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Dianne Aitken

Dianne Aitken
Dianne Aitken Photo
  • Faculty, Oscar Peterson School of Music
  • Examiner


Flute, Piccolo, Winds

Based in Toronto, flutist Dianne Aitken maintains a balance between her professional and family life. Active as a soloist, chamber and session/orchestral player in Canada, Europe, China and the US, Ms. Aitken is also recognized for her teaching, arranging, composing, curating and curriculum development. A Certified Teacher, Ms. Aitken is currently on Flute Faculty at The Oscar Peterson School of Music, the Band Program, Department Coordinator of the Peterson School Woodwind, Brass and Percussion Department, and Senior Examiner/Curriculum Developer (The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program).

Over the past 35+ years, Dianne has been involved in a myriad of musical adventures.

From the New York recording of Henry Brant¹s multiple flute works, to the onstage banda in COC’s production of La Bohème, outdoor performances in R. Murray Schafer's The Enchanted Forest, Cuban pianist/composer David Virelles’ large-scale work Gnosis, performing in chamber ensemble under the baton of Pierre Boulez, Artist-in-Residence in Banff, notable contemporary music festivals in Darmstadt (Germany), Acanthes (France) and Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music, to visiting artist at the Hong Kong Flute Centre.

Ms. Aitken’s performances/broadcasts in Canada, Europe, China and the US include those on CBC, CJRT and CKLN with New Music Concerts, Canadian Opera Company, Esprit Orchestra, Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses, Arraymusic, soprano Barbara Hannigan, Aitken/Tureski Duo, Quattro Flute Quartet and Robert Aitken.

Premières at various flute conventions/festivals have taken Dianne across North America from Chicago, Anaheim, Las Vegas, New York to the greater GTHA. Her selected discography includes ô Bali, à la claire fontaine, Spirit Song, Lutoslawski conducts Lutoslawski, Henry Brant: Music for Massed Flutes, Tyee (Centrediscs’ Neue Bilder), and Brian Current’s new Centredisc, Faster Still; highlighted film credits: HEVN (nominee for 2017 Canadian Screen Award, original score by Dianne’s husband, composer Michael White); San Andreas (2015); Iris (2013), and the CBC radio drama: The Handmaid’s Tale.

As curriculum developer, her publications include the 2010 Overtones Flute Series/Royal Conservatory Flute Syllabi, Examination Materials (Sight Reading, examination papers, online RCM Certified Teacher support); ACNMP Syllabi; and assistance in Hiroshi Koizumi's Technique for Contemporary Flute Music (Schott ‘96). Ms. Aitken has commissioned works and had pieces dedicated to her. Dianne’s own compositions for flute include Learning to Skate, Loco-motif, cadenzas for Mozart and Stamitz works, and chamber arrangements of Marcello Sonatas.

As adjudicator/clinician/curator, Ms. Aitken has appeared at festivals/conferences in Windsor, Winnipeg, Regina, Toronto, San Antonio, Las Vegas and Chicago. She co-sponsors the Aitken Award at the Contemporary Showcase Festival in Toronto, and regularly organizes a Flute Social Club.

Her students continue to be consistent award winners, i.e. Kiwanis (Toronto: Platinum; Provincials: First Place, Third Prize; Nationals: participant), North York Music Festival: Trophy (Best Senior Woodwinds) RC Examinations Gold, Silver Medals, RC Scholarships, John Weinzweig Centenary Scholarship, Walter Homburger Award, and accepted into various music programs: U of Toronto, McGill, WLU, UWindsor, McMaster, York, Brigham Young University, École Normale de Musique de Paris.

Dianne Aitken received her Bachelor of Music (Performance) from University of Toronto, studying with Douglas Stewart. Postgraduate work includes courses in Europe, working with midi-flute & ISPW (IRCAM, Paris), Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik (Darmstadt), Rencontres de la Chartreuse (Acanthes/Festival d’Avignon); recipient of Canada Council grants; Artist-in-Residence at the Banff Centre, and personal study with Marcel Moyse, Greta Kraus, Pierre-Yves Artaud and Robert Aitken. Ms. Aitken was also Manager of Music at Shawnigan festival on Vancouver Island from 1980-89, and participant in the Jean-Pierre Rampal Flute Competition in 1987.

Ms. Aitken has been on faculty at The Royal Conservatory since January 1985.

She is a member of AFM, National Flute Association, Canadian Flute Association; former faculty at University of Toronto, The Glenn Gould School (GGS), and former Chair/member, NFA’s New Music Advisory, past Syllabus Chair ACNMP, former member, Council of Examiners.

Languages Spoken in Addition to English: French, German

Minimum Age of Student: 8

Musical Styles: Classical, Contemporary