Biography

Mark B&W smallWell 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 “mind-blowing” musician of “huge physical energy” (Victoria Times Colonist), flutist Mark Takeshi McGregor is widely regarded as one of Canada’s leading interpreters of contemporary, avant-garde, and experimental music. As a soloist, chamber musician, improvisor, interdisciplinary artist, and as flutist of the internationally lauded Aventa Ensemble, McGregor has performed extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, Israel, and Australasia, including appearances at 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), the Melos-Ethos International Festival of Contemporary Music (Bratislava), and Núcleo Música Nova’s 2016 International Symposium of New Music in Curitiba, Brazil.

Throughout his career, Mark has worked alongside an incredibly diverse roster of artists, including Icelandic experimental artist Björk; vocal artists Noa Frankl, Carla Huhtanen, and Heather Pawsey; violinists Dmitri Sitkovetsy, Mira Benjamin, and Müge Büyükçelen; cellist Stephen Isserlis; pianists Kenneth Broadway, Luciane Cardassi, and Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa; percussionists Brian Nesselroad, Fabio Oliveira, Rick Sacks, and David Schotzko; and conductors Armin Jordan, Neville Marriner, Kent Nagano, Véronique Lacroix, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

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. He has worked with some of the world’s leading composers, including Heiner Goebbels, Philippe Leroux, Natalia Solomonoff, Simon Steen-Andersen, Gilles Tremblay, Barry Truax, and Rolf Wallin. The commissioning of new works by contemporary composers is an important cornerstone of Mark’s 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, André Cormier, 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 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.

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.

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