QUOTES FROM THE PRESS AND FAN MAIL ON MICHAEL CONWAY BAKER'S MUSIC
" .... musical wizard." Joy Metcalfe, North Shore News
"... outstanding capabilities...tremendous achievements"
Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Governor General of Canada
"... one of the foremost composers in Canada"
"...Canada's most experienced composer for film and television" Reel West Magazine
" Baker's music is lyrical and melodic, beautifully judged and expertly crafted ... a gifted melodist and orchestrator."
Diederik de Jong, American Record Guide
" ... the dulcet melodies might make Andrew Lloyd [Webber] eat his heart out"
Andrew Charron, Classical Music Magazine
"... one of North America's most sought-after composers for films and television"
John Sims, Western Report
" ... a hatful of awards later, Baker is Vancouver's foremost film and TV composer"
Damian Inwood, Celebrities Columnist, The Province
"...no matter what the era, you feel Baker would still be enjoying some kind of success...prolific and adaptable"
Stephen Godfrey, The Globe and Mail
"It's clear that Michael's music has great audience appeal..." Karen Wilson, CBC
"Baker is one who has emerged in the last decade as one of North America's most talented film and television composers"
John Becker, The Georgia Straight
"Baker has developed a highly approachable style, one firmly rooted in the communication of emotion. That fact, along with his great fluency and capacity for work, has made him one of Canada's most popular and most widely-known composers." Don
Anderson, Musically Speaking
"... a person who is so removed from the mainstream of Canadian composition that he has become successful. Baker, you see, composes music you can like. Not for him the stereotypical sounds of new music that thrills academia and drives audiences to the exits." Ray Chatelin, Music Critic, The Vancouver Province
"... a prodigious talent" Muriel Schubert, Vancouver Symphony
" ... such a hectic pace is not new to Baker, who is known for his diligence. In fact it was the composer's reputation which helped get him the [Stratford] Festival job. When [Richard] Ouzounian asked Baker to compose the music, the two hadn't even met." Keith Schaefer, The Beacon Herald
"... you ... have achieved a high level of personal and professional success and have brought honour to the University"
Mel Reeves, President, The University of British Columbia Alumni Association
" ... your beautiful music added to that success. It has been two six-month periods of hearing your themes through the wall (we couldn't afford proper sound proofing) and never getting tired of it"
Randy Ormston, United Nations Pavilion, Australia (88) and Expo 86
" ... truly outstanding theme music. It was a great honour for the University to have a composer of your stature create the music for such an important landmark event."
David Strangway, President, University of B.C.
" I am really a very great admirer of his [Baker's] work and whenever I get the opportunity, I push it for all I'm worth." Farley Mowat, Author
"Baker's music is characterized by strong emotional expression of a predominantly lyrical nature...often of an evocative nature and lends itself to extramusical venues such as dance and film."
Canadian Music Directory
"This sensitive but no-nonsense approach is the key to the popular and critical success of Baker" CBC Records
"His own personal, distinctive voice will continue to produce music that is both accessible and original." Chris Petty, The Chronicle
"...very evocative music that conveys some of the composer's intense personal concern for the natural environment and our responsibility for it."
John Becker, CHQM - Q's Reviews
"...the Canadian master of melody." CBC Stereo - Westcoast Performance
" No one has surpassed his ability to adapt musical talent to the film medium... And not only did (the music) "fit" but it was wonderfully appropriate to the mood of the picture." Peter Jones, National Film Board of Canada
"..Baker's music is as central to the films as the camera images are. The themes and melodies are both wonderfully musical and filmic." Philip Keatley, Producer, TV Drama, CBC
"His enthusiasm for the ideas and images in "Hand & Eye" helped us greatly as we developed the series. He found a distinctive way to enrich the material and the colour and lyricism of his scores made GLORIOUS MUD and TOUCH WOOD particularly appealing and effective."
Vincent Tovell, Executive Producer, CBC Television
"The most film-wise composer in Canada."
Jack Darcus, Exile Productions
"The concert ended with the premiere of Michael Conway Baker's Century Symphony (Opus 100) that was commissioned in celebration of our city's centennial. The directness and sincerity of the melodies along with the incessant driving rhythms created a powerful effect. ... I doubt that I was the only one with a tear in my eye when the choir of beautiful voices joined the orchestra in ending this truly moving work."
Daniela O'Fee, Kamloops Daily News
".. Your soundtrack "Celebration Canada" did everything we had hoped to do and more! Hundreds of thousands of Koreans will experience their first glimpse of Canada in a unique way and will surely walk away humming the melody in their mind. The orchestra and all your support team were superb. The result is a truly patriotic Canadian soundtrack that will leave a lasting impression on Koreans."
Barry McMahon, Executive Producer, Canadian Participation, EXPO '93, Korea
(Tis Canada Pavilion was judged "Best International Pavilion"
"...even before we have done the studio voice-over, your song (Love May Not Stay) has not only been accepted and cheered by Joe Public, but has won the hearts of some of the toughest people in this Business called Show! Your professional popularity and the extreme esteem with which your work is held in the industry tells me you are not inclined to rest on your laurels. ... Again, many thanks for allowing me a glimpse of your musical expertise and creativity."
Rheta With An "H" (Vocalist/Actor)
"I have been following your exciting and eventful career for many years now and have always been delighted with your distinctive and creative style of music. Your music comes across fresh and alive each time I listen to it, as if I were listening to is for the first time."
James Fries., Glenshaw, PA
"And we had Michael Conway Baker lined up to do the music.... It was an excellent group, the best the west has to offer and, I guess, considering the outcome, just the best group period." (About Canadian pavilion show at Expo '93 in Taejon, Korea)
Blair Reekie,Producer quoted in Reel West Magazine
"In Korea, visitors to the Expo pavilion will be strapped in, 110 at a time, for the "magic-carpet ride". They'll face a 70 square-metre screen for the 33-mm.film, which features a score composed by Vancouver's Michael Conway Baker."
Peter Birnie, Film Critic, The Vancouver Sun
"...our hearty congratulations upon your success at this year's Juno celebration. ... We hope that the spotlight on your talent by the whole country will continue to bring you substantial benefits, both commercially and personally."
Louis Applebaum, Board of Directors, SOCAN
"Baker was recently featured on BCTV's News Hour program and shown in the forest wilderness setting of his home, raccoons and all." The North Shore News"
"..Kootenai Brown".... It sure has a lot of blue--ribbon brains behind it. John Gray...wrote the script. Triple Genie-winner Michael Conway Baker wrote the score"
Elizabeth Aird, Film Clips, The Vancouver Sun
"He's best known for the Genie Award-winning music to The Grey Fox. Baker lives in a tranquil, North Vancouver retreat with his wife Penny. The house is all cedar and skylights, surrounded by towering pines and serenaded by a babbling stream. Relaxing in front of a blazing fire, it's hard to imagine Baker in the meat-grinder of 18-hour days, working to produce 45-60 minutes of the movie's 'emotion track'. The pressures are immense, he says."
Peter Clough, Entertainment Editor, The Vancouver Province
"A performance of "Chanson Joyeuse" by Vancouver composer Michael Conway Baker, whose highly acclaimed film scores for "The Grey Fox" and Disney's "One Magic Christmas" have earned him international recognition."
Air Canada Classics, VSO Allegro Magazine
"To have a concert dedicated to one's work is the kind of opportunity that composers of symphonic music dream about. Michael Conway Baker, who is also one of North America's most talented creators of scores for film and television, is very much looking forward to "Visions/Reflections" a special event devoted to his richly lyrical and romantic music. .... Artists like Michael Conway Baker are strong individuals who are not afraid to go against the trends -- people who work very hard for many years to find their own unique and personal voice." John Becker, CHQM "QM Entertainment"
"We invite you to participate in our book project entitled "The British Columbians". This book will be a collection of black and white protraits and biographies of individuals who have shaped or are shaping the history of our province."
Peter Paul Harnisch
"On behalf of the Government of Canada, may I once again congratulate you on winning this prestigious award and offer you my best wishes for continued success in the years to come."
Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada
"I heard, with great pleasure, from a member of the musical community today that you would consider composing some music for the symphony recovery campaign. It does not come as a surprise that you are committed to Vancouver's symphonic future, but your generosity and support is very much appreciated. .. Thank you so much for counting yourself as a part of the solution." Gordon Campbell, Mayor, City of Vancouver
"UBC music Professor Michael Conway Baker may find it hard to compose himself at a concert at The Orpheum on April 26th. For the first time CBC Radio has sponsored an entire show devoted to his music. .... Well-known around UBC as a champion of the new lyrical and romantic style of music composition, Baker has been applauded for his accessible and satisfying works both here and abroad." Joan Athey, CBC British Columbia
"Juno Winners" - Here's who took top music prizes. Classical Composition - Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra - Michael Conway Baker - Music of Michael Conway Baker, Robert Silverman (piano) -- CBC Vancouver Orchestra, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, conductor". Canadian Press
"Michael Conway Baker is a natural. In his job you have to be. He's composing the music for A Midsummer Night's Dream this year, and composing for theatre means working fast, changing ideas and possibly rewriting total scores -- in two days, if you please." The Beacon Herald (Straford)
"Dubbed "the John Williams of Canada" for his exciting, thematically rich, romantic orchestral style, Baker has built a large and loyal following that undoubtedly will multiply many times over when the new recording hits the stores this July." John Shaw, Summit Records in THE ALLEGRO QUARTERLY Magazine
"Baker has developed a highly approachable style, one firmly rooted in the communication of emotion. That fact, along with his great fluency and capacity for work, has made him one of Canada's most popular and most widely-known composers. In April of last year, CBC Vancouver staged a concert devoted entirely to Baker's music." Don Anderson, Musically Speaking No. 5
"Managing Director (of the Sinfonia of London) Peter Willison described the reocrding of the Cinderella score (by Michael Conway Baker) as "musically, on of the most enjoyable experiences Sinfonia has ever had." Ice Capades Program
"The accessibility of Baker's music makes it a joy for both novice and expert listeners to feel and experience the beauty of the music!!" The Allegro Quarterly Magazine
QUOTES FROM THE PRESS AND FANS ON
CINDERELLA....FROZEN IN TIME
" I couldn't be more pleased with the music composed for our production of Cinderella. The music is a great inspiration for all of the cast, and I truly believe that everyone will love to listen again and again to this wonderful original score..."
Dorothy Hamill, Dorothy Hamill's Ice Capades.
" The recording of the Cinderella score was, musically, one of the most enjoyable experiences that Sinfonia has ever had" Peter Willison, Managing Director, The Sinfonia of London
"From the opening strains of award-winning composer Michael Conway Baker's original, very classical score to the climactic spectacular moment when Cinderella's ball costume is unveiled and her carriage arrives, "Cinderella...Frozen in Time" is a spectacular evening at the ice." Natalie Nichols, Tulsa World
" .... your wonderful score. It was beautiful. The score was lush and elegant ... Creatively you clearly hit the mark."Meryl Marshall, Producer, Two Oceans Entertainment Group, L.A.
"...this "Cinderella" is wonderfully balanced and enlarged by the lush, emotional, original score by Michael Conway Baker ... From beginning to end this production is warm-spirited and positive." J. L. Conklin, Baltimore Sun
"There is no dialogue, but the beautifully composed music, written for the show by Michael Conway Baker, conveys the mood of each scene and the feelings of the characters." Cynthia L. Sparr, Billings (Montana) Gazette
"We also give special applause to the fantastic, swelling score of Michael Conway Baker." Mary Kay Roth, The Lincoln (Nebraska) Star
" Hamill says viewers should pay particular attention to the show's music, composed by Canadian Michael Conway Baker. "It's one of, if not THE star of the show," she says." Daily News, New York, NY
" I just want to let you know that never before have I experienced such an intense, emotional effect from hearing music. .... In my view, your music is what made it spectacular. To be perfectly honest, I cried through much of the show -- which is not something that usually comes easily to me. Thanks for bringing me an afternoon that will stay with me for a long time." Allison Shaw, Port Coquitlam, B.C.
"Anyhow, wanted to let you know how impressed I was with the music ... I had thought all the really good music had already been written."R. M. Hanberry, Vancouver, B.C.
"I was totally enthralled with your music ... Your orchestrations are just first rate and can you ever spin a tune!!! It is a sensational score and I am hoping that you will be putting some texts to some of those fabulous tunes. Bravissimo!"
Linda Maguire, Mezzo Soprano - Etobicoke, ON
"The music is filled with beautiful melodies, sensitive harmonies and rich orchestration. We can highlight only a few of its many delights. How did it play in Peoria? Marvellously." Maestro Magazine
"...the few stolen moments with this wonderful score have just been HEAVEN!! I am continually overwhelmed by the talents that God has blessed upon people like you. But the joy and satisfaction it brings to my heart, let alone balance and perspective to the hectic lifestyle we all seem to lead, is completely IMMEASURABLE. You and your skills are certainly one of the many blessings put upon this earth."Cheryl Marty, Decatur, IL
"I especially enjoy violins and strings and found your use of them to be soul reaching."
Bonnie M. Pyplacz, North Shore Economic Development Commission
"For overall artistic impression, "Cinderella...Frozen in Time" demands nothing less than a perfect 6.0" Chicago Tribune
"...this "Cinderella" is wonderfully balanced and enlarged by the lush, emotional, original score by Michael Conway Baker.." Baltimore Sun
RECENT QUOTES FROM CLIENTS CORRESPONDENCE
" The response to the "FAR AWAY" song is fantastic, and I feel we should aggressively pursue "Best Song" opportunities with the Genies, Oscars and Golden Globes. This wonderful song stands a very legitimate chance."
Eric Parkinson, President, Hemdale Communications to Dean Hamilton
Producer of SAVAGE LAND.
" .. I've always had a longing to commission a piece of music. The launch of the book presented an irresistible opportunity. So I asked composer Michael Conway Baker to create a special concerto to mark the launch, the concerto to celebrate the beauties of this part o Canada. Michael's music is melodic, accessible, and has a warm and enthusiastic following". Chuck Davis, General Editor, THE GREATER VANCOUVER BOOK
"I don't have to tell you how well the audience responded to your "Century Symphony". We are very pleased that you were able to attend the premiere performance and I'm sure our audience appreciated the opportunity to meet you as well." Kathy Humphreys, Kamloops Symphony Orchestra
"Thank you once again for your guidance and sharing your expertise with me on this project. All my nervousness was not necessary, thanks to your understanding and for your amazing flexibility. And I don't mean just sitting cross-legged on the floor beside the koto! I know some of my process was unconventional and I know that it takes special people to work and be creative under those circumstances."
Linda Ohama, Harvest Productions
"I take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work and the marvellous score for this project." Ian Herring, "Visions of Carmanah" Omni Film
"We were gratified how easily and effectively Michael took to working in the animation medium -- as you recall, his early tracks were composed working directly off our pre-timed storyboard sketches, long before the animation was complete and on film! ... I would never hesitate to work with Michael again on a future animated project ... his score was truly first class!" Al Lowenheim, Aerie Lion Group, Inc. San Diego (SHAMU)
QUOTES FROM THE PRESS AND FAN MAIL on
THE GREATER VANCOUVER MUSIC ALBUM
".. Vancouver Variations... 12 passionate mash notes to the city Baker clearly loves and understands... Like the city, the music is lush, moody, exhilarating, vibrant, pensive, energetic, spiritual. And it ends with diminishing strings evoking a sunset."
Denny Boyd, The Vancouver Sun
"...Vancouver is one of the most beautiful and interesting cities on Earth, but words and photographs can only approximate its many splendors. In his music Baker has actually captured the essence of Vancouver and the surrounding harbors and rivers, mountains and forests. " David Stybr, Maestro Newsletter
"You have done a superlative production of it. And the lilting main theme of the 'Variations' is one of your most tenderly entrancing inspirations!"
Paul Snook, Fanfare" Magazine
"I became inspired to play the music for my guests and have the CDs available for them. Folks from near and far were captivated. They bought them for souvenirs and for gifts. It is exciting to be able to offer this rare treat by such a notable local artist. It is the perfect relaxing, holiday-flavoured, tantalizing accompaniment to breakfast and it welcomes the weary traveller home from adventuring. Try it, you'll love it!"
Graeme Webster, Graeme's House Bed & Breakfast
"As I inhaled the rich textures of each of the seven movements, I remembered something I had counted on in my youth - music can be a visual medium in iteslf. Not visual in the way we now think of it, with open eyes that brace themselves for an onslaught of never fast enough images, but rather a visual inspiration of the imagination. It's not difficult to believe that Baker has received great acclaim in the film world for his rich scores." Vesta Giles,
"We absolutely immersed ourselves in your music, listening to it outdoors surrounded by all the beauty your music sings of. And what a treat to hear you on keyboards in Canticle for an Angel -- WOW Love it! The Sargents (Arla and Ron)
"BRAVO! on the Vancouver album. I think you did a good job of serving up the meat AND the melodies (a decidedly hard job). B.J. Leiderman, Virginia Beach, VA.
"Having listened to your work it seems to me that the cityscape pieces might be ideal to set [my] poems to." Marc Hurwitz, Symphonic Workshops Ltd.
"It will be the ideal music for our residents' mealtimes. Beautiful, open sounds. Relaxing, yet with lots of direction and movement." Lynnette Postman, Toronto, ON.)
FAN MAIL EXCERPTS
"I haven't stopped playing this glorious music… totally engrossing and all-stops-out emotional…absolutely fantastic!!" Jim Powley
"Had Michael's Vancouver CD on in the car this morning and it soothed everyone's nerves. He's the best medicine ANYONE could ever wish for Karen Boyd
"…I jumped ahead just a bit to music by Canadian composer Michael Conway Baker. His Intermezzo for Flute and Harp is still one of the most serenely beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard. Dave Stybr
"The pieces you played for us displays and level of spirituality that is truly profound and moving… it made me ache for a time we could be working together on an animated feature project. Al Lowenheim
"The tapes arrived, and both recipients are basking in the music, sending me thank yous for sharing the joy. Tom Bishow
"We were playing the CD (GVMA) version here at home a couple of days ago, and my father called me in and wrote me a note, "What is that music?" Something he has never done before. He loves it! In fact, his interest inspired us to take him on a brief road trip (something he hasn't done since his stroke 2 years ago) to Gettysburg, and we listened to the wonderful "Hope's Journey" CD on the way down and back, and we were all thrilled by such lovely music." Cmdr. Andrew Benson USN
"We LOVE the music you composed for the Ice Capades Cinderella. Unfortunately, one of our kids used it as a dance floor! How can we get another cd? John Blackburn
"I have recently discovered your Elegy for Flute and Organ and used it in a recital. I very much enjoy playing your music. It is so lyrical and is a joy to play on the flute. I only discovered when I looked up your bio on the internet that you are the incredible composer of Cinderella. We just had to buy the tape because your compositions were so beautiful. For the past few years, we flood our front yard and skate while we blast the Cinderella tape on the ghetto blaster out the window!!!! You just never know what people end up using your music for!" Tara Semple
" Thank you for your beautiful, inspiring music which, when I listen, reminds me that beauty in this world is alive and well. You have such a great musical gift so I hope you never stop composing." Louise Frigon
"Naturally I try to absorb fine music wherever I travel. Canada also has a wealth of composers, and the best of the best is one Michael Conway Baker. " Dave Stybr
"I ventured up Grouse Mountain on Saturday .. my eye caught the cover of your CD (GMA) and I impulsively bought it. Upon returning to Ohio, I popped it in the car's CD player while driving the children to school the following morning and the car silenced. For the 30+ minute drive, my 8 and 10 year olds were quiet (an amazing feat believe me!)." … Karen Boyd
"The directness and sincerity of the melodies along with incessant driving rhythms created a powerful effect… I doubt that I was the only one with a tear in my eye when the choir of beautiful voices joined the orchestra in ending this truly moving work." …Press review from Kamloops BC on the premiere performance of Symphony #2 - Century Symphony).
"This music (Cinderella) seemed to depict my feelings at this time, and lifted the heavy heart although parts of it were so romantic it hurt!…Proud to own this and hope you continue your good work.
Ruth Summers Kaatz
"Was thrilled to find a copy of your "GVMA" on the top of Grouse Mountain. A second copy is also making its way to Norway with my cousin who is visiting from Oslo. I was first formally introduced to your music and the Paintbrush and Baton Series with the VSO. Your 'Mountains" music brought me to tears as I could feel the beauty of North Shore mountains through your music. It is great to have such an accomplished and talented composer in our midst. Lisa Bajus
"I think I hold anyone who can write a piece of music longer than 3-5 minutes without continual repeats in awe. This somehow ended in the 1800's." Dan Steele, Dearborn, MI
"I was feeling rather sluggish from my surgery, anxious about the paper I had to present in last night and all-around cranky. Put on Michael's CD (Vancouver) and VOILA! I was cured. Tell him he's a miracle worker!" Karen Boyd, Granville, OH
"My agent asked me to locate a quality composer in Canada for some project .. After putting out the call to friends who know what seems like everything there is to know about this [film scoring] business, only one name kept coming back … YOURS"..
John Beal, Film Composer, Hollywood, CA
"Thanks for everything - your concerto, your cooperation, your help and your generosity." Laura Wilson - Symphonie of the Kootenays
"The program contained one piece which truly sent me into another world - your piece on "The Lions". As I read further to find out WHO did this magical music. I was truly "wowed" to discover a local genius. You may be amused to know the comment I made while listening to this piece on a beautiful, sunny day at Stanley Park, not to mention overlooking the mountains as the music played on was - …… "I want to die to this music," I exclaimed - that's how beautiful your music is, that one would want to hear it as their "last piece".. Linda Sarah Grant - Vancouver, B.C.
"About a month or so ago I heard "Canticle for An Angel" on the CBC Radio 2 programme "Take Five". There were tears in my eyes by the end of the piece, so profoundly did it affect me. I've since had my local independent music store track down a copy of the Greater Vancouver Music Album and I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying it. Thank you for your gift of such beautiful music, Mr. Baker."
Leisa Wellsman - Waterloo, ON
"I must tell you that when Eleanor saw that you had responded, she had tears in her eyes. She was so happy. This music has brought much joy to my family, as I know that your husband's music has done the same for many others." Pat Kingt
"She said it was poetic, and magical, and she loved how rhythmic the third movement was." (Harp Concerto) Elizabeth Volpe
"I wanted to relay to you that I gave out the treasured GVMA CD's you sent and Michael signed…they have been the talk of work! People are going out to their cars at lunch break and listening to them over and over! One friend here is very much under stress with many extended, but close, family members in crises with cancer and other big problems. She is the Mother Hen, concerned and caring for all, and has been feeling the effects of it on her health. She wrote me today that she has listened to the music 3 times in the past 2 days, and was filled with a wonderful relaxed calm for the first time in weeks, and said her sleep last night was the best in a long, long time." Tom Bishow
"Years ago I saw a production of Dorothy Hamill's Ice Capades production of Cinderella Frozen in Time. Yes, I loved it…but what I loved most was the music. I bought a tape at the performance (in Portland, Oregon) and listened to it nonstop for months. It was some of the most beautiful music I had ever heard." Deborah Johansen
"I wanted to tell you that, the more I listen to your other CD's, the more I fall in love with them. I could hear the themes and harmonic tendencies you displayed in Cinderella throughout the other two CD's (The Mountains - CD Single - Third Movement, and The Greater Vancouver Music Album). I absolutely love you work, and would love to meet you in person someday. Bill Hardie - Pittsburgh
"I do not want to be too "gushing" and effusive, but words can't express the enjoyment, wonder, and happiness the music brought me. I especially appreciated the "Aphrodite" - but, of course, "The Mountains" is my favourite. I first heard Michael's music at a time in my life when Murphy's Law was the rule - it seemed to me I heard it just at the right time, reminding me that there was still beauty and loveliness in the world. After having read your card I realised that he, too, at that time, must have been going through difficulties - and to me it comes through in his music. Now, once again, life is difficult, but for different reasons, and once again the music makes me laugh - and cry. Please accept my heartfelt thanks for being two people who care in a world where, unfortunately, "man's inhumanity to man" prevails." Pat Zimmer - Edmonton, AB
"You have won another fan- namely myself. I heard the Music Room program this morning and enjoyed it immensely. What a treat." Thelma Johannes O'Neill - Edmonton, AB
"Maestro Leonard Camplin and his Kelowna Canada Day Concerts Society deserve the highest accolades for putting on this sparkling musical show. Canadian content was high: all the performers and two of the composers were from Canada. One of the latter, Michael Conway Baker, even played the keyboard part for his Through the Lion's Gate film music. How many Canada Day concerts can you name where a major composer performs his own music? Chalk up another triumph for Kelowna."
Charles Velte - The Daily Courier, Kelowna, BC
"Michael Conway Baker is my favorite modern composer because he composed the music for the one album I play over and over, more than any other. Dorothy Hamill commissioned him to produce the music for her Ice Capades production, Cinderella Frozen in Time, and the work he produced so transcended the soundtrack genre that it should be considered something far different. This work is as ethereally lovely as the finest Tchaikovsky ballet. And from what I can tell, he seems like a genuinely nice guy.
"I spoke recently at a set painting seminar, and mentioned the importance of mood music during painting sets. Everyone later asked what the music was that I was playing!" Chuck Storey re: Cinderella Frozen in Time
"Having had [the disk titled Music of Michael Conway Baker] a few years, I simply want to say "thank you" for such inspiring pieces. You are as accessible as you are experimental - not an easy feat. Tears come to my eyes every time I hear the climatic high notes in Four Songs for Ann. And in several of the orchestral pieces, I can see the face of God in your rich chords and melodies. Thank you for your wonderful music; in this computer-infested, data-oriented, and leaner, meaner age, Canadian artists need all the thanks they can get. You certainly deserve yours." Bob Young - Guelph, ON
"I listened to the broadcast of Forms for Five on Friday night, and it was absolutely beautiful. It was such an amazing piece, and I especially like the addition of the piccolo! It was really fantastic. Elizabeth - Vancouver, BC
"The wedding was beautiful and your music played such a huge part. It was played as the bridesmaids, Bride's dad, best man, and bride and groom walked down the aisle. The wedding was very small, so everyone was completely focused on the couple and your music. The bridesmaids were crying before your piece ended. It was performed with piano, flute, cello, and violin. The musicians did a wonderful job, especially considering the complexity of the piece…it was indeed a challenge. They wanted me to express to you how much they loved your music and enjoyed performing it. The pianist told me he woke up this morning thinking about it and he can't get it out of his head! Peter Pope - Norfolk, VA
"I am writing to express my appreciation for the music of Michael Conway Baker. The warmth and expression in his music has caught my attention for a long time. As an avid listener for many years, I consider the music head and shoulders above the best of the best. His expressions and arrangements are a lyrical expression of thought which - in my opinion - only one other composer emotes. That composer is John Barry. It is that thought which has prompted me to write this - no other artist reflects the keyed-in genius that Michael displays, and the Grey Fox soundtrack is a typical example. There is tenderness there and humanity, gentleness and feeling, and all done by a composer who obviously has passion. I am a photographer, and as it is my one passion, I would reckon Michael would say himself - this was what I was born to do, this is me. To whomever receives this, if you are in contact with Michael can you thank him personally from me for all the years of pleasure he has given, and as his music obviously reflects and even though I've never met him, he is a true gentleman of music.
Thomas J. O'Connell - Tipperary Town, Republic of Ireland
"Ialways bring your CD with me when I paint. It gives me inspiration and takes me away. It is by far the most played piece of music I own!" Chuck Storey - White Lake, MI
"When Cinderella Frozen in Time appeared in Duluth, MN, where I live, I was so utterly taken with the music that I immediately ordered a soundtrack. This is a CD I play over and over, and is quite possibly my favorite CD of all, in a fairly large collection. My particular song favorites are The Prince's Lament, Village Festival, and Grand Waltz, but I so enjoy all the numbers that I usually play the CD in its entirety."
Laura Erickson - Duluth, MN
"I found your composition of "Frozen in Time" hauntingly with me for days after hearing it, and am hopeful that I can secure the CD to further enjoy it." John Hibbs
"I am a local Community Theatre performer, aside from my Singing and Acting, I like to paint scenery. I aslways bring your CD when I paint. It gives me inspiration and takes me away. It is by far the most played piece of Music I own! I would treasure it if you would open the wrapper and sign the cover! Chuck Storey, White Lake, MI
"Greetings from Southern California. We just returned from 9 days in Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler. I found your album quite by accident in the lobby of the Quality Hotel downtown. After hearing it, I have not gone a day without listening to it. Quite excellent! Just wished to pass that on to you. By the way, after finding it there, I found it all over the places we went. Any chance it's available in the U.S.? I wish I'd bought another copy or two to give to friends." Tom Bishow
"Mr. Baker's career is very impressive, and also very encouraging for aspiring young musicians. It's great to have Canadian musicians succeed so well, and be so prolific and versatile." Marylise Chauvette
"I would appreciate if Michael could autograph a copy of the CD for me as I so remember the first (and only) time that I heard this piece when I was attending an outdoor concert in North Vancouver at Waterfront Park and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performed. It so moved me and I have never forgotten it. Its just taken me a long time to get organized to acquire the CD for my listening pleasure."
Joanne Hudder, North Vancouver, BC
"Some years ago, my children and I were lucky enough to see Cinderella in Vancouver. You attended the performance the same evening and the three of us were among those who gave you a standing ovation for the glorious music. I bought the cassette and took it home. Over the years we have listened to it so much that the tape is quite worn out. Is a CD or cassette version available from anywhere? I would so much like to replace it." Rose Norton
"You may be interested to share something of the first time it was performed publicly. The location booked for the filming of my performance of your song was rented only until 1 PM due to budgetary limitations. After that time, "Heaven" was obliged to allow regular patrons into the bar. Murphy's law prevailed, and my scene was delayed until after 6PM, by which time the club was crowded with regulars who far outnumbered the Xtras hired as audience. The circumstances were completely new and confusing to me. In a technical daze, and facing the crowded bar, I made a decision to build a little shell around myself and the song, give it all I had, and let "them" do whatever it is they do. I sang the song. The club regulars froze to a pin drop silence during the first phrase. The Director did not yell "cut". I finished the song. The audience burst into applause, came to their feet, and continued to applaud. I cried. The other actors cried. The Director was out of his seat and applauding along with everyone else. Finally, he remembered, and called "cut!". His voice was lost in the din, he gave up, and rushed up to the stage and clasped me in a bear hugh! Just like in the Movies! So you see, dear Micheal and Penny, even before we have done the studio voice-over, your song has not only been accepted and cheered by Joe Public, but has won the hearts of some of the toughest people in this Business called Show! Your professional popularity and the extremem esteem with which your work is held in the industry tells me you are not inclined to rest on your laurels. I'll be listening for your next heartfelt life-love song." Rheta With An "H", Vancouver, BC
"I want to extend my deepest gratitude to you for so graciously acknowledging my inquiry about the beautiful music from "Cinderella - Frozen In Time." I have so precious few minutes during the evening hours for pleasure time at the piano, but the few stolen moments with this wonderful score have just been heaven!! I am continually overwhelmed by the talents that God has blessed upon people like you. You and your skills are certainly one of the many blessings put upon this earth."
"I received your CD of music from "One Magic Christmas," and I cannot thank you enough. I feel compelled to share with you the uniqued circumstances of this holiday season and how your music played a part. My partner's 90-year-old mother was hospitalized several days before Christmas. The same day, my sister-in-law (38 years old) also was hospitalized, experiencing liver failure and comatose. Two days later, an aunt died very suddenly of a blood clot in the lung. We spent Christmas travelling between hospitals and dreading the funeral of my aunt. Unfortunately, we never made it to the funeral (in Ann Arbor, Michigan), as a snowstorm forced us to turn around and go back to Chicago. We arrived home to find your CD in the mail. We listened to it as we drove to the hospital, and it became a sort of soundtrack for real life. We were so moved by the beautiful music that we both burst into tears. Imagine, two grown men driving along the expressway, bawling helplessly at your score! It truly touched us, and in a way was a cathartic healer. Last week, we found a recording of your "Washington Square" ballet, which we purchased and have also come to enjoy. Thank you so very much for so openly sharing your music with us, and for touching us in such a beautiful way."
Doug Orlyk, Chicago
"For Christmas Day, my children and I watched the movie, The Road Home. I was stuck by the music at the end and listened to it several times. I have a homeschool choir and I am interested in getting the music and words, to be able to teach it to them. In looking on the internet for it, it led me to you, the composer. I am hoping you have time in your busy life to contact me and let me know where I would be able to locate it. Thank You so much and have a wonderful holiday season and a fulfilling New Year. God Bless You. Suzi Lowell, Sandpoint, Idaho
"I am 15 years old and Music is my passion. I admire you a lot for your artistic personality and your genius of composer. I like your works, your creations: I find them entracing and beautiful." Martina Lopez, Paris, France