B.Mus - University of Calgary M.Mus - Yale University DMA - University of Toronto
Toronto, ON - West Hartford, Connecticut
Canadian composer Tawnie Olson draws inspiration from politics, spirituality, the natural world, and the musicians for whom she composes. She has received commissions from the Canadian Art Song Project, Third Practice/New Music USA, the Canada Council for the Arts, Mount Holyoke College/The Women’s Philharmonic, the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra, Ithaca College, the American Composers Forum, and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music’s Robert Baker Commissioning Fund, among others. In 2017, she received an OPERA America Discovery Grant to develop a new work about Hildegard of Bingen and Eleanor of Aquitaine with re:Naissance Opera (libretto by Roberta Barker), and a Canada Council for the Arts Professional Development Grant to study field recording at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In 2018 she is the Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford and an American Composers Forum BandQuest Composer-in-Residence at E.C. Adams School in Guilford, CT. She is the winner of the 2015 Iron Composer Competition, and her Three Songs on Poems by Lorri Neilsen Glenn took second prize in the 2018 NATS Art Song Competition. She is a 2018 Connecticut Artist Fellowship recipient and has won awards from SOCAN and The Guelph Camber Choir/Musica Viva.
Spring and Fall: to a young child- SATB a capella."Full of imagery – “fluttering of autumn leaves blown about by a gust of wind,” aleatory, and dramatic choral writing, this is a tour de force for advanced choirs. Moving between keys frequently and with ease, singers will enjoy this challenge and audiences will be jolted about as the sounds arrive as one surprise after another." - Hal Leonard
O Inexpressible Mystery - SSAATBB and viola. This brief, 2 minute piece is described by Olson as "quite different from anything I’d written before it, and from anything I’m likely to write again." This setting of a Gregory of Nazianzus text for the choir with an added texture of the solo viola make this a short but worthwhile challenge for choirs look to explore more difficult divisi repertoire
Tawnie is currently an adjunct professor of composition at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut. Recently she has been the Composer-in-Residence of the Women Composers Festival of Hartford, has received a 2018 Connecticut Artist Fellowship and has won awards from SOCAN and a 2nd place win in the NATS Art Song Competition.