne™, the world’s most widely used ophthalmic drug ever, which has saved the vision of approximately 500,000 people since 2000. Dr. Dolphin teamed up with UBC microbiologist Dr. Julia Levy in the 1980s to create Visudyne™, a light-activated porphyrin molecule used to treat age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Together, they founded QLT Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in treatments of eye diseases as well as dermatological and urological conditions. Canada’s most prestigious science award comes with a guarantee of $1 million in research funding over the next fi ve years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Dr. David Dolphin. Photo> Paul Joseph NOBEL LAUREATE JOINS UBC UBC is pleased to announce that a Nobel laureate renowned for his leadership in science education is the latest addition to an already strong faculty. Professor Carl E. Wieman was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physics and named United States Professor of the Year in 2004. Currently working at the University of Colorado (CU),he is the only faculty member to hold both the highest research (Distinguished Professor) and teaching (Presidential Teaching Scholar) awards. Wieman advocates an evidence-based approach to science education and suggests that similar approaches will be helpful in other educational areas. Although offi cially joining UBC’s Department of Physics and Astronomy in January 2007, Wieman will immediately begin developing a science education project at UBC that emphasizes student experience, stimulates inquiry and encourages measurement of educational outcomes. UBC has committed $12 million over the next fi ve years towards this initiative. “I am joining UBC because I am excited to be a part of this initiative and hope that my expertise can help realize it,” Wieman says. Wieman will be only the second Nobel laureate working at a Canadian university (John C. Polyani is at the University of Toronto). UBC RESEARCHERS NAMED STEACIE FELLOWS Dr. Joerg Bohlmann (Michael Smith Laboratories) and Dr. Gail Murphy (associate professor, Department of Computer Science) were named among the six 2006 Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Steacie Fellows. Dr. Bohlmann’s work laid the foundations for Canada’s fi rst large-scale initiative dedicated to forestry genomics, Treenomix, and a new Conifer Forest Health genomics program focusing on the defence and resistance of conifers against insect pests. Dr. Murphy’s team assembled repositories of information for software developers that can be mined for practical recommendations, such as fi xing bugs or adding new features when writing software. Dr. Michael Doebeli was one of six Steacie Fellow winners in 2005. His work confronted the question, “What drives the origin of new species and diversity of life we see on earth?” and focused on sympatric speciation, whereby two species can emerge from a single ancestor. NSERC awards fellowships annually to outstanding Canadian university scientists or engineers who have obtained their doctorate within the last 12 years, and whose research has already earned them an international reputation. NEWS Professor Carl E. Wieman. Photo> Paul Joseph


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