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), the Internationale A•DEvantgarde-Festival (Munich), and the Melos-Ethos International Festival of Contemporary Music (Bratislava).
An outspoken advocate of new music, Mark is 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, and considers the commissioning of new works by contemporary composers to be a cornerstone of his work as a musician. Highlights include premiere performances of concerti by Anna Höstman (with the Victoria Symphony), James Beckwith Maxwell and Piotr Grella-Mozejko (with Aventa), as well as the commissioning and premieres of solo and chamber works by Michael Finnissy (UK), Anders Nordentoft (Denmark), and Canadian composers Dániel Péter Biró, Jennifer Butler, Patrick Giguère, Yota Kobayashi, Chris Kovarik, Nicole Lizée, Simon Martin, Cassandra Miller, Jocelyn Morlock, Gregory Lee Newsome, Jordan Nobles, James O’Callaghan, Michael Oesterle, Marci Rabe, Jeffrey Ryan, Farshid Samandari, Alfredo Santa Ana, Rodney Sharman, Paul Steenhuisen, Edward Top, and Hiroki Tsurumoto. June 2011 saw the launch of his solo flute project, Seven Deadly Sins, which showcases newly commissioned new works by Canadian composers Dorothy Chang, Benton Roark, Gregory Lee Newsome, James Beckwith Maxwell, Jocelyn Morlock, and Owen Underhill — each inspired by a Deadly Sin. In 2016 Tiresias Duo presented National InQueeries, a project that pays tribute to LGBT trailblazers by commissioning new music for flute and piano by Annette Brosin, Justin Christensen, Brian Harman, and Jared Miller.
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 two 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 and international composers. He remains strongly connected to the recording label and has acted as producer for a number of releases.
McGregor’s discography includes Delicate Fires (2007) with Tiresias Duo, which features works by BC composers Murray Adaskin, Jennifer Butler, Jocelyn Morlock, Barbara Pentland, and Rodney Sharman; Different Stones (2008), McGregor’s first solo/multi-track recording, featuring new works for ten flutes by Tudor Feraru, Christopher Kovarik, James Beckwith Maxwell,Gregory Lee Newsome, Marci Rabe, and Jordan Nobles; Trade Winds (2013), Tiresias Duo’s sophomore double album featuring the music of Canadian and Japanese composers, including Derek Charke, Jean Coulthard, Anthony Genge, Kara Gibbs, Jo Kondo, Toru Takemitsu, and Hiroki Tsurumoto; and Sins & Fantasies (2013), featuring his Seven Deadly Sins project alongside a selection of solo flute Fantasias by the 18th century composer Georg Philipp Telemann. Delicate Fires, Different Stones, and Sins & Fantasies were all nominated for “Classical Recording of the Year” at the Western Canadian Music Awards in 2008, 2010, and 2015 respectively.
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, Kathleen Rudolph, and the late Aurèle Nicolet and 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, and in the fall of 2016 served as interim sessional faculty (flute) at the University of Victoria School of Music.