Northern Lights: Canadian National Conservatory of Music
Born in Lancaster, PA in 1935, Jack Behrens began piano studies at age seven; his interest in composition developed almost simultaneously. At the Juilliard School (B. Sc., M. Sc.) he studied composition with William Bergsma, Peter Mennin and Vincent Persichetti. In 1962 he received a Copley Foundation grant to study with Darius Milhaud at the Aspen Music Festival.
Subsequently he earned his Ph. D. in composition at Harvard University where his instructors were Leon Kirchner and Roger Sessions; he also took special topics courses with Christian Wolff and poet Robert Lowell. CDs of Behrens’ compositions include Homages for Piano Solo (Bianca Baciu on the Centaur label), Variants (Karin Di Bella, available through Naxos) and Music for Two Pianos (recorded by Elaine Lau and Joseph Ferretti for Capstone Records).
Behrens directed three Canadian productions of Europera 5 by John Cage with whom he enjoyed a 25 year friendship. A Canadian Music Centre Associate Composer, Behrens’ teaching and administrative career has been primarily at the University of Regina, Simon Fraser University, Western University and The Glenn Gould School.