Dinuk Wijeratne

Sri Lanka

Last updated: July 12, 2021

Sri Lankan-born Dinuk Wijeratne is a JUNO, ECMA and SOCAN award-winning composer/conductor/pianist described as “exuberantly creative” (New York Times) and as “an artist who reflects a positive vision of our cultural future” (Toronto Star).  He is a lively disrupter who crosses traditionally held musical boundaries, equally at home with symphony orchestras and string quartets, Tabla players and DJs.  He has worked in international venues as poles apart as the Berlin Philharmonie and Amsterdam’s North Sea Jazz Festival.

Dinuk has twice performed in Carnegie Hall with Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble and alongside tabla legend Zakir Hussain. Dinuk has also appeared at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Opera Bastille, The Lincoln Center, Teatro Colón, and in venues in Sri Lanka, Japan, and the Middle East. He was featured as a main character in What Would Beethoven Do? – the documentary about innovation in classical music featuring Eric Whitacre, Bobby McFerrin, and Ben Zander. Dinuk has composed specially for almost all of the artists and ensembles with whom he has performed, to name a few: Suzie LeBlanc, Kinan Azmeh, David Jalbert, Sandeep Das, Ramesh Misra, Ed Hanley, Eric Vloeimans, Buck 65, the Gryphon Trio, the Apollo Saxophone Quartet, the Afiara and Cecilia String Quartets, and the symphony orchestras of Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Nova Scotia, Buffalo, and KwaZulu Natal (South Africa).

Dinuk grew up in Dubai and then studied  composition at the Royal Northern College of Music (U.K.). He  subsequently joined the Juilliard studio of Oscar-winner composer John Corigliano. Conducting studies followed at Mannes College under David Hayes,  and doctoral studies with composer Christos Hatzis at the University of Toronto.

He is the recipient of the Canada Council Jean-Marie Beaudet award for orchestral conducting; the NS Established Artist Award; NS Masterworks nominations for his Tabla Concerto and piano trio Love Triangle; double Merritt Award nominations; Juilliard, Mannes & Countess of Munster scholarships; the Sema Jazz Improvisation Prize; the Soroptimist International Award for Composer-Conductors; and the Sir John Manduell Prize – the RNCM’s highest student honor. His music and collaborative work embrace the great diversity of his international background and influences.

Upcoming events

NAC media featuring Dinuk Wijeratne