Theo Goldberg | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Theo Goldberg

Theo Goldberg. Composer, teacher; born Chemnitz, Germany, 29 Sep 1921, died Vancouver 18 Feb 2012; naturalized Canadian 1973; MA (Washington State) 1969, D MUS (Toronto) 1972.

Theo Goldberg

Theo Goldberg. Composer, teacher; born Chemnitz, Germany, 29 Sep 1921, died Vancouver 18 Feb 2012; naturalized Canadian 1973; MA (Washington State) 1969, D MUS (Toronto) 1972. He studied composition 1945-50 with Boris Blacher at the Hochschule für Musik, Berlin, and subsequently wrote surrealist and mixed-media works for cabaret and scores for over 350 radio broadcasts and 30 stage productions. His radio opera Robinson und Freitag was performed in 1951 over RIAS, Berlin (at that time, the radio station in the divided city), his studio opera Engel-Etüde in 1952 by the International Festival for Theatre and Arts, Berlin, and his ballet Nacht mit Kleopatra in 1952 at Karlsruhe. After emigrating to Canada in 1954 he was associated with the Vancouver International Festival and wrote the score for John Hirsch's stage production of Peter Pan. He was a school teacher in Vancouver and taught music education 1970-87 at the University of British Columbia. Named professor emeritus on retirement in 1987, he then began to work primarily in the university's Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre. His works after 1975 (eg, Orion/Changes, 1978, The Great Canadian Arrow Myth, 1989) moved increasingly into mixed media, pre-recorded tape, and computer participation. He collaborated with Barry Truax in several multimedia works (eg, The Wings of Nike, 1988) in which Truax contributed the music, Goldberg the visual component. Goldberg wrote articles for the International Journal of Man-Machine Studies, Computer and Graphics, Leonardo, and the BCMEA Journal. He was a member of the Canadian League of Composers (CLComp), an associate of the Canadian Music Centre, and an affiliate of GEMA, the German performing rights organization.

Selected Compositions

Stage and Mixed Media
Nacht mit Kleopatra, opera/ballet (Goldberg). 1950 (Karlsruhe State Opera). B&B 1952

Robinson und Freitag, radio opera (von Cramer). 1951 (RIAS, Berlin). Ms

Engel-Etüde, chamber opera (von Cramer). 1952 (Berlin 1952). Ms

Galatea Elettronica, chamber opera (Goldberg, da Vinci). 1969 (Western Washington State U 1969). Ms

The Concrete Rose, rock opera. 1970 (1970). Ms

Orphée aux enfers, 'opéra son et lumières'. 1975 (Vancouver 1975). Tape, sound-related images. Ms

Daedalus, 'opéra son et lumières'. 1977 (Vancouver 1977)

Orion, sound images. 1978 (Atlanta 1978)

Also multimedia works, including Variations of a Mandala (1973), The Magic Carpet (1982), Le Beau Navire (1988), The Hoard of the Nibelungen, as performed by a company of Baenkelsaengers (1988), and The Great Canadian Arrow Myth (1989); incidental music for stage, radio and TV


Liebesliederwalzer Variationen 'Variations on a theme by Strauss'. 1952. B&B 1952

Sinfonia Concertante. 1967. Fl, clarinet, trumpet, violin, violoncello, orch. Ms

Canadiana: Suite für Piano und Orchester nach Canadischen Volksweisen. 1971. Verlag Alte und Neue Kunst 1972

Songs of the Loon and the Raven (Chief Billy Assu). 1975. Orch, tape. Ms

The Beaux' Stratagem. 1978. Ms

Concerto for Flügelhorn and Orchestra: 'Il Caro Sassone'. 1981. Ms


Samogonski-Trio (Bergengruen). 1951. Bar, clarinet, violoncello, piano. B&B 1952

Clarinet Quintet. 1951. B&B 1952

Three Movements for Bassoon and Buchla. 1971. Bn, tape. Ms

Antithesis. 1974. Saxophone, tape. Ms

St Francis' Sermon to the Birds. 1975. Bn, tape. Ms

Also works for electronics, tape and saxophone

Further Reading