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Composers: Jean Coulthard
Jean Coulthard was born in Vancouver on February 10, 1908. The creator of music remarkable for its integrity, purity of expression and deeply emotional language, Coulthard was the first of Canada's West Coast composers to receive wide recognition. She began to compose at age 8 while studying with her mother. In England later teachers included composer Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Her personal compositional style was characterized by the assertion of tonality through strong key centres, the use of colouristic harmonies, robust rhythms, and cyclic formal structures. In particular, her String Octet of 1972 is an extraordinary statement of musical expression and compositional skills. From 1947 until her retirement in 1973 Coulthard taught at the University of British Columbia, where she established music theory courses. Through a long retirement Coulthard continued to compose. Her works are frequently performed in Canada and abroad and her music has been the subject of several master's and doctoral theses.
Ms. Coulthard died in North Vancouver on March 9th, 2000.
*Excerpted from The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada