Biography

Aaron Gervais

  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1980
  • Composer

Aaron Gervais is composer of new classical/avant-garde music, born in Edmonton, Canada, and represented by Art Music Promotion. He received a Bachelor of Music with Honours from the University of Toronto, and a Master’s degree from the University of California at San Diego. He has also pursued studies at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, Netherlands. Aaron’s teachers have included Chan Ka Nin (CA), Chinary Ung (US), Philippe Manoury (FR), and Martijn Padding (NL), and he has also participated in masterclasses with renowned composers from around the world. Prior to studying composition, Aaron studied jazz drumming and Cuban folkloric percussion, including a summer of private study in Havana in 2002.

Aaron’s music has been performed by major ensembles in several countries, including the Nieuw Ensemble (NL), orkest de ereprijs (NL), the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal (CA), the Nouvel ensemble moderne (CA), Tapestry New Opera Works (CA), Toca Loca (CA), Continuum (CA), the Knights Orchestra (US), the London Sinfonietta (UK), and the Arditti Quartet (UK). His music has been broadcast on CBC Radio/Radio-Canada.

Prominent festivals have presented Aaron’s work, including Amsterdam’s prestigious Gaudeamus Music Week; Toronto’s New Wave, soundaXis, and SHIFT festivals; Aberdeen’s Sound Festival; and New York’s MATA Festival. He was additionally selected as a representative for Canada in the 2008 World Music Days in Lithuania. One of his solo pieces, Flüsse-Einflüsse, was chosen as a required exam piece for the graduating accordion students at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik — Trossingen in 2006.

Aaron was selected as the winner of the orkest de ereprijs’s International Young Composers Competition in the Netherlands in 2009. He has also received various other awards and grants, including an ASCAP Gould Award (2010), six prizes in Canada’s SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers (2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2004, 2004), a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (2008), a SOCAN residency grant (2006), and numerous commissioning, travel, project, and study grants.

Long-term musical directions in Aaron’s composing include a focus on rhythm and time, a preoccupation with the social and cultural factors that influence listening and taste, an interest in found materials, an exploration of what in fact constitutes creativity, and a fascination with the ways that social technologies are changing listening habits, to name a few. His music incorporates a wide range of palettes, from rich microtonal textures and shimmering timbres to bright chipper counterpoint, upbeat rhythmic drive, blunt musical gestures, and light-hearted humour.

[source: www.quatuorbozzini.ca] [ii-14]