David K. MacIntyre is a composer of the theatre: opera, music theatre, instrumental theatre, music for dance, music for singers in all combinations - solo, duets, trios, small ensembles, big ensembles - a cappella or with instruments. Even his short works have a theatrical impulse. Ave Maria, his widely performed work for women's choir, began as a scene in an opera about the visionaries of Medjugorje, six children who had daily visitations with The Virgin Mary in the former Yugoslavia during the early 1980's.
David K. MacIntyre was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan in 1952. He studied composition with Murray Adaskin at the University of Saskatchewan and Rudolf Komorous at the University of Victoria. In 1979, he joined the faculty at Simon Fraser University where he co-founded the program in contemporary music in the School for the Contemporary Arts.
The Georgia Straight calls his music "supremely attractive" while The Vancouver Sun writes his "frankly popular vocabulary unlocks a deeply felt and frequently touching lyricism... expressive, poignant and enchanting music." The New York Times writes "the score worked to perfection", and The New Amsterdam Singers of New York describe his music as possessing “beguiling syncopation” and “hypnotic rhythms of great power and urgency.” Goran Forsling of Sweden’s International Concert Review writes that his vibrantly original Ave Maria “seems predestined to become a standard choral work”; that it is “deeply fascinating – and beautiful.”
He has taught at SFU Contemporary Arts for thirty-five years, developing respected courses in interdisciplinary collaboration and music composition. In partnership with his music colleagues at SFU, he has developed a unique pedagogy in music composition that is focused on group tutorials, collaborative learning, reading sessions with professional musicians and fostering the composer/performer relationship. His interdisciplinary collaboration course for advanced artist-creators in dance, music, theatre, film, visual art and spoken word has been a fertile training ground since 1980. Many of his former students are leaders in the contemporary arts around the world: composers in all genres, playwrights, choreographers, visual artists, filmmakers, festival directors, artistic directors, writers, performers, technicians, curators and producers.
His music is performed widely. Commissions and premieres include CBC Radio Orchestra, Concerto Della Donna of Montreal, Dance Theatre Workshop in New York City, Vancouver's Elektra Women’s Choir, First New York International Festival of the Arts, Festival Vancouver, Fondation Jean Pierre Perreault of Montreal, Ian Hampton/Langley Community Music School, The Holland Festival, Le Groupe de la Place Royale, New Music America in Montreal, Purcell String Quartet, Rumble Productions, Jeremy Berkman with Standing Wave ensemble, Turning Point Ensemble, Arts Club Theatre, Vancouver Opera, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Vancouver New Music, and Vancouver Playhouse.
He was the first composer to be commissioned by Vancouver Opera for The Architect ("a landmark in local new music" says The Vancouver Sun) in collaboration with playwright Tom Cone; the last composer to be commissioned by The Purcell String Quartet for Gazebo (1991); and his Ave Maria - commissioned by Elektra Women's Choir - has been performed by hundreds of choirs around the world. He's been honored with an entry in Canadian Who’s Who since 1992 and Sisyphus (1983), his collaboration with Karen Jamieson for seven dancers and two musicians, was celebrated as one of Ten Choreographic Masterworks of the Twentieth Century by Danse Canada Dance magazine in 2003. His opera cabaret Love in Public (2012) was called "expressive, poignant and enchanting music" by David Gordon Duke of the Vancouver Sun and it was nominated for two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards including Outstanding Original Composition (small theatre) and, in the same year, it was nominated for Outstanding New Work by the Ovation Awards celebrating music theatre/opera in Vancouver. His musical drama Tom Pinkerton: The Ballad of Buttefly's Son created in collaboration with playwright Hiro Kanagawa was shortlisted for Best Musical in 2012 by the Playwrights Guild of Canada.
In addition to his work as a composer, David K. MacIntyre has created choreography for his dance works, directed the staging of his operas and instrumental theatre works, and performed as a concertina-playing song and dance man in Squeeze, his 70 minute duet with dancer and choreographer Catherine Josephine Lubinsky. In the 70's and 80's, he was in demand as a tenor soloist performimg solo roles with symphony orchestras in Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Mozart's Requiem, J. S. Bach's Cantata 140 "Wachet Auf", Sir Michael Tippett's Child of Our Time and Rafe Vaughan Williams' magnificent work for sixteen solo voices and orchestra, Serenade to Music.