National Arts Centre mourns the passing of Canadian composer Malcolm Forsyth

Ottawa (Canada)—It was with great sadness the National Arts Centre (NAC) today learned of the passing of Malcolm Forsyth, one of Canada’s most esteemed composers, and beloved father of NAC Orchestra Principal Cellist, Amanda Forsyth. 

The legendary composer had a profound impact on the cultural life of this country. Most recently, Mr. Forsyth travelled to the NAC to attend the world premiere of his final completed work, A Ballad of Canada, co-commissioned by the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.  A Ballad of Canada featured works by famous Canadian poets and a 160-voice choir, which included local choruses under the direction of Grammy Award-winning Duain Wolfe, Chorus Master.

His previous works include Sketches from Natal (1970), Sagittarius (1975), Quinquefid (1976), Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1979), African Ode (Symphony No. 3) (1981), and Atayoskewin (Suite for Orchestra) (1984), which won the JUNO Award for Classical Composition of the Year in 1987. Mr. Forsyth was named Canadian Composer of the Year in 1989, and was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

“In addition to being arguably one of Canada’s greatest composers, Malcolm was also an important member of the NAC family,” said Peter Herrndorf, President and CEO of Canada’s National Arts Centre. “Welcoming him back to the NAC last month for the world premiere of what Malcolm fondly referred to as his ‘epic, iconically Canadian work’ was a fitting tribute to a great talent and a great Canadian.”

Canada’s National Arts Centre extends condolences to his family and friends, and has lowered the NAC flags around the building in recognition of his passing. 

For more information please contact:

Rosemary Thompson, Director of Communications NAC

(613) 947-7000 ext 260

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