Barbara Monk Feldman

(b. 1950s, Québec).

Canadian composer of mostly chamber and piano works that have been performed in Asia, Europe and North America.

Ms. Monk Feldman studied composition with Bengt Hambraeus at McGill University in Montréal from 1980–83, where she earned her MMus. She then studied with Morton Feldman, to whom she was later married, at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York from 1984–87 and there earned her PhD, on the Edgard Varèse Fellowship.

Her music has been performed at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt, the festival Inventionen in Berlin, the festival Nieuwe Muziek in Middelburg, the festival Other Minds in San Francisco, and elsewhere.

She is also active in other positions. Her research into music and visual art has led to collaborations with numerous artists, including Stan Brakhage, whose hand-painted film Three Homerics was created for use with her work Infinite Other. She founded the Time Shards Music Series at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2001 and served as its artistic director. Her article Music and the Picture Plane appeared in the journals RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics (1997) and Contemporary Music Review (1998).

She taught at the Ferienkurse in Darmstadt in 1988, 1990 and 1994, has given guest lectures at the Universität der Künste Berlin and has lectured and taught at universities in Canada and the USA.

The Canadian Music Centre and Frog Peak Music are the distributors of her music.


E-mail address for consulting scores:



Pyramus and Thisbe (opera, libretto by the composer, after Ovid [English translation], William Faulkner, St. John of the Cross [English translation], Rainer Maria Rilke), mezzo-soprano, tenor, mixed chorus, orchestra (8 winds, 8 brass, harp, mandolin, 3 percussion, 2 violins, viola, cello, strings), 2010

Io and Prometheus (opera in 1 act, libretto by the composer, after the composer, Paul Valéry, Virginia Woolf, St. Bonaventure [translated by the composer], Marcel Proust, Henry James, Rainer Maria Rilke), soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, bass, mixed chorus, large orchestra (4 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 contrabassoons, 4 French horns, 2 B-flat trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 bass trombones, tuba, harp, 4 percussion, strings), 2019

A Moment, Pines Rustle (text by the composer), speaker ad libitum, 2 or more noh dancers, piano, 2022


Design for String Orchestra, string orchestra, 1980

The Northern Shore for Percussion, Piano and Chamber Orchestra, piano, 2 percussion, small orchestra (2 flutes [2nd + alto flute], oboe, English horn, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, 2 French horns, B-flat trumpet, tuba, 6 or more violins, 3 or more violas, 3 or more cellos, double bass), 2018 (version of The Northern Shore)


Movement for Solo Viola, viola, 1979

Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano, violin, cello, piano, 1984

Variations for Six String Instruments, 2 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 1986

Two Flutes and Vibraphone, 2 flutes, vibraphone, 1987

Duo for Piano and Percussion, piano, percussion, 1988

The Immutable Silence, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, violin, cello, piano (+ celesta), 2 percussion, 1990

Pure Difference, clarinet, bassoon, violin, piano, synthesizer, percussion, 1990

Shadow, string quartet, 1991

Three Clarinets and Percussion, 3 clarinets, 3 percussion, 1994 (also version for clarinet, percussion, fixed media, 1994)

Verses for Metal, Wood and Drums, percussion, 1994

Verses for Five, flute, bass clarinet, French horn, piano (+ celesta), percussion, 1996

The Northern Shore, violin, piano, percussion, 1997 (also version as The Northern Shore for Percussion, Piano and Chamber Orchestra)

Verses for Vibraphone, vibraphone, 1997

Pour un nuage violet, violin, cello, 1998

Proche et femme, bass clarinet, accordion, 2001

Glockenspiel, glockenspiel, 2004

The Loons of Black Sturgeon Lake, flute, 2004

String Quartet, 'Desert-Scape', 2004

The Chaco Wilderness, flute, clarinet, guitar, piano, vibraphone, 2005

The Pale Blue Northern Sky, 2 guitars, mandolin, 2007

Landscape Near La Pocatière, Québec, cello, percussion, 2007

A Veil for Time, cello, piano, 2020

Piano Quartet No. 1, violin, viola, cello, piano, 2021


Variations for String Quartet and Chorus (text by Ludwig Wittgenstein), mixed chorus, string quartet, 1987

Infinite Other (text by Homer [English translation]), 2 sopranos, mixed chorus, flute, clarinet, piano, 2 violins, viola, cello, film ad libitum (by Stan Brakhage), 1992

Poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins, I, II (text by Gerard Manley Hopkins), mixed chorus, 2014


The Gentlest Chord (text by Rainer Maria Rilke), mezzo-soprano, 1991

Three Poems by Wallace Stevens (text by Wallace Stevens), speaker, clarinet, vibraphone, 1997

The Love Shards of Sappho (text by Sappho [English translation]), soprano, clarinet, violin, piano, 2 percussion, 2001


The I and Thou, 1988

Two Pianos, 2 pianos, 1989

Clear Edge, 1993

In the Small Time of a Desert Flower, 2000

Piece for Prepared Piano, prepared piano, 2007

Soft Horizons, 2012