Robert Bauer

Robert (Paul) Bauer. Composer, guitarist, b Welland, Ont, 24 Jan 1950; B MUS (Toronto) 1972. In Port Colborne, Ont he studied with Norma Kowalchuk (guitar) and Mark Fairchild (saxophone), and played electric guitar in a dance band and saxophone in high school and community bands.

Bauer, Robert

Robert (Paul) Bauer. Composer, guitarist, b Welland, Ont, 24 Jan 1950; B MUS (Toronto) 1972. In Port Colborne, Ont he studied with Norma Kowalchuk (guitar) and Mark Fairchild (saxophone), and played electric guitar in a dance band and saxophone in high school and community bands. He then studied at the University of Toronto with John Beckwith and John Weinzweig (composition), Eli Kassner (guitar), and Paul Brodie (saxophone). Bauer won the 1971 CLComp Prize with Filaments (1971) for two guitars and Water Colours (1971) for two flutes and string orchestra. A founding member of ARRAY in 1971, he also taught guitar 1972-4 at the Brodie School of Music and Modern Dance. He joined the CBC in 1976, becoming a radio producer in 1979. He has shown a strong commitment to broadcasting Canadian music. He was associated in Ottawa with the CBC program 'Mostly Music' 1980-8, then moved to Halifax to produce 'Weekender' and 'Chamber Society'.

Though his early works use a freely modified serial technique, Bauer considers himself a neo-impressionist and has always had an overriding concern with tone colour. His later works show some jazz and contemporary rock influence. He has written many pieces for guitar, at first for his own use, and later for other performers. He has also written for saxophone - for Paul Brodie, who commissioned and recorded his Sokasodik and Willy Rag - and more recently for Halifax jazz musicians. Bauer singles out Tabito and Nocturne as particularly good examples of his work.

In 1989 in Halifax Bauer founded Upstream, an ensemble of eight composer-performers of varied stylistic backgrounds who present their own music in an annual four-concert season. He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the CLComp and the Atlantic Canadian Composers Association.

Selected Compositions

Orchestra
Aurora. 1982. Orch. Ms

Concerto. 1982. Guit, elec piano, percussion, string. Ms

Water Colours. 1971 (rev 1982). 2 fl, string orch. Ms

Writing

Robert Bauer, 'Guitar music in Canada,' ARRAY Newsletter, vol 1, Spring 1974

Chamber

The Final Silence. 1970 (rev 1974). Str quartet

Filaments. 1971 (rev 1977). 2 guitar. Mel SMLP-4028 (Bauer and Kuinka)

Three Haiku on Simple Times. 1971. Fl, wind chimes. Ms

Two Laments. 1971. Guit. Ber 1976

Nondescript. 1972 (rev 1975). Guit, tape. Ber 1976

Willy Rag. 1972. Saxophone quartet (brass quintet). Ber 1979. Golden Crest CRS-4143 (Brodie)

Mao. 1973. Guit, mand. Ms. Mel SMLP-4028 (Kuinka)

Sokasodik. 1974. Saxophone quartet. Ber 1976. Golden Crest CRS-4143 (Brodie)

White Line on a Green Fence. 1974. Guit. Ber 1976. Mel SMLP-4028 (Bauer)

Concerto for Viola. 1975. Va, elec guitar, percussion, piano, tape, amplification. Ms

From Chikamatsu. 1975. Brass quintet. Ms

Ottawa 1980. 1980. 2 guitar. Ms

From Stillness Unto Stillness. 1984. 3 guitar. Ms

Also many works for guitar as well as other various instr groupings.

Voice and Choir

Tabito: Returning to His Old Home (Otomo Tabito). 1972 (rev 1973). Sop, fl, clarinet, double-bass, percussion. Ms

Nocturne (Thomas Moore). 1978. Narr, SATB, piccolo, clarinet, contrabsn, string quartet, percussion, synthesizer, tape. Ms

Also other works for voices with and without instr

Also other works for band and electroacoustics (Extensions II: Guitar. 1975. Tape. Ms. Mel SMLP-4028)


Further Reading

  • MacMillan, Rick. 'Robert Bauer is activist for today's music,' MSc, 290, Jul-Aug 1976

    BMI Canada Ltd. 'Robert Bauer,' pamphlet, 1977

    Sealey, Ray. 'Subtle moods,' Guitar Canada, Winter 1987