Like many modern composers, Marjan Mozetich isn’t exactly a household name, particularly in the US. However, he is certainly a composer of the 20th and 21st century who has been making a name for himself with his symphonic works, chamber music, and solo pieces. He has been called “one of the most important composers of our time” (Kingston Whig-Standard) and his music has been described as “compellingly beautiful”.
Mozetich was born in Italy in 1948 to Slovenian parents but moved to Ontario Canada in 1952. His early musical training included studying piano and he worked toward becoming a concert pianist. He gave up on that idea and entered college studying psychology. He shifted toward music again, however, and pursued studying composition at the University of Toronto. After that, he continued his musical studies in Rome, Siena, and London.
Mozetich’s early influences included romantic composers like Chopin, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff as well as what he describes as “super-modern pieces” he first heard on the radio. So it’s no surprise much of his music blends lyricism and romantic harmony with what are decidedly modern elements. Since the 1980s and well into the 1990s and beyond, he has developed a style of post-modern romantic music in which he strives to express beauty, sensuousness, and emotion – things that give him and his audiences pleasure. And on one occasion, he certainly achieved what he set out to do. When the CBC Radio broadcast a concert performance of his violin concerto Affairs of the Heart, the switchboards lit up from coast to coast. There were numerous reports that listeners were so captivated by the music that they remained in their cars, listening to the end even though they had arrived at their destination. The so-called “driveway experience”.
Another piece that captures his signature style, comprising beautiful, spiritual, introspective, and meditative qualities is his The Passion of Angels. Written in 1995 and premiered in 1996, The Passion of Angels is a lush work featuring two solo harps and orchestra. It explores three degrees of passion: longing, desire, and ecstasy. The opening horn solo with accompanying harps announces the essential thematic material and throughout the work, the harps keep the orchestra moving through an emotional voyage.
Mozetich continues to compose to this day and has received numerous awards and recognition including the 2010 Juno Award for Best Classical Composition of the Year and the SOCAN Matejcek Concert Music Prize awarded to the most performed and broadcast composer in Canada (2002 and 2006). Learn more about Marjan Mozetich.
Want to hear The Passion of Angels performed live? Join the Parker Symphony Orchestra for “Passion” on February 15 at 7:30 PM at the PACE Center.