The Canadian composer, Marjan Mozetich, was born of Slovenian parentage in Gorizia, Italy in 1948 and emigrated to Canada in 1952. He began his musical training in piano and theory at the age of 9 in Hamilton, ON. Later he pursued studies in composition with John Weinzweig and Lothar Klein at the University of Toronto. In 1972 he received a Bachelor of Music Degree and an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto Diploma in piano performance. From 1973-74, with the assistance of the Canada Council of the Arts, Mr. Mozetich continued his studies privately under the successive supervision of Luciano Berio in Rome, Franco Donatoni at the Academia Chigiana, Siena, Italy and David Bedford in London, UK. In 2013 he received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Military College of Canada.
Early in his career he was active in the avant-garde music circles. He co-founded and was artistic director (1977-79) of the contemporary ensemble, ARRAYMUSIC. His works were performed by prominent new music ensembles across Canada and abroad, and have received several awards: second prize in the prestigious International Gaudeamus Composers’ Competition in Holland, first prize in the CAPAC (SOCAN)-Sir Ernest MacMillan Award, fellowship to the Instituto Musicale F. Canetti (Vicenza) and scholarship to the Academia Musicale Chigiana (Siena).
Stylistically he has evolved over the years from avant-garde expressionism, to minimalism, to a post-modern romanticism. Throughout, his music has remained accessible while still retaining an artistic individuality and integrity. Paradoxically, since the late 80’s he has achieved an overtly ‘traditional’ and yet distinctively modern voice: a blend of the traditional, popular and the modern which has been enthusiastically received by the musical public. His works have been performed and broadcast throughout Canada and abroad, even on Canadian Airline’s ‘in flight’ music programs.
Many of his works have been used by major contemporary dance companies such as Les Grand Ballet Canadiens, Ballet B.C., Alberta Ballet, Toronto Dance Theatre, Ballets Du Nord (France), Hong Kong Ballet and the Guangzhue Ballet in China. Mr. Mozetich has written compulsory pieces for the 1992 Banff String Quartet Competition, as well as for the 1995 and 2015 Montreal International Music Competitions respectively for violin and piano. In 1995 he was the honoured composer on postmodern music at the Gent Conservatory Music Festival in Belgium where three concerts with live national broadcast featured his compositions.
In 1996 his lush romantic work, THE PASSION OF ANGELS for 2 harps & orchestra, received its world premier with the Edmonton Symphony, and POSTCARDS FROM THE SKY was premiered by the Thirteen Strings in Ottawa. His violin concerto, AFFAIRS OF THE HEART, received a standing ovation at the premiere with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in 1997. When CBC Radio broadcast the concert performance of Mozetich’s 1997 violin concerto, Affairs of the Heart, the switchboards lit up from coast to coast. There were numerous reports of what those who work in radio sometimes call “the driveway experience”. This is where listeners are so captivated by what they are hearing that they remain in their cars listening to the end even though they’ve long since arrived home. CBC Records recorded these three pieces in 2000. Ever since, they have been the top selling contemporary classical cd in Canada.
“One of the most important composers of our time.” (Kingston Whig-Standard) Marjan Mozetich’s compellingly beautiful music has found favour with outstanding artists, critics and audiences around the world. “His music generates the kind of joyousness you feel when you hear the young Mozart.” (Toronto Star) “imploring with … fullness of melodic beauty” (Dusseldorfer Feuilleton). His aim is to write music that expresses beauty, sensuousness and emotion – things that give him and his audiences pleasure. In February 2000, the premiere of his Piano Concerto, dedicated to Robertson Davies and created for and performed by the brilliant pianist Janina Fialkowska, received a standing ovation and critical acclaim.
Mozetich has been teaching composition since 1991 at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where he resides. Currently he is working on a commission to compose a cello concerto for soloist Amanda Forsyth and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.