David Gordon Duke

David (Gordon) Duke. Composer, educator, writer, b Vancouver 20 Aug 1950, B MUS (British Columbia) 1971, MA (North Carolina) 1973. He studied violin 1956-71 with Kenneth Yunke and Douglas Stewart and composition 1970-5 with Jean Coulthard.

David Gordon Duke

David (Gordon) Duke. Composer, educator, writer, b Vancouver 20 Aug 1950, B MUS (British Columbia) 1971, MA (North Carolina) 1973. He studied violin 1956-71 with Kenneth Yunke and Douglas Stewart and composition 1970-5 with Jean Coulthard. He also studied composition with Violet Archer in 1978 at the Banff CA composers' workshop. In 1990 he was pursuing doctoral studies at the University of Victoria, writing his dissertation on Coulthard's compositions.

He has taught at the University of North Carolina 1971-2, the University of British Columbia 1973-5, and Red Deer College (Alberta) 1975-7. He returned to Vancouver in 1978 to teach at Vancouver Community College, where he became academic co-ordinator in 1984. Duke was music critic for Monday Magazine 1977-8, an instructor at North Island College/Courtenay Youth Music Centre 1979-80, an associate of Ida Halpern in west coast Native music research 1978-80 and 1984-8, programming consultant for the Vancouver Chamber Music Festival 1987-9, and, beginning in 1990, composer-in-residence at the Langley Community Music School. He has also acted as a critic, lecturer, adjudicator, and workshop contributor in various centres in Canada and the USA.

Duke has written chiefly on Canadian music (articles for Music Magazine, Music Scene, and EMC and biographical notes for PRO Canada) and, to a lesser degree, on ethnomusicology; he has also written program notes for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (1981-3) and other organizations.

Although Duke confesses to a particular love for orchestral works, most of his compositions are for smaller ensembles. His musical voice is clearly his own, but it betrays the influence of English music (Vaughan Williams and Tippett) and US music (Copland and Barber) from the first half of the 20th century. Duke has received commissions from Vivienne Rowley (Sonatina), the Vancouver Music Festival Workshop (Festival Toccata), the Circle Singers of Washington, DC (River Nocturnes), the Vancouver Cantata Singers (Transformations), the Community Arts Council of Greater Vancouver (Private View), and Ian Hampton (Canciones), among others.

Duke was a founding member of the Alberta Composers' Association; he is a member of the CLComp and an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

Selected Compositions

Lyric Suite. 1973. Str orch. Ms

Seven Clavichord Pieces. 1975. Clavichord (piano). (No. 3, 5) Westcoast R vol 10, Feb 1976

Sonata da Chiesa. 1975. Fl, organ. Ms

Aria and Recitative. 1977. Vc, piano. Ms

Festival Toccata. 1984. Pf. Canada Music Week Anniversary Collection Wat 1985

Sonatina. 1977. Pf. Wat 1985

Two Lute Songs (E. Waller, W. Drummond). 1981. High voice, guitar. ('Go, Lovely Rose,' Waller) West Coast R, vol 20, Jan 1983; (Drummond) manuscript

Aria. 1983. Fl. West Coast R, vol 20, Jan 1983

Triptych. 1984. Pf, violin, violoncello. Ms

Music for Orlando. 1986. Orch. Ms

Concerto Grosso. 1987. Orch. Ms

Two Coast Sonnets (M. Lowrey, G. Woodcock). 1987. Bar, piano. Ms

Private View. 1988. Bar, piano. Ms

River Nocturnes (J.G. Fletcher). 1989. Chor, piano duet. Ms

Transformations. 1989. Chor, piano, percussion. Ms

Canciones. 1990. Fl, violin, viola, violoncello. Ms

Educational Works

- et al. Music of Our Time/Musique de Notre Temps, 9 vols (Wat 1977-80, Neil Kjos Music 1984)

A Student's Guide to Musical Form (Wat 1981, published as Music in Many Forms, Neil Kjos Music 1984)

- et al. À la jeunesse: A 20th Century Violin Series, ed T. Rolston (Wat 1983)

Magical Years of the Chinese, ed F. Balodis (Wat 1990)

6 Guitar Pieces (FH 1990)

Writings

David Duke, 'Neoclassical composition procedures in the music of Harry Somers,' MA thesis, U of North Carolina 1973

BMI/PRO Canada pamphlets on Harry Somers (1975), R. Murray Schafer (1975), Jean Coulthard (1975, 1978, 1985), Violet Archer (1979), Barbara Pentland (1979), Stephen Chatman (1982)


Further Reading

  • Ross, Susan C. 'Music reflects Duke's current interests,' MSc, 334, Nov-Dec 1983