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John Fodi (Composer)

Born: March 22, 1944 - Nagyteval, Hungary
Died: November 2, 2009 - Toronto, Canada

The Hungarian-born Canadian composer, John Fodi, was born in Hungary; his The family emigrated to Canada in 1951, and he became naturalized Canadian in 1961. He studied in Hamilton in 1964 with Lorne Betts (theory), at the University of Toronto 1966-1970 with John Beckwith and John Weinzweig (composition) and Gustav Ciamaga (electronic music), obtaing there his Bachelor of Music degree in 1970, and his Master of Music defree in 1972. He also studied at McGill University 1970-1971 with István Anhalt (composition). Hae obtained his MLS degrree also from Toronto University, in 1990.

John Fodi was a founder and director 1967-70 of the Contemporary Music Group at the University of Toronto and a founder in 1971 of ARRAY, under whose auspices many of his works have been performed. At McGill University he was co-founder with Mickey Cohen of the New Music Society.

After composing during his teens over 40 works reflecting the influence in turn of Johann Strauss, Mozart, and the Baroque tradition, John Fodi began in 1963 a body of work in which most compositions are based on serial technique. Those prior to 1972 reflect a particular interest in texture. In the mid-1970s he began to use a form of parody incorporating in his compositions subtle references to pre-existing works or styles; and in the late 1970s he began drawing on the forms and devices of ethnic sources. His catalogue had reached Opus 99 by 2008.

Symparanekromenoi was premiered on July 25, 1974 by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Alexander Brott, Concerto for Viola and Two Wind Ensembles represented Canada at the 1973 meeting of the ISCM, Dragon Day was performed by the CBC Vancouver (Chamber) Orchestra, Concerto a Quattro for String Quartet is dedicated to the Orford String Quartet and was performed by the Purcell String Quartet at the 1976 meeting of the ISCM in Boston, String Quartet No 6 "Aus tiefer Not," was premiered by the Purcell String Quartet in 1985, and Sonata, Op. 67, Double Wind Quintet was premiered by the Nepean Symphony Orchestra in 1989.

John Fodi joined the staff of the Edward Johnson Music Library at the University of Toronto in 1974, became supervisor of the recordings section in 1981, and retired as Head of the library's Sniderman Recordings Archive in 2007. He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.

Selected Compositions

Symparanekromenoi for orchestra, Op. 25 (1969-71; Ms)
Dragon Day for Chamber Orchestra, Op. 46 (1976, revised 1978; Ms)
Concerto Grosso for keboiard & strings, Op. 74 (1984; Ms)
Kootenay for chamber orchesatra, Op. 76 (1986; Ms)

Concerto for Viola and Two Wind Ensembles, Op. 35 (1972; Ms)
Elements, Op. 38 "for melody instrument(s)." (1973. 1-5 instruments; Ms)
Concerto a Quattro for string quartet (1973; Ms)
The Littoral Cumulus Buildup for woodwind quintet, viola & bass, Op. 41 (1974; Ms)
Iz ist in der Werlt Wol Schin for violin & viola, Op. 45 (1975; Ms)
Partimento, Op. 48 "Here the Forsaken Virgin Rests...", for flute (piccolo, alto flute), oboe (english horn), violoncello, piano (harps, rock organ), percussion (1976; Ms)
Patrem Omnipotentem for flute, trombone, viola, violoncello, piano, percussion, Op. 51 (1977; Ms)
String Quartet No 6, Op. 64 "Aus tiefer Not." (1981; 1 Times 4; 1982)
Sonata for bassoon & violoncello, Op. 60 "Cor Vigilans." (1979; Ms)
Sonata, Op. 67 'Double Wind Quintet' (1983; Ms)
Down Endless Lanes Where Cherries Flower for flute (1984; 1 Times 4)
Rhapsody for bass clarinet & piano, Op. 71 (1985; Ms)

Also works for various solo and instrumental groupings, some published by 1 Times 4
Also works for keynoard; Divisions II (1980) for harp, piano; and choral works including Three Nocturnes (1986) for SATB

The Canadian Encyclopedia 2012 Historica Foundation of Canada (Author Peter Perrin)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2011, April 2013)

John Fodi: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

John Fodi - Biography (Canadian Music Library)

John Fodi (The Canadian Encyclopedia)


Michael Schulman: "John Fodi: new music to challenge his audience," CanComp (February 1977)
Susan Mertens: "New music heard by faithful few," Vancouver Sun (January 12, 1985)

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