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 works for toy piano. After completing her Bachelor of Music at Mount Allison University with a focus on piano and composition, Monica completed her Masters of Music in Composition at the University of Toronto. She currently studies composition independently with Linda Catlin Smith. She recently relocated to McAllen, Texas after a couple of years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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 have presented over 120 new works and released a self-titled album.
Pearce’s work has been performed and commissioned by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, International Contemporary Ensemble, New Music Detroit, Chamber Cartel, Array Ensemble, Talisker Players, Essential Opera, Bicycle Opera Project, New Fangled Opera, TorQ Percussion Quartet, junctQín keyboard collective, and Thin Edge New Music Collective, among others. She recently won the Harry Freedman Award for her harpsichord work toile de jouy, commissioned by Wesley Shen. She was named winner of the Heliconian Choir and Orchestra’s New Music Competition for Emerging Female Composers for her piece You Know Me. She also received the Canadian Music Centre’s Toronto Emerging Composer Award Honourable Mention for her project it plays (because it plays). 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. 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. Most recently, her work The Flag was chosen as winner for the Creative Women at the End of the First World War Composition Competition. She had been featured on I Care If you Listen for her works chain maille and damask. Her operas have been performed across Canada and the United States, and toured across Ontario, and her toy piano works are frequently played internationally. She is currently working on recording a multi-work piece entitled Textile Fantasies which includes chain maille (percussion quartet), houndstooth (solo piano), damask (toy piano/tabla), denim (two toy piano/two percussion), velvet (for marimba quartet), leather (piano and percussion), toile de jouy (harpsichord), and silks (solo piano).
In addition to her work as a composer, Monica is active as a librettist, and recently served as a librettist for LooseTEA Music Theatre’s modern re-envisioning of Carmen, as well as for composer Bekah Simms’ how to, for tenor and percussion, and LooseTEA Music Theatre’s Singing Only Softly with Cecilia Livingston, which was nominated for Outstanding New Opera with the DORA Awards. Monica’s written works have been performed by Loose Tea Theatre, Bicycle Opera Project, Opera Nova Scotia, Vocalypse Productions, Caution Tape Sound Collective, and the Toy Piano Composers.