Hailed by the Toronto Star as ‘an artist who reflects a positive vision of our cultural future’, Sri Lankan-born Dinuk Wijeratne is internationally active as a composer, pianist and conductor. His music, commissioned for collaborators as wide-ranging as major orchestras to DJs to non-Western instrumentalists, explores great diversity while always revealing a very personal voice.
A graduate of the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Oscar-Winner John Corigliano, Dinuk made his Carnegie Hall debut while still a student in 2004 performing with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble. Since then, Dinuk has composed specially for almost all of the artists and ensembles with whom he has performed; to name a few: Suzie LeBlanc, Joseph Petric, David Jalbert, Kinan Azmeh, Tim Garland, Victor Mendoza, Ed Thigpen, Ramesh Misra, Adrian Spillett, Kevork Mourad, Zakir Hussain, Christina Courtin, MIR, Skratch Bastid, Buck 65, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, 4-Mality Percussion Quartet, the Afiara & Cecelia String Quartets, the New Juilliard Ensemble, Onelight Theatre, and Symphony Nova Scotia.
A passionate educator, Dinuk is Music Director of the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra and has lectured at the universities of Dalhousie and Acadia. He is the recipient of the 2008 Canada Council Jean-Marie Beaudet award for orchestral conducting; the 2011 Nova Scotia Established Artist Award; double Merritt Award nominations; Juilliard and Mannes scholarships; Countess of Munster composition grants; the Sema Jazz Improvisation Prize; the Soroptimist International Award for Composer-Conductors; and the Sir John Manduell Prize – the highest student honor of the Royal Northern College of Music.
Wijeratne is Symphony Nova Scotia’s RBC Composer in Residence, a new position made possible through RBC’s Emerging Artists Project. His selection marked the very first time one person has served as both a Conductor in Residence and a Composer in Residence with a single Canadian orchestra. Wijeratne won the 2016 Juno for Classical Composition of the Year Award for his work, Two Pop Songs on Antique Poems which was also nominated for and won an East Coast Music Award (ECMA) for 2016 Classical Composition of the Year.