2024 Virtual Adjudicators

Alan Torok


Alan Torok

Composer and guitarist Alan Torok enjoyed a career, between 1971 and 1999, as a recitalist, teacher and chamber musician. He performed throughout Canada, Europe and UK, at music festivals, concert halls and in broadcast. From 1986 to 1999 he was Professor of Guitar at the University of Western Ontario's Faculty of Music.

Torok's compositional output covers most genres of the European classical tradition. His guitar music has been performed in Canada, USA, South America and Europe by various artists, and is published by Canadian and American publishers. He has won commissions and grants from all the major granting bodies in Canada. Among his prizes are the Silver Medal for Composition in the 1985 All Japan Guitar Concour in Tokyo and top prizes at the Volos International Guitar Festival Composers' Competitions. His discography includes music for guitar, chamber ensembles and string orchestra.

From 2005 to 2016 he headed the music department at Toronto's Claude Watson Program for the Arts, Earl Haig Secondary School, where he developed a music theory program that taught composition to auditioned music students—from solo instrumental to orchestral. Students studied harmony, counterpoint, form, and analyzed contemporary scores. They learned correct score preparation and wrote for professional groups that acted as their resident ensembles. Their compositions (50 to 60 per year) were read, critiqued and recorded by the Gryphon-Trio, the Amici Ensemble and the Esprit Orchestra. Select student scores were performed annually in public concerts by these ensembles.