Jack Hui Litster
Jack Hui Litster is a multi-instrumentalist and composer of concert music and film and TV score based in Ottawa. Jack plays percussion, keyboard, guitar, and guzheng (Chinese zither), and has performed across Canada and internationally. Jack’s music explores the deep emotions of lived experience, and blends his classical and popular music training.
As Composer-in-Residence for OperOttawa, Jack composed and produced his first opera “The Day You Were Born” and created an innovative online performance using videos of the cast members singing from their homes during the coronavirus lockdown. The opera deals with the rarely-discussed complex range of emotions that accompany pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood, informed by interviews Jack conducted with midwives and new parents and by Jack’s own experiences as a father of two young children. Jack’s second opera was premiered by OperOttawa in June 2022. Titled “What Is Love?”, this opera grows out of poetry from Kahlil Gibran’s beloved book The Prophet. In December 2022 Jack released his debut solo album, titled Shining Suns, a suite of eight cinematic songs in various genres which chart a journey of inner discovery and awakening, featuring guest performances by artists including Raphael Weinroth-Browne, Petr Cancura, Emily Calongcagong, Thor Sigurdsson and Mark Ferguson. Jack also works as composer for SPEAK Podcast, produced by BEING Studio and is the Composer-in-Residence for Ottawa-based Voices Dance Project.
Jack began his musical career as a jazz drummer, then decided to broaden his horizons and complete a degree in International Development. In the non-profit sector, he spent ten years fighting for international human rights and collaborating with community activists from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. All the while Jack stayed engaged in the Ottawa music scene, notably with his retro-pop music duo The Ticket, a collaboration with Adam Waselnuk, as well as performing in diverse styles of music including folk, Afro-beat, jazz, and opera.
Jack has studied composition with Dr. James K. Wright as well as veteran film and TV composers Robbie Teehan (Elementary, Jessica Jones, Homeland) and Edmund Eagan (This Hour Has 22 Minutes, The Rick Mercer Report,Winds of Heaven). Jack recently completed his Master of Arts in Music and Culture at Carleton University where his thesis research explored the blending of cultures in the film score for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. In addition, Jack holds a Professional Certificate from Berklee College of Music Online (music business and film scoring), a Diploma in Jazz Performance from St. Francis Xavier University, and a Bachelor of Social Science from the University of Ottawa.
Photo credit: Curtis Perry