The Tracing Colville Project

Following a research trip to sites in Europe in August 2019 (supported through a research grant at Queen’s University), Canadian composer Dean Burry is composing a four-movement work for full orchestra reflecting on the war art of renowned painter Alex Colville and the experiences of Canadians in the Second World War. The work will have a duration of approximately forty minutes, tracing the painter’s original path seventy-five years later. The National War Museum is an enthusiastic partner for this project and has agreed to provide images of Colville’s works for the performance. Tracing Colville will receive it's world premiere performance in fall 2022.

Kingston Symphony premieres excerpt from Tracing Colville

In the middle of the pandemic, conductor Evan Mitchell and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra remotely recorded an excerpt from Dean Burry's upcoming orchestral work Tracing Colville. Highlighting the Canadian Army's time in Nijmegen Holland in Winter 44/45, the excerpt also features Dutch musicians from the Rotterdam Sinfonia.

June 1944, Yorkshire

August 1944, Côte d'Azur

November 1944, Nijmegen

April 1945, Bergen-Belsen

The work is in four movements and scored for standard large orchestra (double winds, two trumpets, four horns, three trombones (two tenor, one bass), tuba, harp, three percussionists and strings.)

In 2022, Tracing Colville will receive its world premiere at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts with the Kingston Symphony Orchestra. The work will be available for future performances from that time on.

In conjunction with the composition of Tracing Colville, composer Dean Burry is creating a lecture-performance entitled Sketching Colville which explores aspects of the history and context of the piece through an examination of paintings, photographs, anecdotes and diary entries, accompanied by piano “sketches” of the larger work.

The Canadian War Museum has generously granted permission for use of Alex Colville’s art work associated with this project. This will also provide the option of a multi-media component to to performance with the option to project Colville’s inspired work.

August 2019, Yorkshire

August 2019, Côte d'Azur

August 2019, Nijmegen

August 2019, Bergen-Belsen