Robert Aitken (composer)

Robert Aitken (Composer)

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Robert Aitken (composer)

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Robert Morris Aitken, (born August 28, 1939 in Kentville, Nova Scotia) is a Canadian composer and flautist. He began his career as a teenager playing in a number of orchestras, notably becoming the youngest principal flautist in the history of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1958 at the age if 19. In 1971 he abandoned ensemble performance to pursue a highly successful solo career. He has appeared as a soloist with major symphony orchestras throughout North America, Europe and Asia and has made more than 40 commercial recordings.

He has played with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, CBC Symphony Orchestra, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He is Artistic Director of New Music Concerts in Toronto. He has also done classical and contemporary music (along with eminent harpist Erica Goodman) on BIS Records. He studied flute wirh Nicolas Fiore, Marcel Moyse, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Andre Jaunet, Severino Gazzelloni, and Hubert Barwahser.

From 1988 to 2004, Aitken was a member of the music faculty at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. He is a former faculty member of the University of Toronto (1960–1975) and the Shawnigan Summer School of Arts (1972–1982). He was also director of advanced studies in music at the Banff Centre from 1985 to 1989.

Selected compositions

Scores are available through the Canadian Music Centre.

  • Spectra for four chamber groups (1968)
  • Shadows I: Nekuia (1971)
  • Spiral (1975)

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