15th February – Ann Southam
|Southam (4th February 1937 – 25th November 2010) is our composer for 15th February, to celebrate National Flag Day, Canada.|
|Lifespan: 73 years|
|Genre: 20th Century|
|Education: Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto|
|Fame Ranking: 5|
Ann Southam was born in Winnipeg and lived most of her life in Toronto, where she died. A student, and later teacher, at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Southam’s earliest compositions were of a Romantic style, but this soon matured as Southam’s interest in serialism, minimalism and electronic music took hold. It is Southam’s minimalist works which have proved most enduringly popular.
Southam created a mammoth work for piano; “Rivers” is a two-hour long suite of minimalist piano pieces. In fact, Southam’s preference was to write for the piano. There are no wind or vocal compositions in her repertoire. For larger ensembles,
Southam’s works include compositions for string orchestra and also chamber works, but nothing for the largest groups such as a symphony orchestra.
Shortly before her death from lung cancer, Southam was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada. During her own lifetime, Southam’s works remained fairly obscure. However, she appears to be rising in popularity and recognition. Southam left a staggering $14 million to a Canadian Women’s charity, “The Canadian Women’s Foundation”, an organisation she had worked with for around twelve years before her death. Her fortune came from her family’s estate, rather than from income earned as a composer.
Here is Southam’s piano work “Glass Houses Revisited no.5”
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Listen to more works by Southam – click the box!