May, Robert (Charles). Composer, b Hamilton, Ont, 13 Aug 1958; ARCT piano (1980), B MUS (Western) 1983, MA (Eastman School of Music [ESM]) 1986, PH D (ESM) 1988.
May, Robert (Charles). Composer, b Hamilton, Ont, 13 Aug 1958; ARCT piano (1980), B MUS (Western) 1983, MA (Eastman School of Music [ESM]) 1986, PH D (ESM) 1988. Robert May's teachers included Joseph Schwantner, Bernard Rands, Christopher Rouse, Samuel Adler, Michael Colgrass, David Diamond, Warren Benson, and R. Murray Schafer. May has won many awards for his work, including four first prizes 1985-7 in CAPAC's competition for young composers; first prize for orchestral music in the Satori Festival competition in Winnipeg (1986); the1986-7 award from the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation, which enabled him to attend the Aspen Center for Advanced Compositional Studies; and an award in the American Symphony Orchestra League Competition (1987), which led to a performance of his Typhon by the New York Philharmonic. He participated in ARRAYMUSIC's composer-in-residence workshop. In 1988 he won first prize in the CBC's National Radio Competition for Young Composers in the chamber music category for Hymns to the Night, and second prize in the same competition in the string orchestra category for Nightstreaming. Following a 1986 commission from the organist Kenneth Hamrick, for whom he composed Tower, May received commissions from the State University of New York at Binghamton for Fête (1987) for brass ensemble, the Rochester Gay Men's Choir for Smiling, Breathing, Striding (1988), ARRAYMUSIC for Hymns to the Night (1988), the Eastman Wind Ensemble for Apparitions (1989), accordionist Joseph Petric for Fadden Sonnen (1990), and a joint commission from the CBC and Radio Denmark for Reveries (1990). In 1989 he was named a composer-in-residence at the Canadian Opera Company (although the company never produced any opera by him). A winner at the 1998 Winnipeg New Music Fest, May was later based in Los Angeles.