Gordon Fitzell is a Canadian composer, improviser and sound artist. He began teaching at the Desautels Faculty of Music in 2004 and served as its Associate Dean from 2013-2016. His teaching focuses primarily on music composition, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is the founder and director of the eXperimental Improv Ensemble (XIE), an interdisciplinary multimedia performance group. Fitzell is also an artistic co-director of Winnipeg’s new music organization GroundSwell, where he helps run a concert series and an array of outreach activities and opportunities for emerging composers. 

  • In the faculty




Performance highlights

Gordon Fitzell is a Canadian composer, improviser, and sound artist. His music, described as “eerie, throbbing and trancelike” (New York Times), tends to explore peculiar intersections between classical and popular elements of culture, freely inhabiting acoustic, electroacoustic, and interdisciplinary performance environments. He has worked with a wide range of international artists including eighth blackbird (USA), Ensemble Orchestral Contemporain (France), and PianOrquestra (Brazil), as well as Canada’s Trio Fibonacci, Standing Wave, and Ensemble contemporain de Montréal. 

Fitzell's music is featured on multiple-GRAMMY-winning, Opus Award-winning, JUNO-nominated, and West Coast Music Award-nominated recordings. Conducted by Robert Aitken, Daniel Kawka, Véronique Lacroix, Reinbert de Leeuw and Bramwell Tovey, his music has been performed at international festivals including the Pan Music Festival (South Korea), the Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Germany), the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (England), and the Tanglewood Music Festival (USA). In addition to concert music, he has presented multimedia installations in North America and Europe, and produced sound recordings for other artists. He is currently an artistic co-director of Winnipeg’s new music organization GroundSwell. 

Fitzell began teaching at the faculty in 2004 and served as Associate Dean from 2013-2016. He is the recipient of various awards, including the 2010 Rh Award for Creative Works. In 2018 he was inducted into the College of the Royal Society of Canada. 

Ongoing research and creative works

In addition to his work as a composer and curator, Fitzell has published several articles, most recently in the journal Circuit: Musiques contemporaines and for the organization New Music Concerts. He has also presented conference papers and spoken about his own music in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia.