Christine Donkin

Composition and Musicianship

Christine Donkin's compositions have been performed by (among others) Symphony New Brunswick, Symphony Nova Scotia, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Guitar Quartet, the DaCapo Chamber Choir, Cantus (the Norwegian choir featured in the soundtrack of Frozen), the Meeks Duo, and esteemed Canadian pianist Dr. Elaine Keillor; and at (among others) the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival; Music & Beyond (Ottawa); The Village Trip Festival (New York City); Podium (Canada); the American Choral Directors' Association Convention; and The Big Sing (New Zealand). She has initiated various collaborations, commissioning poets (George Elliott Clarke, Lozan Yamolky, and Connie Braun) and fellow composers (Chan Ka Nin, Hussein Janmohamed, Marie-Claire Saindon, Clark Winslow Ross, Sherryl Sewapagaham, and Airat Ichmouratov), and working with Peterborough-based Indigenous vocal-percussion ensemble Unity in two projects commissioned by the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra. Christine owes a debt of gratitude to the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the SOCAN Foundation for the funding to make these projects possible.

As an educator, Christine is constantly witness to the process through which musicians must go in order to acquire the skills that they need as professionals, and for this reason, she also prioritizes the creation of music for students of all levels. Her pedagogical compositions and arrangements for piano, violin, and other instruments are featured in the publications of several music exam organizations, including the largest in Canada (the Royal Conservatory of Music) as well as two of the largest in the world (the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and Trinity College London); and as such are used by music students and teachers in more than one hundred countries. The 2021 RCM violin syllabus includes 36 of her compositions and arrangements (23 of which appear in the printed books); and the 2022 RCM piano syllabus includes 32 of her compositions (with 10 of those in the printed books), making Christine one of the best represented composers in both series.

As well as composing, Christine works with student composers in private lessons and as a clinician and adjudicator in collaboration with various music organizations, which have included Contemporary Showcase festivals, regional and provincial music festivals, Pacific Opera Victoria, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, the Ottawa Summer Music Academy, Summer Sizzle, and the Prince George Conservatory of Music (of which she is currently composer-in-residence). She also teaches composition, theory and harmony at the Victoria Conservatory.