Monica Pearce, originally from Prince Edward Island, is a composer of new classical/contemporary music with a particular affinity for solo and chamber music, opera, and electronics. After completing her Bachelor of Music at Mount Allison University with a focus on piano and composition, studying with David Rogosin (piano) and Ian Crutchley and James Code (composition), Monica completed her Masters of Music in Composition at the University of Toronto with the mentorship of Alexander Rapoport and Gary Kulesha. She currently studies composition independently with Linda Catlin Smith.
Monica co-founded the emerging composer collective the Toy Piano Composers in 2008 with Chris Thornborrow, where they, along with Elisha Denburg, are the Artistic Directors. The Toy Piano Composers are currently in their eighth season and have presented over 100 new works in 22 concerts, with support from the Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and the SOCAN Foundation.
Pearce’s work has been performed by the Array Ensemble, Talisker Players, Essential Opera, Bicycle Opera Project, New Fangled Opera, eklektikos ensemble, TorQ percussion quartet, junctQín keyboard collective, Sneak Peek Orchestra, Tonus Vivus Ensemble, Avant Guitars, Digital Prowess, and Tandem Percussion. Monica was the composer-in-residence for the 30th Anniversary of Canada Music Week in Prince Edward Island. In 2012, she was named winner of the Heliconian Choir and Orchestra’s New Music Competition for Emerging Female Composers for her piece You Know Me (based on the poem by Gwendolyn MacEwen). She also received the Canadian Music Centre’s Toronto Emerging Composer Award Honourable Mention for her project it plays (because it plays) for the junctQín keyboard collective. In December 2013, she received the honourable mention for her toy piano solo work clangor, which was premiered by Margaret Leng Tan at the UnCaged Toy Piano Festival in New York City. Most recently, she was the composer-in-residence for the O.K. Quoi?! festival in Sackville, New Brunswick, where she created a community soundscape project entitled Sounds of Sackville. Upcoming projects for the 2015-16 season include a work for piano/electronics for Halifax-based Barbara Pritchard, a toy piano/tabla duo for Xenia Pestova/Shawn Mativetsky, and a new one-act opera.
Monica Pearce is also the Executive Director of The Music Gallery, Toronto’s Centre for Creative Music, and sits on the boards of the Canadian Music Centre (National and Ontario Region) and Musicworks Magazine.