Duinker has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Canada, the United States, and Europe, and has won prizes at competitions including the OSM Standard Life Competition, PASIC Solo Percussion Competition, the Universal Marimba Competition, and the Prix D’Europe. His concerto performances have been described as displaying “breath-holding physical grace” (the Halifax Chronicle Herald) and as “revealing exceptional dexterity and precision” (La Presse, Montreal). As a chamber musician, Duinker has worked with groups such as Sixtrum, Ensemble Contemporain de Montreal, Collectif9, SMCQ, Bradyworks, Viva Voce, Symphony Nova Scotia, and (insert TITLE) Marimba Duo, which he co-founded with Greg Samek. His most frequent outlet for performance has been with Architek Percussion, a Montreal-based quartet that has, since their inception in 2012, premiered over 45 works, toured extensively across Canada as well as appearing in the United States and Europe, and appeared on five commerical albums. Duinker's principal teachers were Aiyun Huang, Fabrice Marandola, and James Faraday, and has also worked with Steven Schick, Bogdan Bacanu, and Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic. Duinker appears on recordings released by Ambiences Magnetiques, ATMA Classique, Centrediscs, Constellation Records, Redshift Records, and Mode Records, and has frequently performed on live CBC broadcasts.
As a choral tenor, Duinker performed with the National Youth Choir of Canada for three tours (2002, 2004, and 2006), spent seven years in the professional core of the Choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul (2007-2014), and performed with Viva Voce during its last years (2011-2016) as a Montreal-based chamber choir specializing in early music. In 2013 he began collaborating with Peter Schubert on Renaissance vocal improvisation, which led to performances hosted by the Fondazione Cini (Venice, 2013), McGill University’s Research Alive Series, and the Music Encoding Initiative (Montreal, 2016).
photo: Danylö Böbyk
Below is information on several of Duinker's current and past chamber music projects.
Architek Percussion is a Montreal-based quartet specializing in the performance of experimental, minimalist, multi-disciplinary, crossover, and electroacoustic chamber music. Founded in early 2012, the quartet has quickly established itself as a dynamic force in Canada’s vibrant new music community; equally comfortable in performing classic repertoire and exploring new terrain through commissions and premieres. In addition to self producing concerts in Montreal, Architek regularly tours and appears across Canada and internationally. Recent and upcoming appearances include New Music Edmonton, live@CIRMMT, PASIC, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Virée Classique (OSM), Innovations en Concert, Cluster Festival (Winnipeg), the Music Gallery (Toronto), nu:nord (UK/Norway), and the Scotia Festival of Music (Halifax). In addition, Architek has toured across Eastern Canada with support from the Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Debut Atlantic, the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et lettres de Québec, and Jeunesses Musicales.
Architek has commissioned and/or premiered over 40 works by composers from Canada, France, Iran, Israel, Japan, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, USA, and the UK. Several of these commissions have led to commercial recording projects, of which Architek appears on five: Bookburners (Nicole Lizee / Centrediscs, 2014), A Boat Upon its Blood (Jason Sharp / Constellation Records, 2016), Metatron (Eliot Britton / Ambiances Magnetiques, 2017), Katana of Choice (Ben Reimer / Redshift Records, 2017), and The Privacy of Domestic Life (Architek Percussion / Centrediscs, 2017). Architek’s diverse regular repertoire is at once engaging and challenging for audiences, and is presented in a manner inspired by the quartet’s belief that given proper context, no audience member should feel alienated by the nature of a performance of contemporary art music.
Architek Percussion is Noam Bierstone, Ben Duinker, Ben Reimer, and Alessandro Valiante.
Founded in 2009, (insert TITLE) Marimba Duo consists of Ben Duinker (Montreal) and Greg Samek (Toronto), who met while performing together in the Band of the Ceremonial Guard and the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. The duo received the Ludwig Albert Talent Prize at the 2011 Universal Marimba Competition in St. Truiden, Belgium. Through the development of a repertoire which mixes works from a wide array of genres and several centuries, (insert TITLE) aims to showcase the versatility of the marimba. They perform original works for marimba duo (some which they have commissioned) as well as their own adaptations, arrangements, and transcriptions, which includes works by Khatchaturian, Gershwin, Debussy, and Radiohead, to name a few. (insert TITLE) has performed in The Music Gallery's Emergents Series (Toronto), in the summer concert series of the Eglise Historique du Barachois, and at Halifax's Peggy Corkum Music Room.
Big Zang is the newest “Big Thang” to arrive on contemporary chamber scene. Based in Montreal, this project-based collective of musicians brings their unique style of percussion chamber music to the bars and clubs of Montreal and Toronto. They first came together in June 2009 During the Roots and Rhizomes residency at the Banff Centre led by Steven Schick. In January 2010 they performed their first concert in Montreal to a sold out audience, and have been creating a growing “buzz” ever since, including a recent billing with Detroit Techno pioneer Jeff Mills at Toronto’s X-Avant festival. The current members of Big Zang are Ben Duinker, Sandra Joseph, Dan Morphy, Corinne René, and Alessandro Valiante. Whether it is duos, trios, quartets, quintets, works with soloist, works with voice, or works with other instruments, Big Zang just works.
- written by Dan Morphy
Formed in 2009, the Expanded Performance Trio consists of composer/turntablist Eliot Britton, cellist Erika Donald, and percussionist Ben Duinker. The group’s aims are threefold. First, to establish a stable medium of chamber performance using a combination of sample-based and processed sound creation. Second, to explore and develop strategies to deal with the issues and difficulties in performing on exclusively digital instruments. Third, to compose and commission works for their instrument medium, using flexible sound sources for sampling. The Expanded Performance Trio received CIRMMT (Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music Media Technology) Student Awards in 2009 and 2010 and was the recipient of the CIRMMT Director’s prize in 2010. In 2011 they performed and presented at the CIRMMT Symposium (Montreal), the New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference (Oslo), the EMS-EMF Conference (New York), and the ORCIM Research Festival (Ghent, BE).