The Faerie Queen with Royal Winnipeg Ballet

From April 29 – May 3 2015, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet has performed The Faerie Queen, music by Michael Bushnell and myself after Henry Purcell.  The music is for ten instruments and soundscape and was performed live with Tadeusz Biernacki conductor.  Congratulations to choreographer John Alleyne on having the ballet remounted!  In addition to the Winnipeg performances, there was a tour to Regina, Brandon and Saskatoon.   The reviews have been very positive.  Paula Citron in the Globe and Mail gave the music a mention:

“Vancouver composers Owen Underhill and Michael Bushnell have crafted a wonderful musical tapestry that’s been layered over an electronic soundscape that includes woodland noises.”

UK Tour with Daniel Tones

From April 27 – May 9, Daniel Tones and I are on tour in England.  Thanks to Danny for setting up the tour.  He has been playing my vibraphone solo ‘Cloud over Water’, and we have also been playing my ‘Songs without Words’ for vibraphone and piano.  For the tour, I composed a third Song without Words which we premiered in Leeds.  During the tour, I have also given composition masterclasses at the Royal Northern College of Manchester and the University of Birmingham.  Thank you to Scott Wilson for organizing our concert(s) and visit in Birmingham as part of BEAST FEAST.  In London, Daniel Tones and Russell Hartenberger are working with the Guildhall Percussion Ensemble culminating in a concert at Milton Court Barbican Centre which will include ‘Cloud over Water.’  Our tour concludes at University of York with a concert on May 8th.

2015 Events

Here are some performances and other events in 2015:


Bozzini Quartet performance of String Quartet #4: The Night, New Music Kingston, Isabel Bader Centre for Performing Arts

UK Tour with percussionist Daniel Tones – April 27 – May 8 – includes premiere of new Song without Words for vibraphone and piano

The Faerie Queen – Owen Underhill and Michael Bushnell – Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Choreography by John Alleyne, April 29 – May 3, Centennial Concert Hall Winnipeg

Conducting with Turning Point Ensemble

Carnival – March 13 & 14, Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre
Concert includes Jocelyn Morlock premiere, Hindemith, Saint-Saens, and Debussy

Carnival Tour – March 20 White Rock, March 21 Abbotsford, March 22 Salt Spring Island

Vancouver Pro Musica Sonic Boom Festival – March 27 Ensemble-in-Residence, Orpheum Annex

Masque Early and New – April 17 & 19, Telus Studio Theatre UBC Chan Centre
Concert includes premiere of Tony Wilson and music of Bradshaw Pack, Peter Maxwell Davies, and Harrison Birtwistle

CD Releases

Sassicaia by Francois Houle and Jane Hayes – includes Duotone (2014) for Clarinet and Piano – Redshift Music

Thirst – musica intima and Turning Point Ensemble – includes music by Ana Sokolovic and Julia Wolfe – Redshift Music

Recent Releases

Still Image CD Release

“Still Image” is a new CD of my music on the Centrediscs label.The CD features the Quatuor Bozzini on all four works. They are joined by clarinetist François Houle on the title work, and by trombonist Jeremy Berkman in the “Trombone Quintet.” There are two string quartets: “String Quartet #3 – The Alynne” and “String Quartet #4 – The Night.” This is a project that I have been working on for a number of years.

Please consider getting a copy of the CD. You can order it through Centrediscs at:

Still Image CD Review in the Globe and Mail

“Owen Underhill’s music is a sea of fluid contrasts: the busy clockwork time of action and dance and the suspended time of contemplation; bold gestures that cut across static, glassy textures; counterpoint one can see through, like a forest of bare trees, yet folded into consonances. The Bozzini Quartet provides haunting interpretations of Underhill’s third and fourth string quartets, which sneak up on the heart via the head. Superb soloists grace the two wind quintets: Jeremy Berkman, who turns phrases into characters with eloquent tone and smooth line in Underhill’s stunning Trombone Quintet, and clarinetist François Houle, whose cultivation of unorthodox techniques – liquid quartertones and multiphonics like fine sandpaper – heightens the sense of a music in which the detail is almost tactile, and none of it is expendable.”

I Remember

Brenda Fedoruk, flute and Sarah Fryer, mezzo-soprano

This disc includes my 2007 composition “Remember” for alto flute and mezzo-soprano. “Remember” was commissioned by Brenda Fedoruk for this recording. The poem I set is by Christina Rossetti. For information on recording, see
The disc is for sale at


featuring clarinettist, François Houle

* Liquid – John Korsrud
* Schrift – Yannick Plamondon
* Concerto – François Houle
* Kya – Giacinto Scelsi

Liquid is an exciting new ATMA recording consisting of four substantial new works featuring the solo clarinet of François Houle and Vancouver’s Turning Point Ensemble under the direction of Owen Underhill. Three of the works are recent commissions by John Korsrud, Yannick Palmondon and Houle himself. The fourth is Giancinto Scelsi’s 1959 Kya. Liquid is inspired by the multi-dimensional and unique world of the solo clarinet as it merges and collides with that of a large chamber ensemble in ways that are unpredictable.