David K. MacIntyre

(b. 1952, Yorkton, Saskatchewan).

Canadian composer of stage, instrumental and vocal works that have been performed in Asia, Europe and North America.

Prof. MacIntyre studied brass instruments, piano, theatre arts, and voice as a child and attended the Banff Centre in Alberta in 1969. He studied composition with Murray Adaskin at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon from 1970–72. He then studied composition with Rudolf Komorous at the University of Victoria in British Columbia from 1973–75 and 1977–79, where he earned his BMus with very high distinction and his MMus.

Among his honours are inclusion in Canadian Who's Who since 1992, recognition as One of Top 10 Canadian Masterworks of the 20th Century by the magazine Danse Canada Dance (2003, for Sisyphus), three nominations for the staging of Love in Public in 2012 (Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards in Vancouver for outstanding original score and outstanding lighting [by Barry Hegland]; Ovation Awards in Vancouver for Best New Musical), and a short-listing for Best New Musical by the Playwrights Guild of Canada (2012, for Tom Pinkerton, The Ballad of Butterfly's Son). His music has been performed in Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, and the USA.

He is also active in other positions. He worked as an actor and singer in dance, opera, performance art, and theatre in Canada and the USA from 1970–98. He co-founded with Christopher Butterfield, Patrick Carpenter, Stephen Horning, Bill Sample, and Owen Underhill the collective The Composers Group in Victoria in 1973 and co-produced its concerts from 1973–75, including a tour of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK in 1975.

He taught composition and interdisciplinary collaboration at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia from 1979–2017, where he was Professor of Music from 1994–2017, now emeritus, and served three terms as chair of its MFA Program in Interdisciplinary Studies since its inception in 1990. In addition, he co-founded with Barry Truax the programme in contemporary music at the School for the Contemporary Arts of Simon Fraser University in 1980.


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Hamlet (integrated music, play by William Shakespeare, production by Raymond Clarke), soprano, mixed chorus, oboe, muted trumpet, trombone, snare drum, fixed media, 1972

Doppelgänger (music-theatre work, words by the composer), oboe–speaker, live electronics, 1974

Humulus the Mute (opera in 1 act, words by Jean Anouilh [translated by Michael Benedikt]), lyric soprano, dramatic soprano, tenor, baritone, 5 actors, oboe, soprano saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, 2 violins, viola, double bass, harpsichord, 1977

Klee (words by Paul Klee), male speaker–actor, melodica, flute, violin, double bass, piano, tambourine (+ triangle, floor tom), 1978

Refrains: An Opera (experimental opera in 2 acts, words by the composer, choreography by Jean-Pierre Perreault; 8 dancers wear clog boots and stand on resonating boxes), 40 voice–dancer–actors (various + 70 harmonicas, ocarina, banjo, mandolin, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, piano, 2 music-box pianos, portative organ, vibraphone, steel drum, percussion toys), fixed media, 1981

Aria da Capo (opera in 2 acts, words by Edna St. Vincent Millay), mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, baritone, speaker–actor, violin, double bass, piano, accordion, 1982

Romeo and Juliet (integrated music, play by William Shakespeare, production by Bob Baker), mixed chorus (performed by full company, excluding principals), 1982

Calliope (choreography by Jean-Pierre Perreault; all dancers wear male tuxedos), 3 female dancers (all + 2 harmonicas), 3 male dancers (all + 2 harmonicas, any one + chromatic harmonica [with plunger]), 1982

Songs of the New Vaudeville (song and dance project in 2 acts, words by the composer, choreography by Susan Osberg), tenor, female dancer, piano, percussion, 1983

Sisyphus (choreography by Karen Jamieson, words by the composer), tenor (+ synthesizer), 3 female dancers (all + voice), 4 male dancers (all + voice), 3 rototoms (+ floor tom) (1 player), 1983

Road Show (choreography by Karen Jamieson), 3 female dancers, 4 male dancers, fixed media, 1985

A Strange Play about the President of France (choreography by the composer), female dancer, fixed media, 1985

Silent Movie (choreography by the composer, words by the composer), tenor (+ piano), 5 female dancers, flute, violin, cello, synthesizer, 1985

State of the World (music-theatre work, words by the composer, choreography by the composer), female actor, male actor, alto saxophone (+ tenor saxophone), synthesizers (+ drum machine) (1 player), 1986

The Highway 86 Event (choreography by Jean-Pierre Perreault; all musicians are costumed and mobile, using lyres as music stands), 50 or more dancers, soprano saxophone, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 2 baritone saxophones, bass saxophone, snare drum, bass drum, 1986

Heartland (monodrama in 1 act, words by the composer), tenor, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, guitar, synthesizer, percussion, 1987

Piazza (choreography by Jean-Pierre Perreault; all musicians are costumed and mobile, using lyres as music stands), 12 female dancers, 12 male dancers, 2 soprano saxophones, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 2 baritone saxophones, 2 bass saxophones, 1988

Sanctuary (full-evening instrumental-theatre work, vocalise; all musicians are mobile, moving between 15 stations), boy soprano, violin, string orchestra (6 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 3 double basses), 1989 (also concert version)

Smudge (choreography by Lola MacLaughlin, the composer; bass clarinettist must be female), female dancer, bass clarinet, 1990

The Architect (opera in 2 acts, words by Tom Cone), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, comprimario rôles (soprano/mezzo-soprano/tenor, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, bass), 16 or more mixed voices, small orchestra (harp, 2 percussion, 7 violins, 3 violas, 2 cellos, double bass), 1994

Communion (a cappella opera in 1 act, words by the composer), 24–48 female voices, 1996

Squeeze (duet, words by the composer, choreography by Catherine Lubinsky), male voice–dancer (+ concertina), female dancer, 1998

Love in Public (opera cabaret in 2 acts, words by Elizabeth Barrett Browning), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone, piano, 2004, revised 2012 (also concert suite as Love in Public – The Choral Suite, 12 mixed voices, piano)

Tom Pinkerton, The Ballad of Butterfly's Son (musical drama in 2 acts, words by Hiro Kanagawa, the composer), soprano, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, 2 baritones, bass, silent rôle, comprimario rôles (soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, 2 tenors, 2 baritones), 16 or more mixed voices, flute/clarinet, trumpet, trombone, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, percussion, 2008

The Apostles of Idaho (a cappella opera, words by Robin Blaser), 12 mixed voices, 2010

Dances and Ditties (choreography by Judith Garay; all dancers also sing), 7 female dancers, 2012

The Resistance of Mr. and Her (opera in 2 acts, words by Stephen Miller, the composer), mezzo-soprano, baritone, violin, cello, piano, 2014


Sir Thomas More, by Popular Repute, A Saint, 2 French horns, 3 B-flat trumpets, 2 trombones, tuba, 1972

Lothlorian, flute, timpani, vibraphone, 1972

Fantasy of Pan, flute, piano, 1973

Gemini Quintet, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 1973

Atlantis, French horn (+ claves), 2 trumpets (1st + güiro, 2nd + maracas), trombone (+ temple block), tuba (+ triangle), 1974

Salt (concerto), piano, ensemble (flute [+ piccolo], oboe, clarinet, bassoon, 2 French horns, trumpet, violin, 2 cellos, double bass, 2 percussion), 1975

Symphony, orchestra (8 winds, 11 brass, 2 percussion, strings), 1976

Deplacement, contrabassoon, ensemble (2 flutes, oboe, 2 clarinets, piccolo trumpet, trombone, percussion), 1977

Pantomime, soprano saxophone, piano, 1978

Sanctuary, boy soprano, violin, string orchestra (6 violins, 3 violas, 3 cellos, 3 double basses), 1989 (concert version of stage work)

Gazebo, string quartet, 1991

Home, French horn, string orchestra, 1992

Binner Music, 4 tuned wine-bottles (1 player with 2 pencils), 2000

Intimate Letters, trombone, ensemble (clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion), 2001

Berceuse in Memory of Murray Adaskin, violin, cello, piano, 2002

Trudeau Dances, large orchestra (89 players), 2003

Nietzsche's Typewriter, small orchestra (flute, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, contrabassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, piano, percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass), 2012


Alienation (words by Sandra Cryder), mezzo-soprano, French horn, 1973

Rudo's Boys (words by the composer), 2 tenors, 2 ocarinas, melodica, flute, guitar, mandolin, piano, 1975

Dues Payin' Phase Days (words by the composer), female jazz voice, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, baritone saxophone, 3 B-flat trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, electric guitar, bass guitar, piano, drum kit, 1976

Mass, dramatic soprano, 3 mixed voices, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, mandolin, 2 violins, viola, cello, accordion, harpsichord, 2 percussion, 1978

In Memoriam John Gardner 1932–1982 (words by the composer, last rites), tenor, flute, English horn, violin, cello, piano, synthesizer, percussion, 1985

Benedictus, 60 or more mixed voices, orchestra (8 winds, 10 brass, timpani, percussion, strings), 1987

Addio (text from the word "addio"), mixed chorus, 1994

Ave Maria (text from the words "Ave Maria"), female chorus, 1994

Psalm 23, mixed chorus, 1999

In Flanders Fields (words by John McCrae), male chorus, 1999 (also version for mixed chorus, 2011)

Because of Love (song-cycle, words by Robin Skelton), soprano, baritone, piano, 2003

Say the Names (words by Al Purdy), coloratura soprano, children's chorus, marimba, 2003

Radio Songs (song-cycle, words by Robin Blaser), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, 2005

Angels Reel (words by Robin Blaser), female chorus, 2006

Hammer (words by Tom Wayman), 6 mixed voices, 2008

And When I Pay Death's Duty (words by Robin Blaser), mixed chorus, 2010

Agnus Dei (text from Latin liturgy), mixed chorus, 2011

Alleluia (text from the word "alleluia"), 6 female voices, 2011

Love in Public – The Choral Suite, 12 mixed voices, piano, 2014 (concert suite from Love in Public)

Cold Snap (words by Clea Roberts), mixed chorus, 2014

Even in Our Sleep (words by Æschylus [unknown English translation]), mixed chorus, 2014

Late Canadian Carols (9 carols from Canada, words from sources from the Inuit, First Nations, China, 18th-/19th-century Canada), 5 female voices, harp, 2015

Elegy for the Fallen (words by Laurence Binyon), mixed chorus, 2017