Mather, Bruce (1939--) By Bazin, Paul
Bruce Mather is a Canadian composer. He first studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (1952–57) and at the University of Toronto (1957–59), where he obtained a music degree in 1959, studying piano with Earle Moss, Alexander Uninsky, and Alberto Guerrero, and composition with Godfrey Ridout, Oskar Morawetz, and John Weinzweig.
Early in his career, Mather attended the summer festival of the Aspen Music School (1957–58). The festival became the site of a significant encounter for Mather; it was at the festival that he was introduced to Darius Milhaud, whose composition class he later registered in while studying in Paris. In addition to Milhaud’s class, Mather also enrolled in Olivier Messiaen’s class on music analysis. In 1960, Mather attended the Darmstadt summer courses where he met Pierre Boulez, whose orchestra-conducting classes he attended in Bâle (Switzerland) in 1969. Mather continued to alternate his study periods between France and America, until obtaining a masters degree from Stanford, California, in 1962 and a doctorate from the University of Toronto in 1967.
In 1974, the composer’s encounter with the franco-Russian composer Ivan Wyschnegradsky (1893–1979) marked a turning point in his career. A prominent pianist, Mather recorded the composer’s piano music with his wife, pianist Pierrette Lepage (b. 1939) and adopted Wyschnegradsky’s microtonal system of composition, which continues to mark his personal style.