Alfred Fisher | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Alfred Fisher

Alfred (Joel) Fisher. Composer, pianist, teacher, b Boston 30 Jun 1942, naturalized Canadian 1974; B MUS (Boston) 1968, M MUS (Michigan State) 1967, PH D (Michigan State) 1976.

Fisher, Alfred

Alfred (Joel) Fisher. Composer, pianist, teacher, b Boston 30 Jun 1942, naturalized Canadian 1974; B MUS (Boston) 1968, M MUS (Michigan State) 1967, PH D (Michigan State) 1976. He studied piano with Alfred Kanwischer and Pierre Luboshutz, composition with George Crumb, Douglas Moore, John Pozdro, and H. Owen Reed, and musicology with Hans Nathan. He taught 1965-8 at Michigan State U, 1969-72 at the University of Western Ontario, 1972-3 at the University of Saskatchewan, and 1973-8 at Acadia University. In 1978 he became chairman of the theory and composition division at the University of Alberta. He was associate chairman 1984-5 of the Dept of Music at the University of Alberta and chairman 1986-9. Fisher has written works for the Radio Telefis Eireann Symphony (Elegiac Variations,), NOVA MUSIC (The Owl at Dusk), the International Suzuki Association (Peace Variations), the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition (The Nameless Dances) and the CBC (Diary of a War Artist, inspired by the war art of Alex Colville), among others. Many of his compositions have been broadcast by CBC radio. Fisher is the founder and director of PING, the University of Alberta New Music Improvisational Ensemble. He is also an accompanist and conductor at the university. In March 1989 he was the soloist in a performance of Bach's Concerto in F minor. He is an associate of the Canadian Music Centre and a member of the CLComp.

Selected Compositions

Elegiac Variations. 1976. Vc, orch. Seesaw 1980

Morning: Peniel. 1980. Seesaw 1983

Ouverture Petillante. 1983. Seesaw 1984

Warrior. 1984. Ms

Peace Variations. 1985. Str orch. Seesaw 1985


Alfred Fisher, 'An earful: music and our aural environment,' Alberta Psychology, vol 14, August 1985

'Reflections on the new (old) improvisation,' Ex Tempore, Winter 1985-6

'Searching for the authentic: the true north and the true composer,' Canadian J of Native Studies, vol 8, Fall 1989

- et al. 'From composer to audience: the production of serious music in Canada,' CUMR, vol 9, no. 2, 1989

'Ethnomusicology and serious music,' Ethnomusicology in Canada, ed Robert Witmer, CanMus Documents 5 (Toronto 1990)

Also other articles and reviews


To A Gentle Poet. 1977. 2 violoncello. Seesaw 1979

Four Movements for Unaccompanied Clarinet. 1978. Seesaw 1979

Five Movements for Bassoon and Cello. 1980. Seesaw 1980

Credo. 1981. Vc, piano. Seesaw 1982

Parables and Canons. 1982. Vc, piano. Seesaw 1983

Sweet for Flute. 1982. Seesaw 1983

Small Worlds. 1984. Vn, viola, violoncello. Seesaw 1985

The Nameless Dances. 1987. Vn, piano. Ms

Diary of a War Artist. 1989. Str quartet, clarinet, narrator. Ms


Fantasy Pieces. 1982. Seesaw 1983

Vocal and Choral

Lamentation Canticle. 1970. Sop, choir. Seesaw 1971

Cry Wolf (after a Cree Legend). 1977. Counter-ten (tenor), fl, viola, violoncello. Seesaw 1981

The Owl At Dusk 'Five Scenes on Yiddish Poetry'. 1978. Sop, fl, viola, violoncello, piano, percussion. Ms

Shema Yisrael/Hear O Israel (Bible). 1979. Sop, SATB, crotales. Seesaw 1980

Psalm 85. 1979. Sop, SATB. Seesaw 1980

Two Last Words (W. Martin). 1984. Sop, piano. Seesaw 1985

Also an 'opera-cabaret' Wanderers (1986)

Further Reading

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