Forward, beyond the graves.”

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

David New - Listen

David New is an award-winning writer and director of documentary and performing arts films. His credits include Too Good to be True, a documentary about the Avro Arrow; 14 episodes of The Secret World of Gardens; and Nine Lives: Muhammad Ali, a biography of Ali as seen through the eyes of those whose lives he changed. David's screenwriting credits include The War Symphonies, a portrait of Dmitri Shostakovich that garnered two Geminis and an International Emmy, and When the Fire Burns, a biography of composer Manuel de Falla, which won a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival and a Gold Apple at the National Educational Film Festival.

R. Murray Schafer (1933-2021)

2009 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Classical Music)

Composer, writer, educator and environmentalist

R. Murray Schafer is acclaimed as a gifted composer, visionary educator and mentor, and committed environmentalist. In a career spanning over 50 years, he has explored the relationships between people and sound, created unique performance genres in the field of acoustic ecology, and raised awareness of Canada’s new music internationally. Mr. Schafer was born in 1933 in Sarnia, Ontario, and grew up in Toronto.

He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music and at the University of Toronto, where his contact with Canadian writer and philosopher Marshall McLuhan had a profound impact on his later work. Many of his compositions—over 120 to date, ranging from orchestral and chamber works to choral pieces to large-scale music dramas to “natural-environment” works for outdoor performance—reflect Mr. Schafer’s interest in Eastern culture and mysticism, his wide-ranging social consciousness, and his close connection to nature. His monumental 12 part Patria cycle, begun in 1966, includes a dusk-to-dawn ritual in which the audience is led through 29 performance sites, while the prologue, performed before sunrise on a wilderness lake, features 12 singers and 12 dancers in canoes, welcoming the dawn birds. In 1969, while teaching at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Mr. Schafer established the international World Soundscape Project, putting Canada at the forefront of the study of acoustic ecology. His concern for our acoustic environment, music education, and the damaging effects of noise pollution inspired him to write several groundbreaking books, including The Tuning of the World, Ear Cleaning, The Thinking Ear, and The Book of Noise.

He has also made a significant contribution as a musicologist/literary scholar and visual artist, and has had a major impact on the public dialogue about Canadian music.

Awards and honours include the Canada Council Walter Carsen Prize (2005) and Molson Prize for the Arts (1993); Louis Applebaum Composers Award (1999); Glenn Gould Award (1987); Banff National Award in the Arts (1985); Prix international Arthur-Honegger (1980); Canadian Music Council Composer of the Year Award (1977); Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music (1977); four Juno awards; and seven honorary doctorates from universities in Canada, France and Argentina.