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Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019

  • Text
  • Toronto
  • December
  • January
  • Jazz
  • Symphony
  • Arts
  • Theatre
  • Faculty
  • Musical
  • Performing
When is a trumpet like a motorcycle in a dressage event? How many Brunhilde's does it take to change an Elektra? Just two of the many questions you've been dying to ask, to which you will find answers in a 24th annual combined December/January issue – in which our 11 beat columnists sift through what's on offer in the upcoming holiday month, and what they're already circling in their calendars for 2019. Oh, and features too: a klezmer violinist breathing new life into a very old film; two New Music festivals in January, 200 metres apart; a Music & Health story on the restorative powers of a grassroots exercise in collective music-making; even a good reason to go to Winnipeg in the dead of winter. All this and more in Vol 24 No 4, now available in flipthrough format here.

ANNIVERSARIES University

ANNIVERSARIES University of Toronto Faculty of Music Reaches 100 D AV ID PERLMAN ” A hundred years from what exactly? “we ask, searching for clues. Our host is Robin Elliott, Professor of Musicology and Jean A. Chalmers Chair of Canadian Music at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. We (WholeNote managing editor Paul Ennis and I) are sitting in Elliott’s office on the western flank of the Edward Johnson Building (the faculty’s home base since 1962) overlooking Philosopher’s Walk, a meandering path which, at least in theory, connects the U of T Faculty of Music to the Royal Conservatory of Music, a couple of hundred metres (or yards as the Faculty’s founders would have called them) to the north. Reason for our visit is to find out more about the Faculty’s proclamation of 2018/19 as its 100th anniversary. “Aha!” says Elliott. “Good question. A hundred years from the date of the first faculty council meeting. In June 1918, the U of T actually decided to set up a faculty of music. Prior to that there had been music degrees awarded at the university, dating back to the middle of the 19th century, but those were offered by examination only, there was no instruction in music given in the University of Toronto. So I guess it’s the 100th anniversary of music instruction in the university.” And the specific impetus for the decision? “Post-World War One?” Elliott replies, although it sounds more like a question than an answer. “Restructuring of cultural life in Canada, I suppose, and at the university? There was a number of mostly British organists around that had an interest in setting up shop at U of T, so they met together with the university president, over at University College – June 1918.” There were no courses offered by the new faculty, at the start and for a good while after that. “What they offered were set lectures that may or may not have been helpful in writing the exams for getting a degree. But gradually in the course of the 1930s and 40s it shifted towards a more familiar kind of course-based instruction. You could take a course rather than just attend lectures. Smaller groups. And you registered at the university rather than just paying a fee.” Composer and teacher John Beckwith has spent a large part of his working life associated with the U of T Faculty of Music, including attending as a student in the years between the two World Wars, a subject he addressed in a series of two lectures at Walter Hall, bracketing the Faculty’s 75th anniversary in 1993, and subsequently gathered into a small book called Music at Toronto: A Personal Account. “Taking a bachelor’s degree in music at Toronto in the 30s and 40s was as thoroughly English an experience as could be found anywhere in Canadian university life of the period,” Beckwith writes. “Thursdays you went in threes and fours to Healey Willan, who blew pipe smoke at you, told witty anecdotes about English notables of the turn of the century and called you ‘old man.’ Mondays you went in similar small convoys to Leo Smith, who stroked his white pencil-line moustache, caressed the piano keys, and called you ‘dear boy’.” 8 | December 2018 - January 2019 thewholenote.com

Thursday, December 6 at 8pm GRYPHON TRIO Chamber music at its best Robin Elliott with, left Barker Fairley (1887-1986), Clarinet [Ezra Schabas], 1959, oil on masonite, 101 x 76 cm, University of Toronto Art Collection 1986-052, Purchase 1963-64; and, right Barker Fairley (1887-1986), Flute [Robert Aitken], 1958, oil on masonite, 76 x 101 cm, University of Toronto Art Collection 1986-013, Purchase 1963-64. KEVIN KING Elliott laughs, appreciatively. “There were only three people in the faculty for decades” he says. “Ernest MacMillan, who was the dean from 1926 to 1952, and those two: Healey Willan and Leo Smith. Smith was actually a cellist and composer, Willan an organist and composer, teaching these small classes and that was it; just the three of them running shop for no more than 40 or 50 students till after the [Second World] War.” Just as the end of WWI provided some kind of spark for the founding of the Faculty; WWII changed it forever. “From 1945 all the way to 1962 there were a lot of returning soldiers, a huge influx of military getting their education, in music as in other things. Along with growth of music in schools this sparked an expansion over the course of 15 to 20 years up to 500 students,” Elliott says, along with a corresponding growth in the number of faculty staff, and, as important, in the variety of their musical backgrounds. “Starting in 1946: Arnold Walter, who was a Czech musician after whom Walter Hall was named came on board, initially to set up opera, and eventually became director of the Faculty. Director, not Dean.” A slight pause, as though he is wondering how far to allow the conversation to stray up Philosopher’s Walk towards the Royal Conservatory. Then: “Between the Conservatory and the Faculty,” Elliott says, “there’s a whole very complicated administrative history. For a while the Royal Conservatory was the umbrella organization at U of T and underneath that was the Faculty of Music here and the School of Music there. Boyd Neel was Dean of the Conservatory, a kind of referee between the two. Finally, in the 80s they went their own way, as a self-standing institution.” “With no referee?” we ask. He laughs. “With no referee. Peter Simon running shop over there and Don McLean running shop over here … although we share a lot of faculty members, especially among people teaching instrumental lessons.” Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 8pm VAN KUIJK QUARTET Taking Europe by storm 27 Front Street East, Toronto Tickets: 416-366-7723 | www.stlc.com Another pause. thewholenote.com December 2018 - January 2019 | 9

Volumes 21-24 (2015-2018)

Volume 24 Issue 4 - December 2018 / January 2019
Volume 24 Issue 3 - November 2018
Volume 24 Issue 2 - October 2018
Volume 24 Issue 1 - September 2018
Volume 23 Issue 9 - June / July / August 2018
Volume 23 Issue 8 - May 2018
Volume 23 Issue 7 - April 2018
Volume 23 Issue 6 - March 2018
Volume 23 Issue 4 - December 2017 / January 2018
Volume 23 Issue 3 - November 2017
Volume 23 Issue 2 - October 2017
Volume 23 Issue 1 - September 2017
Volume 22 Issue 9 - Summer 2017
Volume 22 Issue 8 - May 2017
Volume 22 Issue 7 - April 2017
Volume 22 Issue 6 - March 2017
Volume 22 Issue 5 - February 2017
Volume 22 Issue 4 - December 2016/January 2017
Volume 22 Issue 2 - October 2016
Volume 22 Issue 1 - September 2016
Volume 21 Issue 9 - Summer 2016
Volume 21 Issue 8 - May 2016
Volume 21 Issue 6 - March 2016
Volume 21 Issue 5 - February 2016
Volume 21 Issue 4 - December 2015/January 2016
Volume 21 Issue 3 - November 2015
Volume 21 Issue 2 - October 2015
Volume 21 Issue 1 - September 2015

Volumes 16-20 (2010-2015)

Volumes 11-15 (2004-2010)

Volumes 6 - 10 (2000 - 2006)

Volumes 1-5 (1994-2000)