James Rolfe

Toronto composer James Rolfe (b. Ottawa, 1961) has been commissioned and performed by ensembles, orchestras, choirs, and opera companies in Canada, the USA, Europe, and New Zealand. He has been awarded funding through The Canada Council, The Ontario Arts Council, The Toronto Arts Council, The Laidlaw Foundation, Opera.Ca, and CBC Radio. Among his awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000, the 2003 K. M. Hunter Music Award, the 2005 Louis Applebaum Composers Award, the 2006 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, and SOCAN’s 2009 Jan V. Matejcek Concert Music Award.

Mr. Rolfe’s first opera, Beatrice Chancy, received an extraordinary reception from audiences and critics alike during productions between 1998 and 2001 in Toronto, Dartmouth, and Edmonton by The Queen of Puddings Music Theatre Company. In 2009, the same company produced Inês, which was nominated for a Dora Award. His masques Orpheus and Eurydice and Aeneas and Dido were premiered by The Toronto Masque Theatre in 2004 and 2007. Elijah’s Kite, an opera for children, was premiered in New York in April 2006 by Tapestry New Opera Works with the Manhattan School of Music, and given its Canadian premiere before the Governor-General at Rideau Hall in October 2006. Swoon was premiered in December 2006 by the Canadian Opera Company, which has since commissioned a new opera. His current projects include a music theatre work with writer André Alexis for Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre, and pieces for the Tafelmusik Choir and New Music Concerts.



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