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Catherine Magowan

Bassoonist and composer Catherine Magowan is principal bassoonist of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra, the Southern Ontario Lyric Opera orchestra (SOLO), the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, and regularly freelances throughout Ontario.  Catherine is co-founder of the world’s first electric bassoon band, DFM, and has appeared at festivals including Pride Toronto, World Pride, Buskerfest, and the Northern Lights Festival Boreal.

She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award for the opera Giiwedin (Native Earth Performing Arts/Unsettled Scores, 2010) which she co-composed with her collaborator, Spy Dénommé-Welch. Together they premiered Contraries: a chamber requiem at the Royal Conservatory of Music in 2018, and their work for voice and orchestra Sojourn premiered at the Luminato Festival as the finale of the dance opera Bearing (Signal Theatre, 2017). Their chamber work Bike Rage took first prize by audience vote in Baroque Idol (Aradia Ensemble, 2013), and their comedy duo Professor Quack & Grunt has lectured at cabarets, poetry festivals, book launches, and universities. Magowan and Dénommé-Welch are currently completing their second full-length opera.

Together she and Dénommé-Welch have presented at conferences on topics such as decolonization and intercultural collaboration in music, and run workshops for youth and young adults on music creation and the politics of music.

Catherine is a member of the Canadian League of Composers, and an Associate Composer with the Canadian Music Centre.

For more information about Catherine, her collaborations and catalogue of works, please visit