Composer Barbara Pentland has given Canadian culture a musical legacy of extraordinary depth and artistic wisdom.
Born in Winnipeg in 1912, she began to write music at the age of nine, in spite of opposition from her parents. She studied music in Paris, and at the Julliard Graduate School in New York.
Barbara Pentland moved to Toronto in 1942 and in the following year became an instructor at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Moving to British Columbia in 1949, she joined the music department at U.B.C., where she taught theory and composition until 1963, thus helping and encouraging many young musicians.
Her music is characterized by a distinctive blend of lyricism, sensitivity and economy of expression. It includes chamber works, ballet, opera and symphonies. Her recent and mature works express a rich and abiding fount of creative renewal. For these gifts of music, Barbara Pentland has received the Order of Canada.
With wit and good humour, high standards and unassailable principles, she remains an active and inspirational presence in Canada’s music community.