Jack Sirulnikoff | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Jack Sirulnikoff

Jack Sirulnikoff, composer, teacher, clarinetist, computer programmer (born 11 December 1931 in Winnipeg, MB; died 22 December 2017). Associate in music performance (McGill) 1956, B MUS composition (McGill) 1956, MA composition (Bennington) 1960, M MUS (Toronto) 1971.

His composition teachers included István Anhalt, Henry D. Brant, Lionel Nowack, and John Weinzweig. Sirulnikoff was a teaching fellow 1958–60 at Bennington College, Vermont, and there wrote incidental music for Ionesco's Victims of Duty and had his opera, This Evening (1960), and his Green Mountain Overture (for band) performed. The opera was produced again at Piermont, NY, by the Rockland Lyric Theater.

Sirulnikoff was in charge of music for theatre and dance at Smith College (1960–61) and there wrote incidental music for Molière’s Le Médecin malgré lui. In Canada, he taught 1962–66 in Ontario secondary schools, and 1966–74 at the Nova Scotia Teachers' College in Truro. In 1974, he changed careers to become a computer programmer.

Sirulnikoff provided stock music for the NFB and arrangements for the CBC. His compositions may be divided into three categories: light music (Foreign Affairs, Ber rental; Polka Dots); music for amateur performers (Little Suite for brass trio; Two Little Piano Pieces, Harris 1971; Ceremonial Piece II for two trumpets and piano, Harris 1972; Variations on a Rollicking Tune for concert band, Kerby 1977); and works utilizing serial methods and dodecaphony (Movement for Orchestra).

He also experimented with jazz, electronic music, and the use of computers in performance. Using his own MIDI piano player program, he produced tapes of piano music by himself, Debussy, and other composers. His 1971 music textbook The Mechanics of Music remained in manuscript in 1991. Sirulnikoff was an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.