Smith, Linda Catlin

(b. 1957)
Year of Election: 2024

Linda Catlin Smith composes music that is informed by a deep appreciation for writers and visual artists, creating work which revels in narrative and harmonic ambiguity.

Born in New York City in 1957, she studied composition and theory with Allen Shawn in New York before studying with Rudolf Komorous, Martin Bartlett, Jo Kondo, and others at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. She also attended lectures of Morton Feldman, by invitation, at the University at Buffalo, New York. In 1981, she moved to Toronto which has remained her home.

From 1988 to 1993, she was Artistic Director of Arraymusic, one of Toronto’s major contemporary music ensembles. From 1999 to 2020, she taught music composition at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario. She has also lectured at many universities throughout Canada and continues to teach privately. She is a member of the performance collective URGE.

Her music has been commissioned, performed, and/or recorded by: the Goeyvaerts Trio, Psallentes, Tafelmusik, Victoria, the Kitchener-Waterloo and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, Arraymusic, Thin Edge Collective, Continuum, Tapestry New Opera, Via Salzburg, Evergreen Club Gamelan, Exaudi, and the Penderecki and Bozzini string quartets, as well as by soloists including Eve Egoyan, Philip Thomas, and Elinor Frey. She has had performances of her music at the Tectonics Festival in Glasgow (2017), Huddersfield Festival (2017), Principal Sound Festival (London, 2018) and Louth Contemporary Music Festival in Ireland (2019, 2023). The BBC Proms commissioned a new orchestral work (Nuages) premiered in 2019 by the BBC Scottish Orchestra. Several solo discs of her music have been released: Thought and Desire, with Eve Egoyan, Ballad (Eve Egoyan and Andrew Smith), Meadow with Louth Contemporary Music Society; and five recordings: Dirt RoadDrifterWanderer, Among the Tarnished Stars (with Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time) and Ballad, on the ‘another timbre’ label. Some of her works are now available through Composers Edition.

Her 2016 composition Orient Point was performed by the Vancouver New Music String Orchestra under the direction of Giorgio Magnanensi during the 2017 ISCM World New Music Days in Vancouver.

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