Biography

With performances of his works by the Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Quebec Symphony, Gryphon Trio, St. Lawrence String Quartet and many more in the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons, Jordan Pal is one of the most frequently performed composers of his generation in Canada and is regarded as one of this country’s most exciting new composers. His work, praised as “evocative,” “full of colour and emotion,” “beautifully crafted” (American Record Guide), and displaying a “clear sense of craft and expression” and “skilled orchestration,” has been lauded by audiences, critics and leading industry professionals. Pal is the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s RBC Affiliate Composer. His work The Afar was nominated for a Juno for Classical Composition of the Year (2016).

Described as “one to watch” (LaPresse), Pal (b. Toronto, Canada) is a leading voice of his generation in the Canadian concert music scene. An award winning composer, he has had the privilege of being commissioned and performed by many of Canada’s finest orchestras and ensembles, including the Gryphon Trio, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Regina Symphony, National Academy Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Symphony Nova Scotia, Thunder Bay Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Victoria Symphony, Brantford Symphony, Scarborough Philharmonic, the Mississauga Symphony, and more. Pal was the National Youth Orchestra of Canada’s 2014-2015 RBC Composer-in-Residence.

Current and upcoming projects include multiple commissions for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and a joint commission for the Windsor and Toronto symphonies. In 2016/2017, Pal will compose a new string octet for Jonathan Crow and artists of the 2017 Toronto Summer Music festival; a new piece for solo piano, commissioned by Rea Beaumont; and a cello piano duo for Cheng2. Recent commissions included a new work for the St. Lawrence String Quartet; the 2015 test piece for the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition; and a three movement symphony for the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. His works, Starling and Into the Wonder have been recorded by the Gryphon Trio, Thunder Bay Symphony and conductor Arthur Post for release in 2017. The Afar for Large Orchestra was professionally recorded by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada under conductor Emmanuel Villaume, released fall 2014. Past projects included a new work for the National Youth Orchestra of Canada’s cross-Canada tour (The Afar) as their 2014-2015 Composer-in-Residence; Starling: Triple Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra, as commissioned by the Thunder Bay Symphony and the Gryphon Trio; and various arrangements for the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Northern Tour. Additionally, Freida and Fred, an opera commission for the Gryphon Trio and singers Naomi Forman, Lawrence Wiliford and Robert Pomakov with the libretto by Ann Hodges; a commission for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s 2007-2008 Season in celebration of the 2010 Winter Olympics; a commission from the National Arts Centre in celebration of UNESCO, and a work written for the National Arts Centre Orchestra. His existing works will see numerous performances in the 2015-2016 season.

In 2014, Pal was selected as 1 of 3 finalists across all artistic disciplines for the prestigious Toronto Arts Foundation’s Emerging Artist Award. He was a finalist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Affiliate Composer search, and his work BURN was selected to be read in the Toronto Symphony’s 2013 reading session. In July 2014, he was the featured composer for Soundstream’s Salon 21 series. Pal is the recipient of various grants, awards and recognitions, including Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Council Grants, the SOCAN Sir Ernest Macmillan award for his work Vintage Threads for Electric Guitar and Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Open Call (BURN), the Emerging Composer’s Award through the Mississauga Symphony, and the John Weinzweig Graduate Scholarship, an award given annually to a graduating masters or doctoral student in composition “who exhibits extraordinary creative talent”.

Pal’s triple concerto, Starling, brought the house to its feet, when premiered by the Gryphon Trio and the Thunder Bay Symphony, under the command of Music Director Arthur Post. It received multiple performances with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Gryphon Trio and conductor Edwin Outwater, in 2015. His concert overture, On the Double, has received a great deal of attention from leading members of the music community, and has been performed on numerous occasions by various professional orchestras since its inception in 2009. It is scheduled for multiple performances in the 2016-2017 season, and was performed on multiple occasions with conductor Long Yu and the Montreal Symphony, Quebec Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and more in the 2015-2016 season. Pal’s virtuosic work for orchestra, BURN has seen various performances since its inception, and is scheduled for multiple performances with conductor Pietari Inkinen and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. His piece, Inclinations for Wind Quintet, received considerable attention from various ensembles, including the NACO Wind Quintet, and was sent to the United Nations in Paris, France as a Canadian gift of peace representing Canada on the cultural front. Inclinations was featured as part of Soundstream’s Salon series, July 2014.

Pal has participated in the masterclasses of Steve Reich, James MacMillan, Poul Ruders, Steven Stucky, Osvaldo Golijov, Krzysztof Penderecki and George Tsontakis, where his music was favorably recognized, particularly by Mr. Golijov and Mr. MacMillan.

Pal began his education in composition after receiving a scholarship to study at the Faculty of Music at McGill University in Montreal, where he received an Honours degree in composition in 2005. On full scholarship at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, he completed his Master’s degree in composition (2007) under Christos Hatzis, and his Doctorate degree (2011) under the mentorship of Toronto Symphony Orchestra Composer-Advisor, Gary Kulesha. He is an associate composer at the Canadian Music Centre.

Pal gratefully acknowledges the support of those who believe in the importance of sustaining this great tradition.