© 2000-18 Jan Jarvlepp. Last updated October 2019

Composer Jan Järvlepp began playing pop guitar at the age of 12 and took up cello in high school at the age of 14. He also learned to play bass guitar and harmonica at this time. In university he majored in composition while developing his cello playing skills. As his studies progressed, he realized that he was not on the same wavelength as his modernist composition teachers.

Järvlepp returned to his native Ottawa in 1981 after completing his doctoral studies in composition and twentieth century music at the University of California, San Diego. His composition teachers over the years were Luis de Pablo, Alcides Lanza, Will Ogdon and Roger Reynolds. Once back in Canada, Järvlepp joined the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and has been active as a freelance cellist, composer, teacher, recording technician and contractor for chamber music groups. Once outside of the university environment, he began composing in a newer style of neo-tonal music that would not be acceptable among the academics.

Järvlepp has been delving deeper and deeper into the world of pop-influenced contemporary "classical" composition. He has completely turned his back on the avant-garde modernism that he was rigorously trained in to concentrate on the emerging neo-tonal style. He has also taken an interest in Hispanic, flamenco, Arab and Nordic folk styles. The result has been a variety of accessible pieces of music that appeal to a surprisingly wide cross section of the public. At times Järvlepp employs unusual combinations of instruments that have not previously been heard in the world of classical music. He has composed over 80 works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, orchestra and electronic instruments.


Jan Eric Jarvlepp
Box 2684, Station D, Ottawa, Canada K1P 5W7
(613) 729-7766

Birth: January 3, 1953 in Ottawa, Canada
Citizenship: Canadian, Finnish
Languages: English, French, Finnish

1981 Ph.D. University of California, San Diego. Studied composition and time perception with Roger Reynolds and Will Ogdon; cello with Peter Farrel and Rafael Druian; music history with Will Ogdon. Dissertation: Time Zones, a musical composition that incorporates new temporal composition methods. Grade Point Average: 3.869.

1978 M.Music, McGill University, Montreal. Studied composition and electronic techniques with Alcides Lanza, and cello with Gisela Depkat.

1976 B. Music, University of Ottawa. Studied composition with Luis de Pablo, cello with Donald Whitton.

Work Experience in Music
2019- Full-time composer.
1987-2016 Part-time music instructor for the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
1984-94, 2006 Part-time instructor for the University of Ottawa Music Department.
1981-2019 Freelance cellist, composer, teacher and member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra.
1978-80 Teaching assistant to Roger Reynolds, Pauline Oliveros, Bertram Turetzky, Edwin Harkins and others at the University of California, San Diego.

Alchemy in the Nineties. Experimental Musical Instruments, vol. 12, #3, March, 1997 (Experimental Musical Instruments, Nicasio, California).

Conlon Nancarrow's Study #27 for player piano viewed analytically. Perspectives of New Music, vol. 22, nos. 1 & 2, 1983-4 (University of Washington, Seattle).

Compositional Aspects of Berio's "Tempi Concertati". Interface, vol. II, No. 4, 1982 (Swets Publishing, Lisse, The Netherlands).

Pitch and Texture Analysis of Ligeti's "Lux Aeterna." ex tempore, vol. 2/1, January, 1982 (University of California, San Diego).

Professional Affiliations
Member of the SODRAC
Member of the Canadian League of Composers
Composer Member of SOCAN
Associate Member of the Canadian Music Centre
Member of the American Federation of Musicians (local 180)
Member of the ONMC

"Soundtracks of the Imagination" (J&W CD 941) all-Jarvlepp program of 11 works (1994).

"Presence" CEC 2-CD set includes the electronic composition "Buoyancy" (1997).

"Garbage Concerto" on BIS CD-1052 performed by the Kroumata percussion ensemble and the Singapore Symphony conducted by Lan Shui (2000).

"Flights of Fancy" (J&W CD 001) all-Jarvlepp program of 6 works (2000).

Awards and Grants
1978 Julius Schloss Music Award, McGill University.
1978, 1979 Canada Council travel grants.
1980, 1981, 1982 Prizewinner in the PRO Canada (now SOCAN) Young Composers' National Competition.
1983, 1986, 1993, 1996, 1999 Commissions from the Canada Council.
1984, 2002, 2007, 2012 Commissions from the Ontario Arts Council.
1989 Grant for recording from the Ottawa-Carleton Regional Municipality.
1995 Commission from the CBC for woodwind quintet.
1995, 1998, 2000 Laidlaw Foundation Commissions.
2004, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016 City of Ottawa Arts Grant
2009 Norman Burgess Memorial Fund commission

Relevant Experience
Member: The Palm Court Orchestra (Ottawa, 1982-2010)
Nepean Symphony Orchestra (1981-91)
La Jolla Symphony Orchestra (California, 1978-80)
SONOR Contemporary Music Ensemble (San Diego, 1978-79)
Pauline Oliveros's Sonic Meditations Group (1978-79)
McGill Symphony Orchestra (1976-78)
National Youth Orchestra of Canada (1976)
University of Ottawa Orchestra (1973-76)
University of Ottawa Contemporary Ensemble (1973-76)
International Congress of Strings (Cincinnati, 1974 and 1975)
Ottawa Youth Orchestra (1969-73)
Savonlinna Summer Youth Orchestra (Savonlinna, Finland 1970)
Nepean High School Orchestra (1967-72).

Freelance work
Performer with Open Score contemporary ensemble; Gatineau Symphony Orchestra; Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra; Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra; Ottawa Pops Orchestra; Gloucester Pops Orchestra; Beijing Symphony Orchestra; Salute to Vienna; hundreds of school concerts and concerts in the park; CBC broadcasts with chamber music groups; Gilbert and Sullivan productions; Rich Little Show; Rod Stewart; Bob Hope; Rosemary Clooney; Dionne Warwick; David Clayton-Thomas; Liberace; The Al Arz Lebanese Orchestra; English Country Dance Group; Canadian Armed Forces String Ensemble; The Ottawa Fringe Festival; etc., video and film soundtracks; pop recording sessions and shows; computerized music copying and arranging using Finale and Digital Performer for Macintosh; digital recording production, editing and mastering using Peak, AudioDesk and Sound Designer II for Macintosh; conducting film music, students and amateur musicians; transcription of eskimo, pop and childrens' songs to notation; adjudicator of original compositions for the Kiwanis Music Festival; contractor for chamber music groups and recordings.

Music Director of Espace Musique Concert Society (1993-99).

Co-founder of the independent J&W recording label in 1985 with composer John Winiarz of Montreal.

Web site launched Feb. 1, 2000 at www.janjarvlepp.com.