John (David Bryson) Burge. Composer, teacher, pianist, b Dryden, Ont, 2 Jan 1961; ARCT 1979, B MUS (Toronto) 1983, M MUS (Toronto) 1984, DMA (British Columbia) 1989. After completing his ARCT in piano performance he studied composition with Derek Holman, Walter Buczynski, John Beckwith, John Hawkins and Stephen Chatman. He began teaching composition and analysis at Queen's University in 1987. He won an Alberta Culture Award (1982), the William Erving Fairclough Scholarship (1983), a second prize in the Ithaca College Choral Composition Contest and Festival (1984), and a record five PROCAN Young Composers' Competition prizes in three years (1985, 1987, 1988) among other awards. (See P.R.O. Canada Awards)
His choral works have been performed widely by such ensembles as the BBC Singers, the chamber choir Phoenix from Vancouver, the Elmer Iseler Singers, the New York City Gay Men's Chorus, and the Hart House Chorus, and he has received commissions from Ottawa's Opera Lyra (The Master's House, 1984), Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver (Mass for Prisoners of Conscience, for soloists, choir and chamber orchestra, 1987), the Inter-Varsity Choral Festival at Queen's (Upon Time and Eternity, both 1989), and NMC (Interplay, 1989). His instrumental works have been performed by the Nepean Symphony Orchestra oboist Lawrence Cherney and double-bass player Joel Quarrington. In 1986, his So Great is God's Love was performed in Vancouver by the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral with their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales in attendance. Burge's musical idiom has been compared by some critics to that of Britten and Maxwell Davies.