John Burke

May 10, 1951 - January 18, 2020


Musicians looking to obtain sheet music should contact the Canadian Music Centre

Principal Compositions and Performances

Nachtflöte, for solo alto flute (1974) University of Michigan, 11/5/75, Chris Kantner
Six Regions, for piano solo (1975) Radio Canada, Montreal, 4/30/78, Bruce Mather, piano.
Confluence, for orchestra (1976) University of Michigan, 7/14/77
Spectre, for 10 instruments (1976) Radio Canada, Montreal, 4/30/78 SMCQ, Serge Garant.
Firewind, for two pianos (1978) 7es Rencontres Internationales de Musique Contemporaine, Metz, France, 11/16/78, Pierette LePage, Buce Mather, pianos.
Diffusa est gratia, for 16 voices (1979) CBC Radio, Vancouver, 3/5/80
...ascends at full moon..., for clarinet in A and guitar (1981) University of Victoria, 5/19/93
Alchemies, for chamber orchestra (1983) Walter Hall, University of Toronto, 8/27/83, Esprit Orchestra, Alex Pauk
Near Rhymes, for saxophone quartet (1984) Pollack Hall, McGill University, 3/22/84, Danovitch Saxophone Quartet
Escher/Bach, for alto flute and harpsichord (1985) St. Lawrence Centre, Toronto, 3/19/85, Robert Aitken, alto flute; Elizabeth Keenan, harpsichord
Dreampaths, for piano solo (1986) New Music Concerts, Toronto, 11/29/87 Marc Widner, piano
Jacaranda, for oboe and two marimbas (1987) New Music Concerts, Toronto, 11/29/87
Far calls. Coming, far!, for 12 instruments (1988) Calgary Olympic Arts Festival, 2/14/88, SMCQ, Walter Boudreau
Jo-In, for 4 percussionists (1989)
Alberich Dances, for 9 instruments (1989) ELISION Ensemble, Melbourne, Australia, 11/21/90
Dance Interludes, for violin, cello and piano (1990)
Stealth, for bass clarinet and marimba (1991) Faculty Chamber Music Series, University of Victoria, 10/26/91, Lori Freedman, bass clarinet; Sal Ferreras, marimba
L’Absence, for 7 instruments (1992) Victoria International Festival, 7/10/92, Festival Contemporary Music ensemble
To Touch, electroacoustic work for 4 dancers; choreographer Sara Shelton Mann (1993) Mascall Dance International, Vancouver, 3/4/93
Noche de Ronda, for viola, cello and guitar (1995) CBC Vancouver, 6/2/96 Yariv Aloni, Pamela Highbaugh-Aloni, Alexander Dunn
Remember Your Power, for piano and 6 instruments (1998) Vancouver New Music, 5/31/98, Owen Underhill, Jane Hayes
Joy Be With You
, for string orchestra (1998) Chan Centre, UBC, 9/13/98, CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Mario Bernardi
Reiki, for string quartet (1998) Groundswell, Winnipeg, 11/12/98
Huna, for two pianos (1999)
Remember Your Power, for piano and 6 instruments, crystal bowl and chanter (1998-2000) Roundhouse Community Centre, Vancouver, 4/14/00 Jane Hayes, piano; InnerWork Ensemble, John Celona
The Call, for two oboes (2000) University of Victoria, Victoria, BC , 3/23/01
Seeing With The Wise Woman, for harp, string quartet and percussion (2000) CBC Vancouver, 11/23/06, Rita Costanzi
Epiphanies, for alto flute and string quartet (2001) CBC Vancouver, 11/23/06, Chenoa Anderson
Icaro I, for string quartet (2002) Sacred World Music Festival, Vancouver, 11/11/02
Hymn, for clarinet in A and string quartet (2002) Sacred World Music Festival, Vancouver, 11/11/02, Francois Houle
Icaro II, for 2 violins and harpsichord (2002) Musicos del Norte, Madrid, 3/24/03
Mysterium (versions I-IX) (2000-02)
Gyaling, for saxophone quartet (2003) University of British Columbia, Vancover, 10/15/04, Saxophilia
Labyrinthmusic, for piano and string quintet (2003) Sacred World Music Festival, Vancouver, 11/11/03
La Sombra Espiral, for guitar and string quartet (2004) MusicFest Vancouver, 8/11/09, John Oliver
One Breath, for chamber orchestra (2005) Regina Symphony, 11/28/07, Victor Sawa
Persistance de la mémoire, for piano in sixteenth of tones and mechanical metronome (2005) Conservatoire, Montreal, 12/14/05 Bruce Mather, piano in sixteenth of tones
“ a sort of runic rhyme...”, for ten instruments (2005) Sonic Boom, Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver, 3/18/06, Owen Underhill
Sanctum III, for 8 instruments, (2006) 11/23/06, CBC Vancouver, Giorgio Magnanensi
The Labyrinth Ascending
, for four players (2006) (1) piano/recorders, (2) piano/flutes, (3) soprano/celtic harp, (4) cello Gemini, Wendy Humphries, Cristian Markos, St. Hilda’s Anglican Church, Sechelt, B.C., 9/23/06
The Labyrinth of Transformation, for 8 instruments (2006) CBC Vancouver Radio 2, 10/29/06
Opera Interna, for flute, clarinet in A (bs. cl), percussion, piano, violin, cello (2007) Contact Contemporary Music, Toronto, 4/12/07
Zeno’s Plaint, for violin piano (2007)
Toning, for voice and string quartet (2009)
Chant, for voice and string quartet (2009)
Hieratikos, for piano trio (2009) ‘What is Classical?’ Festival, Harbourfront Centre, 8/14/10, Ensemble Vivant
Ultrablue, for piano in sixteenth of tones and two pianos tuned a quartertone apart (2010)
Conservatoire de Montréal, 1/24/11, Bruce Mather, piano in sixteenth of tones, Paul Helmer, Dominique Roy pnos
Centrage, for two pianos tuned a quartertone apart (2011)
Conservatoire de Montréal, 1/24/12, Paul Helmer, Dominique Roy pnos

More information about John Burke’s activities and projects at

Canadian Music Centre tribute to John Burke is here.

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Site updated 2023-10-15