Chris Meyer: Composer - Orchestrator - Arranger - Pianist

Self portrait at Deep Cove, B.C.

What followed over the next few years were lessons much more valuable as I essentially worked as an apprentice in his musical workshop. I began with the “entry job” - copying out by hand the parts for his own compositions, helping Ron when the deadlines where fast approaching. Later, he would ask me to fill in some of the orchestration in simple passages here and there. As my experience grew I was asked what I thought of this or that part – a bass line here, a harmonic progression there – and I began to offer alternatives. So, step by step, my real musical education was built: working in an environment of creative pragmatism, focusing on what is best for a given group or time-line. Our relationship has since grown along this path, and now as colleagues we share with one another our works in progress for feedback and ideas. This is a mode of education that has largely disappeared over the centuries and that can't be had in the academy. While undergoing my apprenticeship I also continued my piano studies with Nada Engl, earning the performance A.R.C.T. from the Royal Conservatory of Music – my musical “credential”.

The first orchestral performances of my music were with the Mississauga Symphony under the leadership of John Barnum. He and his orchestras have been very generous with time and energy in the support of young composers. From there my musical activities have led to performances and commissions by a variety of orchestras in Southern Ontario: Stratford, Sarnia and Port Huron, Mississauga, Huronia (Barrie), Georgian Bay and Scarborough. I have since served as composer in residence for the Stratford Symphony Orchestra (2009-2015) during which time I wrote many new works and arrangements. October 2015 saw a performance of my work by the Toronto Symphony as part of an open call for scores. In December 2015 I was awarded a commission by the National Youth Orchestra to write a piece for their 2016 summer tour. Stay tuned!