Jim Hiscott was born in 1948 in St. Catharines, Ontario. In 1971, after earning a Master’s Degree in Theoretical Particle Physics, he switched to music composition, studying with Samuel Dolin at the Royal Conservatory of Music and David Lidov and Richard Teitelbaum at York University. He is the recipient of the Creative Arts Award of the Canadian Federation of University Women. His compositions have been performed across North America, in Europe and Asia by many artists including the Hilliard Ensemble, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver New Music Society ensemble, Rivka Golani, Arraymusic, and Philadelphia’s Relâche.

Jim Hiscott has performed his own works for button accordion in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival, the Vancouver New Music Society series, Toronto’s Big Squeeze Festival, and on the main stage of the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. He has appeared as button accordion soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Niagara Symphony, and the New Orchestra of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

Recent premieres of music by Jim Hiscott include IQALUIT RIVER for flutes (bass and C-flute), clarinet, percussion, violin, viola, cello and bass (Derek Charke, Micah Heilbrunn, Victoria Sparks, Karl Stobbe, Elise Lavallée, Leana Rutt, and Meredith Johnson); QUINTET FOR ZHENG AND STRING QUARTET (Geling Jiang, Vancouver Inter-Cultural Orchestra String Quartet); AL PARADISO for bass clarinet, violin and SATB choir (Lori Freedman, Karl Stobbe, Canzona, cond. Henry Engbrecht), FAR HEAVENS for chromatic dizi and string orchestra (Xiao-Nan Wang with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, cond. Judith Yan); CAÑA for Latin ensemble, string trio and button accordion (Papa Mambo Ensemble, Mary Lawton, Elise Lavallée, Emma Quackenbush and Jim Hiscott); CANTU for orchestra (WSO, cond. Alexander Mickelthwate), PATER NOSTER for SATB choir (Camerata Nova, cond. Mel Braun); AFTER SORROW for string trio (Karl Stobbe, Elise Lavallée and Emma Quackenbush); 
TANGLE for oboe, double bass, percussion (Caitlin Broms-Jacobs, Meredith Johnson and Ben Reimer), SPIRAL for two violas (Daniel and Michael Scholz); I SPOKE TO NO ONE… for chamber ensemble (GroundSwell Ensemble cond. Earl Stafford); THE SONG OF THE STARS for soprano and string orchestra (Maria-Luz Alvarez with the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, cond. Scott Yoo); MANIMASII AURA for two-row button accordion and chamber ensemble (Simeonie Keenainak with the CBC Radio Orchestra, cond. Alain Trudel; BEATING HEART  for violin and button accordion soli with chamber orchestra (Atis Bankas, Jim Hiscott, and the Orchestra of St. Mark’s, led by Daniel Swift); IN MEMORIAM WALTER KLYMKIW for SATB Choir, soloists, and violin solo (The Oleksandr Koshetz Choir with vocal soloists and violinist Gwen Hoebig, cond. Laurence Ewashko); and NORTH WIND for chromatic dizi and orchestra (Xiao-Nan Wang and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, led by Andrey Boreyko).

STRING QUARTET #2 from his CBC Records CD “Blue Ocean / Music of Jim Hiscott” was nominated for Outstanding Classical Composition at the 2004 Western Canadian Music Awards.



(Blue Ocean, OCCD 9071)

(Winnipeg Symphony/Tovey/Hiscott) (WSO CD 9401)

UPTOWN MUSIC on “Adventures of Piano Woman”
(Shirley Sawatzky, piano) (NAME Editions, NMM 3)

ROMANTIC NIGHTS on “Rivka Golani”
(Centrediscs CMC CD 5798)

and SWIRL, on “Blue Ocean: Music of Jim Hiscott” (CBC Records MVCD 1166)

SHADOW PLAY on “Cycles” by Shawn Mativetsky (OMBÚ productions, OMBU 1015)

QUATRAIN on “Canadian Flute Duos” by Jennifer Brimson Cooper and Amy Hamilton (Independent (

Born: December 4, 1948, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Address: 128 Evanson Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3G 1Z9
Ttel. (204) 786-3054; email:


- Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music)(Honours), York University, Toronto (1976).
– Studies in theory and composition; Dr. Samuel Dolin, Royal Cons. of Music, Toronto(1971-77).
– Master of Science (Theoretical Physics), University of Toronto (1971).


- “Composer of the Year”; Winnipeg Free Press, December, 1994.
– Creative Arts Award of the Canadian Federation of University Women, in composition; 1977.
– four B.M.I. Canada Ltd. Centennial Scholarships, for study with Dr. Samuel Dolin, 1974-77.
– Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellowship, at the University of Lancaster, England, 1969-70.
– Governor General’s Medal for highest standing in class of 1969; Brock Univ., St. Catharines

Employment history

- 1997 to present – freelance composer, musician and producer
– 2001-2 – Associate Composer, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
– 1977-97 – Music Producer, CBC Radio
– 1971-77 – Music copyist and freelance musician in Toronto