Rosen, Robert (Joseph). Composer, administrator, born in Melfort, Saskatchewan, on 20 May 1956; died in Ottawa, Ontario,19 March 2018. B MUS (Alberta) 1977. He studied composition with Violet Archer and Malcolm Forsyth at the University of Alberta, later working privately under Bruce Mather. He completed two years of post-graduate work 1979-81 in the Advanced Music Studies winter program at the Banff CA and, on a grant from the Canada Council, attended in 1982 the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt, West Germany. He has worked at the Banff CA as music librarian (1982-4), program coordinator for the Advanced Music Studies program (1986-8), and assistant artistic director of the winter music program (1990- ). He worked during the 1980s with some distinguished visiting artists to Banff, including John Cage, Witold Lutoslawski, Heinz Holliger and R. Murray Schafer.
Rosen has garnered several awards for his compositions, among them honors as finalist in both the 1979 CBC Radio National Competition for Young Composers (Lady from New York, for women's chorus), and the 1982 Indiana State Contemporary Music Festival competition (Meditation No. 2, for orchestra, 1980). He twice won awards in the PRO Canada Young Composers' Competition, in 1980 for three works and in 1983 for From Silence for piano and orchestra.
Rosen has received commissions from flutist Carmelia MacWilliam (Meditation No. 5 'Mosaic 1981,' 1981), the Banff CA (From Silence, 1983), Pro Coro Canada (Meditation No. 7 'Coro,' 1984), the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (' ... sans bruit... ,' 1987) and Vancouver New Music Society (Zero to the Power, 1987). Other works have been performed by the Calgary Philharmonic, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the St Cecilia Orchestra of Edmonton, flutist Robert Aitken, Dutch flutist Jacques Zoon, Dutch oboist Hans de Vries, NMC, Arraymusic, and the Mather-Lepage piano duo (Meditation No. 4, 1981, recorded by that duo in 1984 on Centrediscs CMC-1884). Rosen has also been actively involved in writing music to accompany dance and film. In 1986 he was performer/composer-in-residence for Experimental Dance and Music in Vancouver. In 1988, he provided a score for Dis/Zero to the Power, a collaborative workshop piece involving the Vancouver Dance Centre and Vancouver New Music. Also in 1988, the Seattle-based performance group MarZena gave the premiere of Rosen's Krikos II (1982). Aeon, a specially commissioned work for drum ensemble with electronics controlled by a MIDI wind instrument, had its premiere at the 1990 INDE New Music/New Dance Festival in Toronto. Rosen has composed music for a number of Parks Canada films distributed by the NFB, among them Heritage for the Future (1980), Siding 29 (1982) and Lake Louise: A Mountain Legend (1984). By the early 1990s he had developed a strong interest in environmental composition, notably with the premiere of Canyon Shadows: Stones in 1990 in Grotto Canyon, near Canmore, Alberta, with poetry by Peter Christensen and dance by choreographer/performer Jay Hirabayashi.
Rosen contributed the articles 'Canadian composers at Banff' to Célébration and 'Dialoguing about new music,' to Hello Out There! CanMus Documents 2 (Toronto 1988). He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre and was named chairman of its Prairie Regional Council in 1990.