Music professor scores at the Junos

Star composer takes home top honours for Classical Composition of the Year

As the Canadian music industry hailed its most successful artists this weekend in Winnipeg at the 2014 Juno Awards, the University of Calgary proudly celebrated one of its own.

On Saturday, longtime music professor Allan Bell, who is currently serving as acting director of the newly formed School of Creative and Performing Arts, was awarded Classical Composition of the Year for his work Field Notes.

It was a great honour to be nominated and to be included in the company of composers whom I really admire... This was a delightful surprise.

Allen Bell

Richard Sigurdson, dean of the Faculty of Arts, congratulated Bell on the victory.

“This well deserved award for Allan really showcases the remarkable talent at the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the performing arts excellence at the University of Calgary,” said Sigurdson.

"I hope this shines a big light on the School of Creative and Performing Arts," Bell added. "There is an awful lot of talent amongst my colleagues and those students, and the more light that shines on it the better. People are going to find out what an incredible force we are for doing remarkable artistic work." 

Bell’s Juno win is only the latest in a long line of accomplishments that have marked his distinguished career.

He is a Member of the Order of Canada and was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 2007.

He helped to create the University of Calgary’s PhD program in music and he has won many teaching excellence awards throughout his career. His music has been performed by orchestras across North America and his acclaimed composition, An Elemental Lyric, was performed at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Centre by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

First published in UToday, by Heath McCoy, March 31, 2014