Erika Yost

Erika Yost 1486

Erika Yost’s compositions have been performed in Canada, the USA and Europe (where she is also known by her Latvian name Ērika Joste). Born in the USA and raised in Canada, she holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from the University of Toronto, and an Associate Diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. Erika also studied composition, instrumentation, and electroacoustic music as a visiting student at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy in Rīga.

Erika’s works have been performed in the Toyich International Projects Monster Concert; at the XI Latvian Song Festival in Canada, as well as by many choirs and chamber groups. Selections from her 2010 CD of solo piano music “Roma” have been played on CBC radio, and her song cycle “Three Winter Solstice Songs” is included on the 2017 CD “Winter Solstice Songs” by the Latvian vocal ensemble “Putni Vocal Group”.

Erika writes in a very accessible style using an extended tonal harmonic palette, often including jazz influences. Her choral music, at times smoothly expressive, at times rhythmically driven, is noted for its ease of voice leading, and naturalness of text setting, leading one conductor to call it “exquisite”. In addition to choral and piano music, Erika’s 55+ works include art songs, popular and jazz songs, as well as chamber music for various instrumental combinations. She is a member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers and an affiliate member of the Canadian League of Composers, and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Some representative works:

Come, Rest Awhile. 2018: SATB a cappella. Text by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

A Tango for Carmen. 2017: String orchestra. Written for chamber orchestra “Armonico”

Esi mans gaišums (Be my Radiance). 2017: SATB a cappella. Text by Ivars and Anita Gaide, based on an 8th Century Irish hymn. In Latvian. Written for the Sacred Music concert at the 2019 Latvian song festival in Toronto.

Trīs ziemas saulgriežu dziesmas (Three Winter Solstice Songs). 2017: SSSSAAAA with cello and kokle. On traditional Latvian folk poems: 1. Ziemassvētki sabraukuši (The Winter Celebration is Coming), 2. Laimes Liet (Pour Your Luck), 3. Pastaliņu plēsējiņi (The Ones Who Wear out their Dancing Shoes). In Latvian. Commissioned by vocal group “Putni” (Birds) in Latvia, and recorded on their 2017 CD “winter solstice songs.”

Laika gaitā (Over the Course of Time). 2017: Clarinet quartet. Three movements. Commissioned by clarinet quartet “Quattro Differente”, and premiered by them in November 2017.

Ciao, Bella! (Hi, Beautiful!) 2009, solo piano. Premiered at Walter Hall, University of Toronto in May 2009. Released on the CD “Roma” in 2010, and played on CBC Regional Radio.

The Gift. (2007, SATB choir with piano) Commissioned by The Jarvis C. I. Reunion Choir and premiered by them in May 2007.

Spirit of Canada: 3 Canadian Folksongs for 10 pianos. 2004: 10 pianos in a monster concert setting. Commissioned by The Toyich International Projects Monster Concert.