Sharman, Rodney. Composer, teacher, b Biggar, Sask, 24 May 1958; B MUS (Victoria) 1980, Reifediplom (Freiburg) 1983; PH D (SUNY at Buffalo) 1990. His teachers have included Murray Adaskin, Rudolf Komorous, Brian Ferneyhough and Morton Feldman. He has been a prize winner in a number of competitions for young composers including those held by CAPAC (1982, 1984), CBC radio (1984), the Netherlands Ballet O(1984), Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik 1986, 1988), the Vancouver New Music Society (1988) and Les Événements du neuf (1985, 1987). In 1990 he was awarded the Kranichsteiner Prize at Darmstadt. He was composer in residence 1983-4 at the Utrecht Institute of Sonology and a curator 1986-9 for the Music Gallery. He has taught at the Victoria Conservatory of Music and at Wilfrid Laurier University, and began teaching at the University of British Columbia in 1991.
Sharman's works have been performed frequently throughout North America and Europe. He has been commissioned to write works for festivals in Darmstadt, Rotterdam, London, and the University of Victoria, for the SMCQ (The Proximity of Mars, 1988), ARRAYMUSIC (Dark Glasses, 1988), the Amadeus Ensemble (Orpheus' Garden, 1987), the Bach-Elgar Choir (Canons and Ritornellos, 1985) and for performers Robert Black, Erica Goodman and William Beauvais. In 1988 he collaborated with choreographer Bill James and architect Dereck Revington to create Predators of Light, a major work performed by Dancemakers. His works Erstarrung (chamber ensemble,1984) and Nader tot U (baritone and instrumental ensemble,1990) toured the Netherlands with the Het Nieuw Ensemble in 1990. Proximity of Mars has been published by Éditions Doberman-Yppan and recorded by SMCQ (RCI 655 CD), Estarrung has been recorded by the Vancouver New Music Ensemble (1989, Centrediscs CMC-CD-3689 CD), and Dark Glasses has been recorded by ARRAYMUSIC (Artifact ART-003 CD).
Much of Sharman's work consists of austere, static sound fields with a strong emphasis on orchestral colour, showing the influence of his teacher Morton Feldman. Sharman's works from the latter 1980s, such as his Opera Transcriptions: Turandot (1989), suggest a move toward a more lyrical style. Comments Sharman: 'Although I am always conscious of music as a temporal art, writing music seems to begin with a sonic image. My concern is to work closer to the essence of the image and to allow music to radiate from the sound source outward, blurring distinctions between harmony and timbre, material and instrument.'