Samuel Dolin | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Samuel Dolin

Samuel (Joseph) Dolin. Composer, teacher, administrator, b Montreal 22 Aug 1917, d Midland, Ont, 13 Jan 2002; B MUS (Toronto) 1942, D MUS (Toronto) 1958. He began his musical studies in Montreal under Tania and Vladmir Elgart, Stanley Gardner and Vladimir Emenitov (piano and theory).

Dolin, Samuel

Samuel (Joseph) Dolin. Composer, teacher, administrator, b Montreal 22 Aug 1917, d Midland, Ont, 13 Jan 2002; B MUS (Toronto) 1942, D MUS (Toronto) 1958. He began his musical studies in Montreal under Tania and Vladmir Elgart, Stanley Gardner and Vladimir Emenitov (piano and theory). He later studied at the TCM (RCMT) and the University of Toronto. Dolin served 1942-5 as music supervisor of schools in Ontario's Durham and Northumberland counties and as visiting music master of Trinity College School, Port Hope. In 1945 he joined the composition, theory, and piano staff of the TCM, continuing his studies in composition there under John Weinzweig. He also studied with Weldon Kilburn, Reginald Godden, and E. Robert Schmitz (piano), and Ernst Krenek (composition).

Dolin's skill as a teacher of composition is evidenced by the extraordinary number of successful composers among several generations of his former students. These include Stuart Broomer, Brian Cherney, Steven Gellman, Herbie Helbig, James Hiscott, Paul Hoffert, Lorraine Johnson, Moe Koffman, Gary Kulesha, Larysa Kuzmenko, Michel Longtin, John Mills-Cockell, Allan Rae, Eric Robertson, Clark Ross, Ann Southam, Ben Steinberg, Timothy Sullivan, Roman Toi, Ben Trowell, Ruth Watson Henderson, Wes Wraggett, and Jack Zaza. Equally noteworthy is the wide variety of compositional styles that former students have developed under his supervision. This success is due to both Dolin's pedagogical method and his support and promotion of his students' works, for which he arranged regular public concerts at the RCMT.

Dolin founded the RCMT's electronic music studio in 1966 after touring US and European facilities, and also revived and brought up to date the ARCT diploma course in composition and theory. In May 1984 he became the founding artistic director of the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop (CCMW), an annual series of lectures, readings, and concert performances of new orchestral and chamber music, predominantly by Canadians, but open to all composers.

Dolin's own works encompass several styles, from the chromatic, traditional Serenade for Strings premiered at the 1952 Olympics to the multimedia Drakkar, an ambitious project relating the first Viking sightings of the New World. (He later used the title of this work as the name of his own publishing venture.) Dolin's later works favoured smaller ensembles, such as Two Vocalises for Two Celli, although his Double Concerto for Oboe, Cello and Orchestra is an exception. This concerto, commissioned through the OAC, was premiered 31 Mar 1988 by his daughter Elizabeth Dolin, cello and Patricia Morehead, oboe (in a chamber version with piano and percussion accompaniment), at a concert of Dolin's music in honour of his 70th birthday at the Jane Mallett Theatre, St Lawrence Centre. This tribute was broadcast 22 May 1988 on CBC radio's "Two New Hours". The 1998-99 Les AMIS concert series also featured the works of Dolin.

His Variables, written in 1993, was recorded by Elizabeth Dolin and Carmen Picard (1996, ACD 2 2107 Atma). His Slightly Square Round Dance and April March are found on the recording Opportunity Knocks: Classic Commissions from the 1950s CBC Radio Program (Symphony Nova Scotia and Howard Cable, 1992, SMCD 5112, CBC Records). The pianist Alexander Tselyakov recorded Dolin's 1950 Toccata Vivace, which he premiered in January 1999 (Russian Album, Golomb Records, GLDC 5701-3).

Dolin was a founding member of the CLComp and served 1967-8 as vice-president and 1969-73 as president. He was vice-president 1972-5 of the ISCM and chairman 1970-4 of its revived Canadian section. He was an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. The RCMT, where Dolin taught until around 2001, offers the Dr. Samuel J. Dolin Scholarship in Composition.


Dramatic Works
Casino 'Greed,' opera (R. Hambleton). 1967. Ms

Machina, film (Choklakian-Schmidt). 1970. Ms

The Meeting Point, TV drama (L. Rampen). 1971. 6 voices, synthesizer, organ. Ms

Missionaries, radio drama (T. Findlay). 1971. Ms

Drakkar, multimedia (S. and L. Dolin). 1972. Mezzo, 2 bar, narrator, 2 dancers, chamber ensemble, 2 synthesizer, slides. Ms

Golden Section 'The Biography of a Woman' (L. Dolin). 1981. Sop, chamber ensemble, dancer, slides, narrator, lighting. Ms

The Hero of Our World (L. Peterson). 1985. Male chorus, mand orch, bar, folk dance ensemble. Ms


'ISCM's 45th festival in London,' CMB, 3, Autumn-Winter 1971

'Canadian League of Composers: Composers compare notes at First National Conference,' Music Scene, May 1971

'Tributes on Weinzweig's 60th birthday,' Canada Music Book 6, spring 1973


Sinfonietta. 1950. Ber (rental). ('Scherzo') RCI 171 (TSO)

Serenade for Strings. 1951. Ber (rental). RCI 86 (CBC Symphony Orchestra)

Symphony No. 1 'Elk Falls'. 1956. Ms

Isometric Variables 'Bassooneries in Free Variations'. 1957. Bn, string. Ber (rental)

Symphony No. 2. 1957. Ber (rental)

Sonata for String Orchestra. 1962. Ms

Fantasy for Piano and Chamber Orchestra. 1967. Ber (rental)

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. 1974. Ms

Symphony No. 3. 1976. Ms

Concerto for Free Bass Accordion and Orchestra. 1984. Ms

Concerto for Oboe and Violoncello with Orchestra. 1989. Ms


Sonatina and Barcarolle (1954, 1962). Vn, piano. Ms

Sonata for Violin and Piano. 1960. BMIC 1968. Mel SMLP-4021 (Zafer violin)

Portrait for String Quartet. 1961. Ms

Little Sombrero. 1962. Vn, piano. Ber 1964

Concerto Grosso 'Georgian Bay'. 1970. Perc, accord, tape. Drakkar 1977

Sonata. 1970. Acc. Wat 19712. RCI 385 (Macerollo)/(1982). JTC 001 (John Torcello)

Three Sonatas. 1973. 1 violin, tape; 2 fl, tape; 3 violoncello, tape. Ms

Ricercar and Fantasy for guitar. 1974 (rev 1977). Drakkar 1977. (Ricercar) Mel SMLP 4025 (D. Joachim)

Adikia. 1975. 1-5 accord, tape. Ms

Prelude, Interlude and Fantasy. 1976. violoncello solo. Ms

Concerto for Four. 1977. 2 piano, 2 percussion. Wat 1982. Mel SMLP-4044 (R. Hartenberger and D. Kent percussion, J Anagnoson and L. Kinton piano)

Duo Concertante. 1977. Free bass accordion, guitar. Ms

Sonata. 1978. Vc, piano. Ms

Kinesis I and Kinesis II. 1981. Va (or violoncello, or trombone, or tuba), piano. Drakkar

Quintet for Brass. 1981. Drakkar

Two Vocalises for Two Celli. 1990. Ms

Also other works for various instr groupings. All manuscript


Little Suite. 1954. FH 1955 ('Old Dance')

Little Toccata. 1959. BMIC 1961

Sonatina. 1959. BMIC 1960. CCM-2 (Cavalho piano)

Slightly Square Round Dance. 1966. Ber (rental)

If. 1972. Wat 1972

Prelude for John Weinzweig. 1973. Ms

Queekhoven and A.J. 1975. Drakkar. Centrediscs CMC-0382 (Kubálek)

Choir and Voice

'Chloris' (W. Strode). 1951. V, piano. BMIC 1961

The Hills of Hebron 1954. SATB, piano. Ms

Marchbankantata (R. Davies). 1971. Bar, SATB, piano, synthesizer. Ms

Mass. 1972. SATB. Ms

Deuteronomy XXXII (Bible). 1977. V, fl. Ms

3 sets of songs (1951).

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