BOYD MCDONALD

Concert Pianist | Fortepianist | Composer

“He has the deepest respect for the works he performs and devotes his talent to bring to light their structure, their beauty. He brings the listener to a broad musical understanding and the best kind of fulfilment.”

– Nadia Boulanger

BIOGRAPHY

Boyd McDonald 

Pianist, Fortepianist, Composer

Boyd McDonald studied piano and composition with some of the most legendary music teachers of the 20th century, including  Nadia Boulanger, Darius Milhaud, John Cage and Stefan Wolpe.  Boulanger described McDonald as  “…a very fine artist, gifted, cultured, showing intelligence, economy and sensibility.”  He made his New York debut in 1963 winning the Leschetizky Town Hall Debut Prize.  

An active composer and chamber musician throughout his career, he was a member of the highly successful Beckett and McDonald Piano Duo in the 1960s and later cofounded Classical Trio with the celebrated Jeanne Lamon and Christina Mahler. He has appeared as a guest soloist at major concert halls such as Wigmore Hall , the Town Hall and Alice Tully Hall and been widely praised in the North American and European press throughout his professional career. 

In recent years, McDonald has devoted his energies to historical and avant-garde performances on the fortepiano.   His discography spans four decades, including recordings of Sir Lennox Berkeley’s Concerto for two pianos with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a definitive recording of Beethoven’s complete works for cello and Fortepiano with Cellist Paul Pulford.  

On Complete Cello & Fortepiano Works by Beethoven:

“… Pulford and McDonald have completely blown the competition out of the water – there is simply no need to consider any other version…”

– Christopher Bradersen, Continuo Magazine






ENSEMBLES

The Springdale Trio

Wendy Wagler  (Flute)

Ben Bolt-Martin  (Cello)

Boyd McDonald (Piano)

Active ensemble

Pulford McDonald Duo

Paul Pulford (Cello)

Boyd McDonald (Pianoforte)

Circa 2000s

Classical Trio

Jeanne Lamon (Baroque Violin)

Christina Mahler (Baroque Cello)

Boyd McDonald (Pianoforte)

Circa 1980s and 1990s

Beckett • McDonald Duo

Garth Beckett (Piano)

Boyd McDonald (Piano)

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Circa 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s

RECORDINGS

Ludwig van Beethoven

Das Gesamtwerk

Paul Pulford | Cello

Boyd McDonald | Pianoforte

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©  EBS 1996

Sir Lennox Berkeley

Piano Concerto for 2 Pianos

Beckett & McDonald Duo

London Philharmonic Orchestra

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© 1974 Lyrita Recorded Edition

Johannes Brahms

Piano Miniatures

Boyd McDonald on a Johann Baptist Streicher Fortepiano (1851)

© 2013 Doremi

Brahms Cello Sonatas & Songs with Cello

Anne-Marie Donovan | Mezzo Soprano

Boyd McDonald | Fortepiano

Paul Pulford | Cello

© 2001 Doremi

Bellows & Brass …and Boyd

Guy Few | Piano & Trumpet

Joseph Petric | Accordion

Alain Trudel | Trombone

Boyd McDonald | Piano 

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© 2001 Centrediscs

Joyner’s Dream

The Kingsfold Suite

Sylvia Tyson | Songs and Lyrics

Terry McKenna | Arrangements

Boyd McDonald on century Yacht piano

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© 2011 Outside Music

A Victorian Romance

Music for the English Concertina

Joseph Petric | Accordion

Boyd McDonald | Pianoforte

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©  2011

Mildred’s Thoughts

Words by Gertrude Stein

Music by Peter Hatch

Performed by Numus

© Artifact Music 1995

An Artist’s Neighbourhood

Wellington Winds

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© CHM 2002

Willem Moolenbeek

Songs without Words

Willem Moolenbeek | Baritone Sax

Boyd McDonald | Piano

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©  2011

AN OPUS SPANNING 6 DECADES

COMPOSITIONS

After studying with Nadia Boulanger for 3 years in Paris during the early 60s, McDonald returned to Canada.  Since then, he has been a prolific composer, writing for orchestra, chamber groups, choir,  voice and band.  

 

His works have been performed widely around the globe and heard on French, Swiss, English, German and Canadian national radio networks.  His composition “Three for two” has been performed over a hundred times, including at the Barge Concerts in New York, Guelph Spring Festival, Winnipeg New Music Festival, Orford Concerts and recorded by Bellows & Brass.

 

Boyd McDonald’s complete works can be borrowed from the Wilfred Laurier Music Library and purchased from the Canadian Music Centre.

 

 

 

CRITICAL ACCLAIM IN THE PRESS

In what is certainly the major period instrument release of Beethoven chamber music in many a year, Pulford and McDonald have completely blown the competition out of the water – there is simply no need to consider any other version, despite the many big-name cellists who have recorded this music.”

– Continuo Magazine review of Beethoven:  

The Complete works for Cello and Piano  

Boyd McDonald made a debut as a pianist and composer at Town Hall yesterday afternoon and he wore both hats admirably.”

The New York Times

“We have nothing but praise for this Canadian pianist for the strength of his sound musicianship. ”

Cri de la France, Paris

“A pianist of marked accomplishment and scope; his approach is assured and his interpretations show true musicianship.”

Daily Telegraph, Manchester

“The Canadian pianist Boyd McDonald did well to make Copland’s sonata the centre-piece of his recital. It is one of the most rewarding of contemporary sonatas and he dealt capably with its stark dissonances and nervous brittle rhythms”

Daily Telegraph, London

“A performer whose quality of resonance is charming and who possesses a musical touch.”

Les Arts, Paris

“Works of two North American composers gave an attraction of newness to his program. The interpreter, through his virtuosity and musical sensitivity made them a pleasure to listen to.”

Guide du Concert, Paris

REVIEWS

© Copyright 2019 Boyd David McDonald. 

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