The late Jocelyn Morlock (1969–2023) was one of Canada’s leading composers, who wrote compelling music that has been recorded extensively and receives numerous performances and broadcasts throughout North America and Europe. Born in Winnipeg, she studied piano at Brandon University, and later earned a master’s degree and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of British Columbia, where she was recently an instructor and lecturer of composition. The inaugural composer-in-residence for Vancouver’s Music on Main Society (2012–14), she took on the same role for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra from 2014 to 2019.
Jocelyn had close ties with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, who in 2015, commissioned My Name is Amanda Todd, a powerful work about the teen from Port Coquitlam, BC, who took her own life due to cyberbullying. It subsequently won the 2018 JUNO Award for Classical Composition for the Year.
“With its shimmering sheets of harmonics” (Georgia Straight) and an approach that is “deftly idiomatic” (Vancouver Sun), Morlock’s music has received numerous national and international accolades, including Top 10 at the 2002 International Rostrum of Composers, the Mayor’s Arts Award for Music in Vancouver (2016) and the JUNO award for Classical Composition of the Year (My Name Is Amanda Todd, 2018).
Most of Morlock’s compositions are for small ensembles, many of them for unusual combinations like piano and percussion (Quoi?), cello and vibraphone (Shade), bassoon and harp (Nightsong), and an ensemble consisting of clarinet/bass clarinet, trumpet, violin and double bass (Velcro Lizards). Cobalt, a concerto for two violins and orchestra, was her first commission for the National Arts Centre Orchestra, in 2009. Her first full-length CD, also titled Cobalt, was released on the Centrediscs label in 2014.