Soprano and composer/songwriter Donna Linklater studied opera with Sylvia Richardson at Brandon University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music. Toward the end of her studies, she began to focus on new music and was especially taken with the aleatoric music of John Cage which gave her greater freedom of creative expression.
After moving to Toronto, she began collaborating with clarinetist Julia Hambleton, and they founded the chamber group “The Laments” where they arranged pieces by Debussy. She later began writing some folk(ish) songs and subsequently created 10 songs for her band The Billie Hollies’ debut album “Light of Mind” (produced by husband Paul Linklater). The group moved into a more classical vein when she composed music for the Susan Swan project “Heroines of the Sexual Gothic” and for the Globe and Mail’s “Torn from the Pages”.
Her solo album “Tough Guy” was funded through Ontario Arts Council’s Deaf and Disability Arts program. The album explores themes of social isolation (both forced and desired), sadness, madness, and how society deals with it.
Alongside writing music and performing, Donna also loves teaching music to children ages infant to 5 years and making music with her 8-year-old, Marvin. She was also the co-chair of CS Info’s board of directors for 2.5 years, volunteered coordinating music events for Mad Pride Toronto, and has had her writing published in the West End Phoenix. She has an ECE diploma from George Brown College and is currently wrapping up a BA in Disability Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University. In 2021, she moved back to her hometown of Winnipeg with Paul and Marvin. Donna loves cold stormy weather.