Philip Candelaria. Guitarist, teacher, b New Haven, Connecticut, 28 Jun 1955; naturalized Canadian 1965; BA (British Columbia) 1977; M MUS (Johns Hopkins) 1980. Philip Candelaria moved to Vancouver with his family in 1965. He had a musical upbringing; his father was a composer and professor of English literature, and both of his brothers studied piano. His early musical training was on piano, and at the age of 12 he began studying classical guitar. In 1977 Candelaria received a Bachelor of Music in music history from the University of British Columbia; during this period of study he took private guitar lessons with Bruce Clausen. In 1979 Candelaria received a Professional Study Award from the British Columbia Arts Council. He subsequently received a Canada Council grant to study under Aaron Shearer at the Peabody Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University, where he completed graduate training in 1980. He gave his professional debut at the Guitar '78 international guitar festival and competition in Toronto in June 1978.
In 1979, Philip Candelaria won first place in the national finals of the Canadian Music Competition; in 1990 he became the first North American to win France's annual Compétition international de guitare René-Bartoli.
During the 1980s and 1990s Candelaria toured extensively as a solo recitalist, playing concerts in Canada, the US, Chile, Argentina, Jamaica, England and Lebanon. In 1996 during the International Chamber Music Festival in Jamaica, Candelaria performed in duo with violinist Martin Beaver and with the Morency String Quartet.
He began performing in 1999 with the Canadian Guitar Quartet, alongside University of Ottawa guitar faculty members Patrick Roux, Denis Donegani and Louis Trepanier. On 24 Mar 2005, the Canadian Guitar Quartet's second recording, Les Scènes de Quartiers, was named instrumental album of the year by the Association des professionals de la chanson et de la musique, and was also awarded their Prix Trille Or.
Premieres and Commissions
Candelaria is recognized for his colouristic style and for performing new and lesser-known Canadian works. He has premiered works by Stephen Chatman (Fleeting Thoughts, June 1981) and John Weinzweig, including his 18 Pieces for Guitar at the composer's 70th birthday celebration at Roy Thomson Hall. His recording of Weinzweig's Contrasts was a premiere. Candelaria commissioned September Edition for solo guitar by Walter Buczynski through the Ontario Arts Council. The new work was premiered 16 Jan 1990 by the CBC during its program "Music Around Us." In 1991 Candelaria premiered Buczynski's guitar concerto with the Sudbury Symphony.
Candelaria taught at Capilano College in North Vancouver, BC, 1973-7, and since 1980 has been guitar instructor at Laurentian University and Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ont. In 2003 he became an instructor at the University of Ottawa. He regularly conducts master classes and adjudicates for festivals in Canada and abroad.
La Candelaria: Spanish and Latin Encores for Guitar Solo. Philip Candelaria. 1998. PAL 01222. Palladium Records
Les Scenes de Quartiers. The Canadian Guitar Quartet. 2003. Eclectra Records
Portrait I. The Canadian Guitar Quartet. 2001. ECCD-2051 Eclectra Records
Portrait II - Orchestral Music for Guitar Quartet. 2006. Eclectra Records
Progression: From Romantic South American Music to Canadian New Music. Philip Candelaria. 1993. Palladium Records