I Biography

Well on his way to becoming one of the world’s leading flutists – Georgia Straight

Mark McGregor’s playing verged on the superhuman. I cannot imagine a finer performance – nor a more convincing one. – Music in Victoria

Described as a musician of “huge physical energy,” flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor has been lauded by the press as “mind-blowing” and “verging on the superhuman.” He has performed in festivals and music series across North America, Europe, Australia, and Israel, including Festival Montréal-Nouvelles Musique, Music Gallery (Toronto), Vancouver New Music Festival, New Works Calgary, Athelas New Music Festival (Copenhagen), and the Internationale A•DEvantgarde-Festival (Munich).

An outspoken advocate of new music, Mark is presently the principal flute of the Aventa Ensemble in Victoria and one-half of the Vancouver-based Tiresias Duo with pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa. McGregor has given many local and world premieres, including the first North American performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Ypsilon for solo flute, the premiere performance of Anna Höstman’s flute concerto Trace the Gold Sun with the Victoria Symphony, and the premiere performance of Turmalin, a major multi-movement solo flute work by the Danish composer Anders Nordentoft, at Scandinavia House, New York City, in June 2009. In 2011 Mark premiered two new concertos with the Aventa Ensemble, by Piotr Grella-Mozejko (on Aventa’s national tour to Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton) and James Beckwith Maxwell. In June 2011 he presented Seven Deadly Sins, a solo flute project that commissioned seven new works by Canadian composers: Dorothy Chang (Wrath), T. Benton Roark (Sloth), Gregory Lee Newsome (Greed), James Beckwith Maxwell (Envy), Jocelyn Morlock (Lust), Owen Underhill (Pride), and Mark’s own composition Le dernier repas de Monsieur Creosote (Gluttony). More recently, McGregor and violinist Müge Büyükçelen gave the world premieres of two new works by the British composer Michael Finnissy, Mercy and Mankind, and Sesto Libro di Gesualdo, at the 2012 Modulus Festival in Vancouver.

Since 2008 McGregor has performed extensively for the Health Arts Society, a non-profit society dedicated to bringing live music to the aged and ill throughout Canada. To date, Mark has given over one hundred performances in care facilities, retirement communities and palliative care units throughout British Columbia and Ontario. These continue to be some of the most rewarding and enriching experiences of his  career.

From 2005 to 2012 Mark was co-artistic director of the Redshift Music Society, a new music society dedicated to the performance of Canadian composers in alternative venues. During this period Redshift produced nearly forty concerts, including the celebrated Vertical Orchestra events in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library. He also helped launch Redshift Records in 2007, as a means of documenting the music of emerging and established Canadian composers. Mark remains the principal producer for Redshift Records, and will produce their next release, Ziggurat, featuring trombonist Neal Bennett.

McGregor’s discography includes Delicate Fires with Tiresias Duo, which features commissioned works by Canadian composers Jocelyn Morlock, Rodney Sharman and Jennifer Butler, and was nominated for a 2008 Western Canadian Music Award. In May 2009, McGregor released his first solo disc, Different Stones: Canadian Music for Multiple Flutes, featuring new works for ten flutes by Christopher Kovarik, Gregory Lee Newsome, James Beckwith Maxwell, Marci Rabe and Jordan Nobles — all recorded multi-track by McGregor. This CD was released on the Redshift Records label, and was the recipient of generous funding from the Canada Council for the Arts. Different Stones was nominated for “Classical Recording of the Year” at the 2010 Western Canadian Music Awards. In the Spring of 2013 Tiresias Duo released their double album, Trade Winds, featuring the music of Canadian and Japanese composers, including Kara Gibbs, Chris Kovarik, Derek Charke, Jean Coulthard, Jo Kondo and Toru Takemitsu. December 2013 saw the release of Mark’s new solo CD, Sins & Fantasies, featuring his Seven Deadly Sins project with newly commissioned works by Dorothy Chang, Gregory Lee Newsome, Owen Underhill, Jocelyn Morlock, James Maxwell and Benton Roark, as well a selection of solo flute Fantasias by the 18th century composer Georg Philipp Telemann.

Mark McGregor’s tuition includes studies at the University of British Columbia, le Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, the University of Sydney (Australia) and the Stockhausen Courses in Kuerten, Germany. His teachers include Sonja Boon, Denis Bluteau, Camille Churchfield, Margaret Crawford, Wilbert Hazelzet, Lorna McGhee, Aurèle Nicolet, Kathleen Rudolph, and the late Samuel Baron. In 2007 he received a Professional Musicians grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to undertake a month of specialized studies in Paris with the renowned flutist Pierre Yves Artaud. Doctor McGregor is an instructor of flute at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the VSO School of Music.

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  1. Pingback: Ligeti says you’d better be there… | Jocelyn Morlock

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