Described on Bravo TV news as a “national treasure”, Diana Mclntosh has an active career as a distinctive, original, witty, and invocative composer and performer, inhabiting a unique space between two worlds. Well known for her creative imagination, she has written music for almost all media, and maintains a busy performance schedule. She has performed throughout Canada, widely in the USA, and in England, Scotland, lreland, France, Portugal, and in Kenya, Africa.
She has been commissioned several times by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Rosebery Orchestra of London, England, CBC radio, New York New Music Ensemble, the Schnabel Duo of New York, The Royal College of Organists, the U.S. National Flute Association, the University of North Dakota Choir, and by prominent soloists. Billed as a “Festival Favorite”, she has written for, and performed in many of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festivals since their inception in 1990.
Originally from Calgary, Mclntosh studied piano there, at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and in Winnipeg with Leonard lsaacs. She received a Bachelor of Music for Performance from the University of Manitoba, and had periodic lessons with Adele Marcus in New York. ln 1978, Mclntosh and Canadian composer Ann Southam, organized Music lnter Alia, western Canada’s first contemporary music series, centered in Winnipeg, and she was it’s Artistic Director tor 14 years, until she joined two other groups to create Groundswell, of which she continues to be co-artistic director. ln 1982 she was named “Woman of the Year in the Arts” in Manitoba, by the YWCA, was Composer-ln-Residence at both the Festival of Sound, in Parry Sound, Ontario, and, for several years, at the Faculty of Music, University of Manitoba. ln 2008 she received two commissions from the CBC. One was for A Mir Prelude and Fugue, for piano, in honour of Glenn Gould’s life and legacy, and premiered in the Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto. The other, Prodigies of the Nose, for speaking/playing pianist and percussionist, was premiered by Mclntosh and Beverley Johnston in an all-Mclntosh concert in Toronlo’s Hellconian Hall. ln 2009 her 60-minute chamber opera, The Rehearsal’s the Thing, for four speakingiplaying musicians was performed in Toronto and Winnipeg.
Mclntosh was nominated in both categories—Composer of the Year, and CD of the Year—in the Western Canada Classical Music Awards, attended the “Break out West” festival and performed her theatrical piece, “Aunt Kate” in that festival in Whitehorse, Yukon in 2011.
Always explorative, Diana Mclntosh is probably the only composer/performer who has performed in the cargo bay of a Bristol Freighter airplane (at the Western Canada Aviation Museum); on top of an airport control tower (at Old Warden Aerodrome, England); in the Royal Canadian Mint, (Winnipeg Branch); in the Scottish National Aviation Museum (East Lothian, Scotland); in The Canadian Aviation Museum (Ottawa); in The Aero Club of East Africa, and the Karen and Muthaiga Clubs (in Nairobi, Kenya); and at the Copall Equestrian Centre (in Winnipeg). The Halifax Chronicle-Herald said, “Virtuoso composer, pianist … Winnipeg’s Diana Mclntosh – is one of the wonders of the Canadian Contemporary music world. Contemporary music is not often so engaging, entertaining and delightful.” Of one of Mclntosh’s New York concerts, The Christian Science Monitor said, “Multimedia performance is a natural outgrowth of the age, and Mclntosh is one of its important voices.”
Bravo-TV and CBC-TV have both produced two profiles on Mclntosh and her music. Two of these may be seen on her website—www.dianamcintosh.com—As well as having her music on the CD’s of many recording artists, she has 3 CD’s exclusively of her own music – The Original Mclntosh and Another Byte of Mclntosh, and also a video, Serious Fun With Mclntosh. Her Centredisk CD, Pinnacles, was launched at McNally Robinson’s Bookstore, Winnipeg on Feb. 24, 2011.