Symphony Nova Scotia composer basks in Juno Award success

Composer Dinuk Wijeratne won a 2016 Juno Award for top classical composition for his collaboration with Skratch Bastid and the Afiara Quartet.

Dinuk Wijeratne collaborated with Skratch Bastid and the Afiara Quartet for his award-winning piece

A Symphony Nova Scotia composer is basking in the success of his 2016 Juno Award for the year's top classical composition.

Composer Dinuk Wijeratne calls the award "a personal triumph," and says much of what has come from winning a Juno has been about public attention. 
 
"It's great to be nominated amongst this community of composers," he said Friday. "Going to all the events was great. My partner and I made a holiday of it." 

The award-winning piece, Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems, was inspired by two pieces of his favourite poems that date back to the 12th century, he said.

Pianist Dinuk Wijeratne was one of the talented classical artists at this year's Juno Award nominee showcase. (Dinuk Wijeratne/Facebook)

Collaboration 'hugely rewarding'

He collaborated with the Afiara Quartet; the piece appears on their recording, Spin Cycle. It was then remixed by DJ Skratch Bastid and reworked once again by Wijeratne.

"It was hugely rewarding," he said. "How do you comment on the collision of old and new, the line between tradition and innovation? This winding process between open-minded collaborators does that." 

Wijeratne was the conductor-in-residence at the Symphony Nova Scotia for three years, and is now the composer-in-residence with the same organization. He's also involved with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra as an educator.

Wijeratne is working on becoming a PhD in musical arts at the University of Toronto. 

About the Author

Carsten Knox

Associate Producer

Carsten Knox is a writer, editor and broadcaster who helps produce CBC Nova Scotia's current affairs radio shows, including Information Morning and Mainstreet.

With files from CBC Mainstreet

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