Monte Keene Pishny-Floyd

Pishny-Floyd, Monte Keene. Composer, teacher, b Oklahoma City, 4 Nov 1941; B MUS (Oklahoma City) 1964, M MUS composition (Oklahoma) 1965, PH.D composition (ESM, Rochester) 1972. He began composing at six and played trombone as a student.

Pishny-Floyd, Monte Keene

Pishny-Floyd, Monte Keene. Composer, teacher, b Oklahoma City, 4 Nov 1941; B MUS (Oklahoma City) 1964, M MUS composition (Oklahoma) 1965, PH.D composition (ESM, Rochester) 1972. He began composing at six and played trombone as a student. At ESM, he studied composition with Bernard Rogers and David Diamond, and piano with Eugene List. He taught 1968-71 at St Mary's College in South Bend, Ind, and in 1971 began to teach composition, theory, music literature, and piano at the University of Saskatchewan. He has adjudicated at many festivals in Saskatchewan and elsewhere, and has presented papers on various aspects of composition at conferences.

Pishny-Floyd is a prolific composer, with more than 600 works to his credit by 1990, covering virtually all media from works for solo piano to music for full orchestra and theatre music. His PH D thesis was a Concerto for two pianos and orchestra. He has received commissions from a variety of sources, including the Prairie Winds Ensemble (Three Canadian Postcards, 1977), CBC radio for the shows 'Two New Hours' (Partita for Piano, Winds and Percussion, 1978) and 'Mostly Music' (Variations on Themes of Stravinsky, 1982), Canadian Brass (Sonata for Tuba and Brass, 1981), the Wilson-McAllister Guitar Duo (Sonata for Two Guitars, 1984), the Saskatoon Symphony Chamber Players (Aller Anfang ist schwer, 1986), the University of Saskatchewan Wind Orchestra (Omega: Epilog, 1987), and the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra (Sonorities for Sixty Seasons, 1990). His compositions have been performed in Canada, the USA, South America, Israel, and Europe. Blues (1977) has been recorded by horn player James MacDonald and pianist Monica Gaylord (1978, Music Gallery Editions MGE-21). The Saskatoon SO and the University of Saskatchewan Dept of Music, with the assistance of CBC radio, devoted an entire concert 3 Mar 1989 to his chamber works, including the premiere of his Four Movements for bassoon and string trio (1983).

Much of Pishny-Floyd's music is serial but in a way that extends functional tonality and is deliberately eclectic. His consistently dissonant idiom features elaborate contrapuntal structures, showing influences ranging from Perotin and Machaut through J.S. Bach to Ives and Bartók. He has remarked that his music at times manifests a Middle Eastern mysticism profoundly influenced by Judaism and the music of India. Jazz, blues, rock and other popular forms have also left a subtle imprint on his style. He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

His wife, Annette Floyd, is a pianist, teacher, and conductor.