Andrew Twa

Andrew (John) Twa. Composer, violist, accountant, b Ellisboro, Sask, 13 Dec 1919, d Toronto, 16 April 2009. He studied viola with Richard Ainsworth in Brandon, Man.

Twa, Andrew

Andrew (John) Twa. Composer, violist, accountant, b Ellisboro, Sask, 13 Dec 1919, d Toronto, 16 April 2009. He studied viola with Richard Ainsworth in Brandon, Man. After serving in the RCAF, in 1945 he moved to Toronto, where he studied violin and viola with Elie Spivak and composition with Godfrey Ridout and John Weinzweig. In 1949 he won the McGill Chamber Music Society Award for his String Quartet (1948). He taught viola 1949-52 at the RCMT and was a violist 1950-1 with the TSO, after which he successfully pursued a career as a tax accountant. He was a founding member, and treasurer 1952-8, of the CLComp. He played 1963-4 in the Harmony Symphony Orchestra (Toronto) and was conductor in 1962 of the Scarborough Choral Society and music director 1965-8 of the Scarborough Music Guild. He was assistant conductor 1972-3 and conductor 1973-4 of the York Regional Symphony Orchestra. His compositions included the orchestral works Prairies (BMIC 1950), Serenade for Clarinet and Strings (1948, recorded by Avrahm Galper, RCI 86), Serenade for Bassoon and Strings (1951, Ber 1970), Symphony (1953, premiered by the TSO 9 Feb 1955), and Oxford Sinfonia for string orchestra and solo string quartet (commissioned by the Woodstock Strings in 1978, and premiered in 1979). Works for smaller forces included the above-mentioned string quartet, a sonata for solo violin (1948), a sonata for violin and piano and one for viola and piano (both 1951), Tonomoda for horn and string bass (1974), and Monody and Multiplex for solo horn (1978, performed by Fergus McWilliam (his son-in-law) for Norwegian radio that year). Twa was the founder and general manager 1969-71 of Berandol Music. He retired in 1982. He was an associate of the Canadian Music Centre, and as of 2003 remained a member of the CLComp. Although less active in the 1990s and later, Twa continued to compose and to revise his earlier works, which he committed to computer disk. Two of his late works were a trio for flute, clarinet, and piano (1991); and a wind quintet, performed by members of the Berlin Philharmonic.