Copyright © 1998-2020  Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved 

 ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

Musicians & Composers
Norma Abernethy Born June 11, 1914 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died April 26, 1973, Vancouver, British Columbia. Norma is perhaps best known and remembered as a piano accompanist and soloist on radio and with performing with orchestras. She worked with the Vancouver chamber Orchestra and the Victoria symphony Orchestra. She was an accompanist for the British Columbia Music Festival throughout the 1930's and 1940's.
Frances Marr Adaskin née Marr. Born August 23, 1900, Ridgetown, Ontario.  Died March 8, 2001, Vancouver, British Columbia. Frances began playing the piano as a child and went on to study music at Alma College, St Thomas, Ontario. Frances studied piano at the Toronto Conservatory of Music and in Paris, France. In 1926 she married renowned violinist Harry Adaskin and the two formed a lifetime musical duo. They performed and introduced Canadian music abroad and from 1944-1954 they toured Canada and performed on CBC Radio. During World War ll she wrote stories for such magazines as Saturday Night. She was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1976. The couple retired in 1991 and settled in Vancouver, British Columbia. (2020)
Cora Bell Ahrens Born January 23, 1891, Stratford, Ontario. Died August 26, 1964, Stratford, Ontario. Cora studied music in Toronto where she received her Bachelor of  Music. She played in a trio which accompanied silent movies in Stratford theatres. In the 1930's she was one of the 1st itinerant rural school music teachers and taught throughout Perth County, Ontario. She would lecture in pedagogy at the University of Western Ontario, London, the University of Toronto, and McGill University, Montreal. She conducted summer workshops in piano pedagogy in major Canadian cities. Her published credits include tutorial texts to help student including Ear Training which was six volumes and Rudiments of Music (Toronto 1943-46) which was nine volumes. She was co-author of For All Piano Teachers (Oakville, 1955 reprinted 1980) which was translated into Braille in 1985 for blind musicians. (2020)
Violet Louise Archer née Balestreri. Born April 24, 1913 Montreal, Quebec. Died February 21, 2000 Ottawa, Ontario. Violet studied music with the best of her era. In 1936 Violet graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill University. The family would change their name to Archer, the English translation of their name, in 1940. From 1940 through 1947 she was a percussionist with the Montreal Women's Symphony Orchestra.  She would also work as a piano teacher and was organist at various Montreal churches. Violet would make her forma debut as an orchestral composer with her work Scherzo Sinfonico performed by the Montreal Orchestra in 1940.  In 1942 she was studying in New York City, U.S.A. where she was introduced to Hungarian folk tunes. From 1944 to 1947 she taught at the McGill Conservatory, Montreal. In the last years of this decade she studied at Yale University, Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A. earning a Bachelor of Music in 1948 and her Master's Music the following year. She spend time as Composer -in-residence at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, U.S.A.  From Texas she went on to the University of Oklahoma, U.S.A. where she taught until 1961. Violet returned to Canada in the early 1960's and earned her doctorate at the University of Toronto. Next she joined the faculty of Music at the University of Alberta in Edmonton where she remained until her retirement in 1978. As a composer she  produced a wide variety of scores for voice, instrumentals, films and even a comic opera and performed in over 30 countries. She was named Composer of the Year in Canada. In 1977 she received the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal and in 1982 she received the Canada 125 Award. In 1983 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada and her home province presented her the Alberta Life Achievement Award. In 1985 became  the 1st North American woman composer to be honoured with a festival of her own works. The Canadian Music Centre Library, located in Calgary, Alberta was named in her honour in 2007. Violet was known for both tradition and contemporary music techniques and she had a strong belief of the importance of creating 20th century music for youngsters as indicated by the fact that there is  an indie rock band The Violet Archers. (2020)
Francoise Aubut-Pratte née Aubut. Born September 5, 1922, St.-Jérome, Quebec. Died October 8, 1984 Montreal, Quebec. A renowned organist and educator.  Francoise began to learn piano when she was about 6 years old. She gave her 1st recital on August 23, 1936 at St.-Stanislas Church, Montreal, Quebec. That same year she was awarded an organ diploma from the Schola cantorum, playing from memory Bach's six trio sonatas. She studied at the New England Conservatory, Boston, U.S.A., Conservatoire national de Montréal and at the Paris Conservatory in France, During World War ll she was interned in Besancon following the Battle for France  where she was the 1st North American to win the Grand Premier Prix in Music.  After the war she returned to Canada and performed many recitals winning respect as an interpreter and improviser in her music. From 1955 through 1965 she took part in numerous seminars and conferences in Europe including performing at the Brussels Worlds Fair in 1958. In 1961 she also received the Prix de Musique Calixa Lavallée. In 1967 she performed at Canada’s Expo ‘67 held in Montreal. She taught at the Université de Montréal, the Conservatoire de Musique et d’art dramatique du Québec and the Ecole Vincent-d’Indy. Sources: The Encyclopedia of Canada. (Hurtig, 1986)  
Melissa Auf Der Maur Born  March 17, 1972, Montreal, Quebec. She stared studying photographic Arts at Concordia University when she was asked in 1994 to play for Courtney Love's band, HOLE. She was bas guitarist with the group until 1999. She not only plays guitar and sings but she plays piano and trumpet as well. She toured for awhile with the group the Smashing Pumpkins before making her solo debut album in 2004. She was the person who defended David Suzuki as the Greatest Canadian in the popular 2004 television contest.
Averill Piers Baker

Born 1944, Halifax, Nova Scotia. Averill has always loved to play piano. At 13 she won scholarship  to Conservatory of Music in Toronto In 1963 she graduated from the University of Toronto with an Artists Diploma. Two years later she married George Baker, a politician and future senator for Canada. The young couple moved to Newfoundland where they raised their four children. Averill now only played for family and for local charity benefits. In 1992 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a successful surgery the cancer returned in 1995 and Averill decided to work on her girlhood dreams and applied herself to her music. In 2004 she placed second in the prestigious Van Cliburn International Piano Competition which made her one of Canada’s outstanding amateur pianists. She also competed in the Washington International Piano Amateur Competition where she placed fourth and won the Audience Choice and Press Award. Opportunities to perform found her prepared to perform and her cancer under control. She plays throughout North America. Sources: Herstory, the Canadian Women’s Calendar 2006 Coteau Books, 2005

Ellen Ballon Born 1898, Montreal, Quebec. Died December 21, 1969. She performed on the piano at the age of 6 as a child prodigy. She studied in Europe and New York. Her patrons, Including , Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Prime Minister of Canada, helped her pay for her studies. She had her New York City Debut in 1910. In 1912 she performed, by request, at the White House for the President ( she would return by request to perform for two other presidents in 1934 and 1954) She made her first European tour in 1927 returning to North America just prior to World War ll. She became a fund raiser and  philanthropist, establishing a scholarship in her name at McGill University in the Faculty of Music.
Sara Barkin Born September 6, 1908, Umen, Ukraine. Died February 14, 2002, Scarborough, Ontario. Sara was studying piano with her father when she was 5 years old. She emigrated to Canada in 1925 and began studies on scholarships at the Toronto Conservatory of Music for voice. In the 1930's and 1940's she sang with orchestras in Toronto and gave recitals throughout Ontario. She also performed from 1940 through 1973 as a concert and radio accompanist on piano.
Jean Ashworth Bartle

Choral conductor
Born March 7, 1947 Littleborough, Lancashire, England. Jean obtained her Canadian citizenship in 1968. She taught and earned her BA from the University of Toronto in 1977 winning the Leslie Bell Prize. In 1978 she founded the Toronto Children’s Choirs to provide a children’s choir for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In 1982 she won the Sir Ernest MacMillan Scholarship which enabled her to study at the Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A. In 1986 she earned the Roy Thomson Hall Award for outstanding contribution to musical life in Toronto.. She has written two books for children’s choir directors and has edited choral music series. In 1998 she was invested with the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada. In 2002 she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Golden Jubilee Medal followed in 2003 with an honorary life membership in the Ontario Music Educators’ Association. The Jean Ashworth Bartle Music Education Award, was established at the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.
Madeleine Bernier Born August 26, 1929, Quebec, Quebec.  She was born to a musical family where her grandfather, father, aunt and uncle an her brothers all has successful musical careers. She studied in her home province of Quebec and earned a B MUS from Université Laval. She completed her studies in Paris, France, London, England and Geneva, Switzerland. Returning to Canada she began her teaching career at the School of Education and school of Music at Université Laval. She is also known as an expert accompanist and applied her skills in Italy and Austria as well as at home in Quebec.
Fleurette Marie Berthe Beauchamp-Huppé née Beauchamp. Born December 12, 1907 Montreal, Quebec. Died March 15, 2007. She studied voice and piano appearing in the productions of the Societé canadienne d'opérette. On piano she won awards in the 1930's from the Canadian Institute of Music and the Prix de Paris in 1933. she remained in Paris to study piano returning to perform public and radio recitals in Canada. She enjoyed playing works of Canadian composers, some of whom dedicated works to her! She continued her career as a teacher of her fine music.
Louise Bessette Born June 20, 1959 Montreal, Quebec Louise began learning piano at 5 years of age and carried on with training in Montreal, New York and Paris. In the 1980's she gained recognition by winning international awards for her performances. She has appeared all over Europe, England and North America. She has enjoyed working with the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France. She excerpts extraordinary energies in her playing which has impressed the public and professional critics alike. In 1989 she was named Woman of the Year in the Arts Category at the Salon de la femme in Montreal.
Jocelyne Binet Born September 27, 1923 East Angus, Quebec. Died January 13, 1968. Jocelyne studied for her degrees in music in Montreal before going to Paris, France to continue studies with instrument of choice, the piano. Returning to Canada in 1951 she taught at Ecole Vincent d"Indy, the Orford Art Centre, and the Montreal Conservatory of Music. She composed for piano, violin, cello, flute, and choir music. Her works were performed at concerts and on radio not only in Canada but also in Europe and South America.
Patricia Bloomfield-Holt

née Bloomfield. Born September 15, 1910, Lindsay, Ontario. Died June 5, 2003. As a youngster she loved music and taught herself how to play the piano. She studied music paying for her studies by teaching piano from 1929 to 1939 at the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. In 1938 her composition Suite No. 1 for violin and piano won the Voigt Society Award for best Canadian composition. In 1939 she married and turned down a Julliard scholarship. In 1954 she joined the staff at the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music teaching piano and composition. She remained teaching until 1985. Her own compositions have been performed in Europe and throughout North America. She was an associate of the  Canadian Music Center as well as a member of the Association of Canadian Women composers. Source: Ronald Napier: A Guide to Canada's Composers. Willowdale, Ontario, Avondale Press.
Linda Bouchard Born Val D'Or, Quebec May 21. 1957. Linda is a composer and orchestra conductor  was invited by musical director Trevor Pinnock to become the 1st composer in residence for the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa , 1992-1995. She introduced programs to encourage public involvement at the National Arts Center and made great strides in bringing contemporary classical music to the attention of the audiences. Her first CD in 1998 Exquisite Fires: Music of Linda Bouchard was made with the NAC Orchestre. In 1998 she was honoured as Composer of the year , Camseil Québécois de la musique .  Sources: Linda Bouchard web site ; Women in Ottawa; Mentors and Milestones Online accessed June 2011.
Lise Boucher Born May 21, 1941.Montreal, Quebec. In 1958 she was awarded the Prix d'Europe for her aptitude in playing the piano. For the next 6 years she continued her studies in Paris, France. Back in Canada she has performed numerous recitals o concerts in public tours and on CBC radio. She has performed with the CBC orchestra, the Quebec and Vancouver Symphony orchestras. She has also toured and recorded in Europe. She began to teach in Montreal in 1967.
Liona Maria Carolynne Boyd

Born July 11, 1949, London, England. On the ocean voyage’ when her family immigrated to Canada’ she entertained in a children’s talent show. At 13 she received a guitar as a Christmas gift. The following year she saw English guitarist, Julian Beam, perform and she was smitten with the power of the music. In 1972 she graduated from the University of Toronto, won the Canadian National Music Competition and toured with British guitarist John Mills. Studying in Europe 1972 -1974 she also busked in Italy and performed recitals in Belgium, Holland and France.  1975, back in North America, she had her 1st Carnegie Hall performance and in Canada she graced the cover of the Canadian Magazine. The story tag line was “The first lady of guitar”. In 1978 she would use this stage line as a title for one of her many recordings. She performs for world leaders and royalty bringing classical guitar to new recognition by performing with such notables as Tracy Chapman, George Zamphir, Roger Whitaker, Eric Clapton, Gordon Lightfoot, and Chet Atkins. She is also known for her solo performances with symphony orchestras and her performances for numerous charitable performances. In 1988 she published In My Own Key: My Life in Love and Music (Stoddard Publishing).  In 1992 she married John B. Simon and settled in California.   Divorced in 2004, she eventually returned to Toronto. She had a separation from the stage when she was diagnosed with Muscian Focal Dystopia which can produce muscle spasms. By 2009 she had reinvented her playing, added singing and songwriting to her repertoire and is back on stage and recording.  Her work has garnered her 5 Canadian Juno awards. She has been inducted into the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. Sources: In My Own Key by Liona Boyd (Stoddard, 1988) ; Liona Boyd web site (accessed March 2014)

Gena Brancombe Born November 4, 1881 Picton, Ontario. Died July 26, 1977. She took her BA in Chicago and continued studies there with leading musicians of her era. She taught piano in Chicago and became director of Piano Department at Whitman College in Washington, D.C., U.S.A. leaving only in 1909 to continue her studies in Europe. She has to her publishing credit an opera, hymns orchestral works. Her choral drama Pilgrims of Destiny won the 1928 League of American Pen Women prize for best work by a woman. She was guest conductor throughout North America and England and was leader of numerous choirs during her long and successful career. She also served per profession as president of the Society of American Women composers and Vice President of the National Association of American Composers and Conductors.
Alma Brock-Smith née Sheasgreen. Born February 21, 1908. Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.A.  As a young woman she lived and taught piano in Saskatoon. She continued to study in Chicago, New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles. Her career took her from staff pianist for a Vancouver radio station to live radio and TV performances, to teaching at the San Francisco Conservator of Music and to being a professor at the university of Manitoba. She now specializes in coaching duo-piano teams.
Ada Bronstein Born 1916 Harbin, China. Educated in China she performed many concerts of British and French Chamber Music. She emigrated to Canada in 1952 and settled in Winnipeg to re-establish her career in her new country. Performing across North America she participated ins some 800 public, radio and television concerts!  In 1984 she began teaching at the University of Manitoba.
Marilyn Edythe Broughton.  née Rosevear. Born February 15, 1940 Toronto, Ontario. She studied piano at Trinity College of Music, London England. After studying at the University of Toronto she taught mathematics but she still kept up her interest in music and composing and helped with music programs after school. Marie married Peter Broughton who was also a teacher of mathematics and a pianist. The couple had two children.  At this time she composed a number of pieces for Piano, piano duet, choirs and other instruments. Continuing to work with the Toronto Board of Education she as a choir accompanist and enjoyed working with teachers and their choirs She also enjoys composing sols and anthems for her church. Perhaps one of the most famous of her several works is Un Canadien Errant.
Mary Jane Burnet  Born October 22, 1955 Toronto, Ontario. As a young girl she studied classical piano but at 20 she turned to jazz and due to having developed tendonitis she she switched instruments playing flute and soprano saxophone. She studied music at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 1991 she won the All-Music Guide Award for one of the Top 300 Jazz Discs of all time with Spirits of Havana. In 1983 she and her husband, trumpeter Larry Cramer, started a band.  She has seven CD’s of jazz and Cuban Music. In 1993 for the album, Spirit of Havana, she won a Juno Award. In 1995 she won the Socan Award as Jazz Composer of the Year.  In 2002 she won the Canadian National Jazz Award as Saxophonist of the Year. In 2003 she earned the Down Beat Award for the third year in a row, the American Jazz Writers' Association Award and the Jazz Journalists Award. In 2004 she became an Officer in the Order of Canada. She and has gone on to win three more Juno awards including Best Group Jazz Album of the Year in 2014 with the all-female Afro-Cuban/jazz group, Maqueque. She has also won two Grammy nomination.  She also plays the trompeta china which is a Cuban wind instrument of Chinese origin. (2019)
Agnes Butcher Born April 11, 1915 Edmonton, Alberta. She studied piano in Ontario and in 1932 began teaching at the Royal Hamilton Conservatory of Music. She made her professional debut at Massey Hall in Toronto in 1935. In 1936 she won both the Eaton Scholarship and the Dominion Gold Medal of the Toronto Conservatory of Music. She studied and toured in Hungary and in 1940 she performed throughout North America and continued performing through the 1950's in England and Europe.
Charlotte Augustine Cadoret (Sister St-Jean-du Sacré-Coeur)
Born February 29, 1908, Montreal, Quebec. Died March 7, 1995. Charlotte, raised a Roman Catholic too her vows as a nun and was given the name Sister St-Jean-du Sacre Coeur of the congregation of Notre Dame. She earned a teaching certificate in Montreal in 1928 and went on to study for a Bachelor of Music in Montreal in 1931. From 1942 through 1954 she was the Director of Ecole Normale de Musique and from 1959 through 1989 she served as General Director of Musical Studies of the Congregation of Notre Dame. From 1976 through 1982 she served as vice-president of CFMS (Now CSMT). She composed choral works, masses, cantatas, songs, folksongs and organ music.
Albertine Caron-Legris      née Caron. Born 1906 Louisville, Quebec. Died 1972. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Montréal in 1942 and went on to study voice, piano and music composition. She is best known as a composer and writer of songs and piano music as well as harmonization for folk music. In 1962 she published Mes plus belle chansons, for children to play on piano. Her personal papers are available for research and the National Library of Canada.
Marguerite Marie Alice Cartier

Born February 4, 1919, Beauharnois, Quebec. Died July 31, 2006. Marguerite joined the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and became known as Sister Jacques-Rene. She studied at the Ecole supérieure de music d'Outremont. In 1943 she was teaching music theory and violin at the Ecole de musique Vincent-d'Indi, Montreal. By 1949 she had earned a Bachelor of Music degree  and a Laureate in Music in 1955. She would continue her music studies a few years later in Nice, France. She would compose many pieces for students in piano and violin. She was a member of the Canadian League of Composers and a member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers/Association des femmes compisiteurs canadiennes. She used the pen name Rhené Jaque. (2020)
Victoria Prudenca Victorine)Cartier Born April 4, 1867 Sorrel, Québec. Died January 1, 1955. She studied organ and piano in Québec and later in Paris, France. She returned to Montreal in 1898 and founded Ecole e piano Paris-Montréal which remained active for 25 years. Her own performing career began on October 27, 1898. She widened the horizon of music education in Canada through her teachings and her public and radio performances. She was in great demand as a teacher and taught in several institutions. She enjoyed play the organ and was organist for several Montreal churches. She was named an Officer of the Académie, France in 1901 and of the Instruction Publique of France in 1912.
Lorraine Demarais Born August 15, 1956, Montreal, Quebec.  Larraine attended the Universite de Sherbrooke where in 1977 she earned a Bachelor of Music followed in 1979 by a Masters in classical piano. She studied 1978.1979 in Montreal and then was off for more lessons in New York City, New York, U.S.A. Lorraine has recorded some ten albums as a solo performer and musical director. Including recording with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra . She has also composed a number of pieces of music. Since 1985 she has taught in colleges and universities and is a jazz piano professor at the Cegep Saint-Laurant, Montreal. In 2012 she was induced as a Member of the Order of Canada. January 27 2013 she received Le prix de l”interprete de l’anne at the 16th Gala of Prix Opus du Conseil Quebecois de la Musique.
Andrée Desautels Born October 9, 1923, Montreal, Quebec. Andrée studied music at the École supérieure de musique d'Outremont prior to her studies at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec , Montreal. She also studied history of art and literature at the University of Montreal and went to France to study at the Conservatoire de Paris. Returning to Montreal in 1949 she taught music history and musicology at various institutions including  the Conservatoire de musique du Québec, Montreal, the University of Montreal and the École de musique Vincent-d'Indy until she retired in 1988. She was a commentator for concerts at the Jeunesses musicales du Canada (JMC) from 1949 to 1966 and was managing editor for the JMC's journal from 1951 to 1956. In 1951, she was elected to the Société française de musicologie. Over the years she has written and introduced a number of series on music for Radio Canada and wrote articles and reviews for several newspapers and magazines. In 1998, the year she retired, she received a medal from the Quebec National Assembly and in 1995 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. (2020)
Margaret Isobel Drynan Born December 10, 1915. Died February 18, 1999.
Florence Durrell Clark

Born April 29, 1891, Rochester, New York, U.S.A. Died December 24, 1977. Florence’s parents were Canadian and eventually the family settled in Hamilton, Ontario. She earned a B.Mus. degree from the University of Toronto, where she studied composition and violin. She earned the diploma Licentiate of Trinity College, London, England and became only the third woman to earn the designation Fellow of the Canadian College of Organists. An active member of the Royal Canadian Council of Organists O, Hamilton Centre, she was made a life member of the Centre and was also recognized as an Honorary member of the RCCO. Florence wrote organ works, compositions for strings, vocal solos, and choral works. Her published compositions include Prelude on a 2nd Mode Melody and Carillon. Her manuscripts are in the Special Collections Department of the Hamilton Public Library.
Jane Austin Coop Born April 18, 1950, Saint John, New Brunswick. In 1970 she won the CBC Talent Festival for her piano playing. In 1972 she had completed her Bachelor degree in music at the University of Toronto. She made her Toronto debut at the St Lawrence Hall in 1973. In 1975 she won the Washington International Competition and in 1977 was a finalist at the Munich International Piano Competition in Germany. 1979 saw her debut at Wigmore Hall in London, England and by 1980 she had her debut at the famous Carnegie Recital Hall. That same year she joined the faculty at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She continued to tour and appeared at various locations in the U.S.A. and throughout Europe. In the 1990’s she was touring the orient with performances in Japan, Hong Kong, and China. By 1999 she had produced 10 CD’s. In 1996 she joined the faculty of Knwisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, U.S.A. In December 2012 she was appointed to the Order of Canada for her contributions as a pianist, and educator. (2019)
Jean Coulthard Born February 10, 1908, Vancouver, British Columbia. Died March 9, 2000 Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied music in England and New York's famous Julliard School. She was a talented composer, performer and teacher. She is considered a pioneer in the musical world of Vancouver. Her compositions have been performed at many concerts, radio and TV productions. Her works have also been celebrated at music festivals across Canada and abroad. In 1978, in recognition of her contribution to Canadian music she was appointed an Officer in the Order of Canada.
Rachel Cavalho Born Queensland, Australia. She studied and performed as a pianist in England prior to emigration to Canada in 1948. She enjoyed working with children and music and with the CBC Radio presented "Music for young musicians" and "Music for young pianists" in the late 1950's. She was also a sought after lecturer on contemporary music. She was one of the principal founders and a director of Contemporary Showcase.
Nadia Cole Born October 28,1974 Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.  A dual citizen, she came to Canada as an infant. As a toddler she played both piano and violin! Living with her family in Saudi Arabia she also studied flute. In 1984 she entered the Royal Conservatory of Music and the followed studies the Université de Montréal and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. She was the first Canadian classical artist to sign with Deutche Grammophon/Universal Music Canada. She has performed piano recitals all over the world and become the highest-placed Canadian in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in its 40s years of existence. She released her first album in 2002.
Dorothy Mae Copithorn Born February 2, 1919, Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Died November 12, 2013, Calgary Alberta. (née Spencer) Her father taught her to love and play the piano until his death when she was only 7 years old. She never lost the gift of love of music. At 15 she began working as an organist and junior choir leader at her hometown United Church. She won multiple awards in music festivals for her solo piano work and her junior choir work. At 18 she had completed her associate degree in piano and began teaching piano in Swift Current and along the Empress Railway where she was known as the traveling music teacher. Leaving on a Monday she taught in Pennant, Battram, Cabri and Abby, Saskatchewan arriving home on the weekend in the caboose of a freight train! In By 1947 in Abernethy she had met and married. Wesley Copithorn. The couple had 3 children. Dorothy played piano/organ in United Churches in the various towns the family would live. In Indian Head  in 1959 she also started the St Andrew’s United Church intermediate choir. She was a charter member of the Regina Chapter of the Royal Canadian College of Organists. At 90 , in a long term care facility in Calgary, she continued to play for Sunday worship. Source: “Dorothy Mae Copithorn” by Hope-Arlene Fennell. “Lives Lived”, the Globe and Mail April 17, 2014. Suggestion submitted by June Coxon.                                      
Jane Austin Coop Born April 18, 1950.  She loved to play the piano when she was 5 years old and at 19 she determined to make the piano her career. She won the CBC talent Festival in 1970. She continued her studies in England and the U.S.A.. In 1975 she won the Washington International Competition. She has toured and played with orchestra across North America, England, Europe, Russia, Japan and China. She has appeared on radio and television, been nominated for two Juno Awards and recorded more than a dozen titles. She began teaching as a professor at the University of British Columbia in 2003 and the following year the university designated her a Distinguished University Scholar.
Jean Coulthard Born February 10, 1908 Vancouver, British Columbia. Died March 9, 2000. A composer and educator she was the first of Canada’s West Coast composers to receive wide recognition.  She began to compose music as a child.  She has more then 350 compositions for a wide variety of vocal and instrumentals.  She is an officer in the Order of Canada.
Debbie Danbrook A composer and a recording artist, she performs original, contemporary compositions on the Shakuhachi, an ancient Japanese Bamboo flute. She is the 1st professional female player to specialize in the unique healing abilities of this sacred Japanese instrument. By 2004 she had recorded some 16 CD's, fourteen of which specifically for healing and meditation. Her music has been embraced by healers and spiritual practitioners around the globe. She has performed before Japanese royalty and travelled extensively around the world with her music. She is a professor of Music at the University of Toronto and also hosts classes in Ottawa.
Gwendda Dorothy Owen Davies

Born August 5, 1896 Wickham Market, England. Died July 4, 1988. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and began her piano concert career in 1916. In 1923 she came to Canada for a one year teaching assignment at Rupertsland College. She stayed in Canada. For 50 years she was Winnipeg’s most advanced music teacher for piano and theory. She also appeared as soloist and accompanist on Winnipeg concert stages.

Margaret Isobel Drynan

née Brown. Born December 10, 1915, Toronto, Ontario. Died February 18, 1999, Oshawa, Ontario. Margaret earned her Bachelor degree in Music from the University of Toronto in 1943. She was a member of St Mary Magdalene church choir for 37 years. She also performed with the Tudor Singers  and with Reginald Stewart's Bach Choir. In Oshawa she was organist-and choirmaster at Holy Trinity Church in the early 1950's. She founded in 1953 the Canterbury Singers of Oshawa with whom she was the conductor through to 1968. She worked as Supervisor of Music for the Oshawa Elementary School System from 1960 to 1969. From 1969 through 1981 she was a consultant with the Durham Region Board of Education. She was a founding member in 1963 of the Oshawa District Council for the Arts where she served as president 1973-1975. She was a founder of the Oshawa Arts Centre. She penne The Canada Goose, a  musical play in three acts and four operettas along with a number of songs and carols including ' Why do the bells of Christ Ring?'. She was also an editor of the magazine Dispassion which focuses on classical music. (2020)
Gladys Egbert née Mckelvie. Born 1897. Died 1968. As a child she demonstrated remarkable musical talent. At the are of 12 she won a 3 year scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, England. She was the first North American to win such an honour and the youngest. She continued her studies at the famed Julliard Scholl of Music in New York City but turned down the opportunity to become a concert pianist so that she could return home to Calgary to be with her mother. It was here that she would marry and have two pianos in her living room and she would offer the adventure of learning music to many of the best in Alberta. In 1936 she was elected as a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in England, the first North American to be granted this honour. She has been described as he world's best music teacher. A Calgary school and the top prize at the Calgary annual Kiwanis Music Festival are named in her memory.
Anne E. Eggleston

Born September 6, 1934, Ottawa, Ontario. Died November 1994. Anne earned an Artist Diploma at the University of Toronto in 1956. She went on to earn a Master of Music at the Eastern School of Music, Rochester, New York, U.S.A. in 1958. She studied with musicians of her era at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Anne would create works of music in many genres but most of her pieces were for solo piano or for voice and piano. While mainly working at composing she taught piano for many hours a week. One of the works that was often used by her students for professional concerts was Sketches of Ottawa. Her papers were deposited with the Library and Archives Canada in 1997. (2020)
Janina Fralkowska Born May 7, 1951 Montreal, Quebec. Janina began talking piano lessons at the age of four from her mother. At the age of twelve she had made her debut as a soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. By the age of 17 she simultaneously earned her BA and her Master's degree from the Université of Montréal.  This pianist studied in Montreal, Paris, and the Julliard School in New York City, U.S.A. In 1969 she won 1st prize in the CBC National Radio Competition for Young Performers. In 1974 she had a prize-winning performance at the 1st Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Tel Aviv, Israel.  She is celebrated as one of the great interpreters of the music of the composers Chopin and  Liszt.  She also enjoys performing works from Mozart, Chopin, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff.  She is known as a pianist of great power who also plays with warmth and tone. She has performed throughout Europe , North America and the Far East. In 2001 she married Harry Oesterle a German music manager. She is the founder and artistic director of Piano Six, a not-for-profit educational outreach program dedicated to keeping classical music alive in small communities throughout Canada. The program was expanded in 2004 to include musicians from strings and voice as well as piano with the new name Piano Plus. In 2001 Janina was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada. In 2007 she was awarded the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Keyboard Artistry. In 2007 she was implemented in one of the biggest scandals in the classical recording business.  In 2012 she received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.
Ida Haendel Born  December 15, 1924 Chelm, Poland. Ida is said to have picked up her father's violin at the age of three. In 1933 she won the Warsaw (Poland) Conservatory gold medal and the 1st Henryk Weniawski Violin Competition.  This violinist is known for her flawless technique and beauty of tone when she plays.  She had a long international career beginning as a child prodigy in Poland, playing for British servicemen in World War II England. She made annual tours in Europe and ventured to South America and Asia. She lived in Montreal from 1952 through 1989. She was the 1st western soloist invited to China after the Cultural Revolution in that country. She is a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. In 2006 she performed for Pope Benedict XVI. She moved to Miami, Florida, U.S.A. where is actively involved in the Miami International Piano Festival. She is also a sought after adjudicator for violin competitions.
Doreen Hall née Foy. Born May 24, 1921, Warrenspoint County Down, Ireland. She was raised in Listowel, Ontario and studied violin at the Toronto Conservatory of Music (Now Royal Conservatory of Music RCM). She taught violin at Alma College, St. Thomas, Ontario from 1942-1945 and moved to Mount Allison University,     as Head of String Department from 1945-1951. She often performed on CBC radio during these years. She took advanced studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music and earned a scholarship to Salzburg, Austria in 1954-1955. Returning to Toronto she taught at RCM. She introduced the Orff-Schulwerk approach ‘Music for Children’ to North America. In 1956 she joined the staff at the University of Toronto and in 1962 she taught at Mozarteum in Salzburg. She went on to give teacher training at various North American universities and wrote numerous helpful music textbooks. In 1965 she was a special consultant for CBC National School Broadcasts on radio. In 1966 she won an Ohio State Award for educational Broadcasting. During the 1967 Canadian Centennial she participated in several special musical productions. In 1974 she founded the Orff-Schulwerk Society of Canada and in 1977 she was presented with the Merit Award from the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. By 1986 she took retirement from the University of Toronto as Professor Emeritus. She earned the Canadian Music Council Medal in 1989 and the following year the Pro Merito Medal from the Carl Orff Foundation of Germany. In 2002 she earned the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Toronto. She was admitted to the Order of Canada in 2008 and was the 1st recipient of the North American Alliance Award of Recognition. Source: Canadian Encyclopedia online (Accessed July 2015)
 Ofra Harnoy Born January 31, 1965 Hadera, Israel.  As a youngster she first was tutored by her father. The family immigrated to Canada in 1972 and Ofra  studied in London and Toronto. She made her debut at 10 and has  toured and performed around the world doing public, radio and television performances. She performs in the hopes of eradicating the barrier between classical and pop culture music. She is comfortable performing music of the Beatles and chamber music. She has won several Juno Awards for her recordings. In 1995 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. By 2001 she had produced 38 classical solo albums. Source: Ontario Women's Directorate Accessed June 2003.
Qui Xai Her
(Chu sha her) Born 1963 Shaanxi, Republic of China. Qui has loved applause ever since she had her 1st performance when she was just 5 years old. She attended a special school with ½ day music lessons where she learned how to play guitar. She also loved the pipa, a tear drop shaped stringed instrument. At 13 she began her professional performing career as a group member of Baoji Song. At 19 she was attending Xian Academy of Music and eventually became an instructor at the academy. In 1989 while on tour in Canada Qui decided to stay in Vancouver and not return to China. In 1991 she formed a group called Silk Road with other young performers. She began a second group Asza playing the world’s music. She had made several CD’s with both groups as well she has toured North America, Singapore, and Thailand. She is renowned as an accomplished composer.
Angela Hewitt Born Ottawa, Ontario . Born into a musical family, her father was the Cathedral organist in Ottawa, and her mother was her first piano teacher, Angela began her piano studies aged three, performing in public at four and a year later winning her first scholarship She won First Prize in Italy’s Viotti Competition in 1978 and was a top prizewinner in the International Bach competitions of Leipzig and Washington D.C. as well as the Schumann Competition in Zwickau, the Casadesus Competition in Cleveland and the Dino Ciani Competition at La Scala, Milan. In 1985 she won the Toronto International Bach Piano Competition. This Ottawa native, who studied music at Ottawa U, and is particularly well known for playing Bach, though she's recorded other composers as well. In 2005 completed a ten year project to record all of Bach's major keyboard repertoire that has been very well received. In 2002 she was inducted into the Order of Canada. Submitted by Teresa Gariepy, Ottawa Ontario.
Rhené Jaque SEE Marguerite Marie Alice Cartier
Juliette Kang  

Born September 6, 1975 Edmonton, Alberta.  She began studying the violin at the age of 4! As a child prodigy she was a student of James Keene, a concertmaster of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and she made her concerto debut in Montreal at the age of 7! At age 9, she was accepted as a violin student on scholarship at the Curtis Institute and became a student of Jascha Brodsky. By age 11, Juliette had garnered international attention, winning top prizes at the 1986 Beijing International Youth Violin Competition in China. In 1989, at age 13, Kang became the youngest artist to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. She attended university and holds a Masters degree from the famous Julliard School of Music in 1993. She was a winner of the 1989 Young Concert Artists Auditions, and she subsequently received 1st prize at the Menuhin Violin Competition of Paris in 1992. She has played with the most prestigious orchestras of Europe and North America.  A CD was made of her Carnegie Hall recital in 1996. She joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra and then moved to the Philadelphia Orchestra where she as served as assistant concertmaster from 2003-2005 after which she held the position of 1st associate concertmaster. She lives in Center City with her husband and two daughters.  Sources: The Canadian Encyclopedia. Online (Accessed 2005): The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Online (accessed 2005)  

Frances Elaine Keillor

Pianist and Musicologist
Born Sept 2, 1939 London, Ontario. Elaine was introduced to playing the piano by her mother. When lessons were given to students, Elaine would simply go to the piano and play the lesson she had just heard. She was just two and a half when she played the piano on stage in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. At ten she earned an ARCT certificate from the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 1958 she earned the Chappell Medal as the most promising pianist in the British Commonwealth. She was home schooled for her hig schooling and then studied and toured in Europe and the Soviet Union. She developed a chronic hand injury that caused her to pause her touring and she began her university studies at York University and then at the University of Toronto.  She graduated with her BA in 1970 and her Master's in 1971. She was the 1st woman to receive her Doctorate in Musicology from the University of Toronto in 1976. She taught at York University and Queen's University before setting at Carleton University in Ottawa in 1977. She was the 1st female professor of music to be hired at Carleton. She taught various forms of music gradually specializing in Canadian music. In 1978 she initiated the Festival of Canadian Music ad in 1980 she introduced the 1st courses of Indigenous Music. She help found the Canadian Music Heritage Society serving as vice chair from 1989 through to 200 when she became Chair. She has contributed to the leading music encyclopedias of the day including the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. In 2013 she was the principal author of the Encyclopedia of Native American Music of North America. In 2016 she became a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)
Ada Jane Fairlina Kent

née Twohy. Born February 8, 1888, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. .. Died July 23, 1969, London , England. Ada’s parents were Canadian and at 13 she was settled with her mother in Hamilton, Ontario. She began formal studies on piano in 1901. In 1904 she gave a solo recital in Toronto. She served as church organist at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church and taught at the Hamilton School of Music. From 1907 through 1916 she taught at the Toronto Conservatory of Music and Moulton Ladies College. In the 1920’s and 1930’s she toured Canada and in England performing recitals. She also composed her own music mainly hymns, children’s songs and music for violin. She married William Kent and the couple had one daughter. Some of her personal papers and music was deposited by family members in 2014 with the Toronto City Archives
Diana Krall Born November 16, 1964, Nanaimo, British Columbia . One of the world's greatest jazz performers she began to study piano when she was 4 years old. Performing in a local restaurant at 15, she was soon studying on scholarship in Boston, U.S.A. She continued her studies/career in LA playing with the great jazz performers of the era. Back in Toronto she released her first album in 1993. Her albums released in 1998 and 1999 won Grammy Awards. Her albums have turned double platinum in Canada, platinum in Portugal, New Zealand, and Poland and turned gold in France, Singapore and England. She has won several of Canada's Juno Awards for her music and in 200 she received the Order of British Columbia. In the spring of 2004 she received her own star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto.
Greta Krause

Born August 3, 1907 Vienna, Austria. Died March 30, 1998, Toronto, Ontario. In 1923 she entered the Vienna Academy of Music and in 1930 she had earned her music teacher diploma. In 1935 she made her performing debut on harpsichord in Austria. By 1937 she was appearing on stage in London, England with the Boyd Neel Orchestra. In 1938 she immigrated to Canada settling 1st in Hawkesbury, Quebec before relocating to teach a Havergal College in Toronto. She was soon doing solo appearances on stage and on CBC Radio. As well as her classical works she performed 20th century harpsichord music. In 1958 through 1963 she founded the Toronto Baroque Ensemble. From 1965 through 1986 she and flutist Robert Aitken formed the Aitken Kraus Duo. In 1939 she had begun to teach piano and coach voice privately and at the Collegium Musicum (Toronto). She also taught at Banff and the Shawinigan Summer School of the Arts as well as at several universities. Confederation of University Faculty Associations for 'an outstanding contribution to university teaching' in 1973, was named an 'Outstanding Woman of the Province of Ontario' in 1975, and received a Toronto Arts Award in 1990 and the Order of Ontario in 1991. She was inducted as a  member of the Order of Canada in 1992.

Jeanne Lamon Born New York City, New York, U.S.A. 1949. She began studying violin at age 7. She continued her studies as a young woman earning her Bachelor of Music at Brandeis University at Boston, U.S.A. and then studied abroad in the Netherlands. Returning to North America she established her career as a baroque specialist and became a concertmaster. In the late 1970's while a teacher at Smith College in Boston, she made guest appearances in Canada. She must have like what she saw of the country. In 1981 , when she was offered the position at Tafelmusik in Toronto as Music Director, she took the job. By 1988 she had settled herself and became a Canadian citizen. Her talents in baroque, as a violinist, a concertmaster and a teacher were used to good means at Tafelmusik and has garnered many awards including the Muriel Sherrin Award, presented for excellence in international initiatives in music, the Prix Alliance, the Joan Chalmers Award and the Molson Prize. She is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Stephanie Lemelin Born April 2, 1960. She studied her beloved music all the way through university. She was the winner of the Canadian Music Competitions in 1977, the CBC National Competition in 1979, the Robert Casadesus International Competition in 1983 and has performed on the piano as a soloist and with orchestras across Canada, the U.S., France England, Ireland, Switzerland, Hungary and Brazil! She is frequently heard on the CBC Radio and has recorded for CBC Records. She taught music at Yale University before returning to teach in Canada at the University of Alberta. 
Judith 'Judy' Ann Loman

Born November 3, 1936 Goshen, Indiana, U.S.A. Judy studied privately from 1947 through 1956 an later at the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia Pennsylvania, U.S.A. She holds a Bachelor of Music, and a Master of Music in Opera. She married Joseph Umbrico (d 2007), a trumpeter and the couple had four children. She relocated to Toronto in 1957 following her husband to his job at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  She was the principal harp for the Toronto Symphony from 1959 through 1991. She earned a Juno Award for Best Classical Album in 1980. She has made numerous guest and solo appearances across Canada. She has taught at the University of Toronto and she established a summer harp school. In 2015 she was appointed to the Order of Canada.(2019)
Diane Mary Loomer     Born St Paul, Minnesota, U.S.A. April 23, 1940. Died December 10, 2012. In 1962 she earned her B.A. from Gustavus Adolphus College. She married Richard Loomer in 1963 and the couple had one son. She worked as a high school teacher in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. for three years. The young couple moved to Vancouver, British Columbia so that Richard could intern for his Medical degree. Once Richard’s studies were complete, Diane returned to studies in music earning her B.A. at the University of British Columbia in 1982. She conducted a choir at  the University  of British Columbia  and studies under well established conductors. She also founded the Douglas Collage Children’s Choir and became assistant director of the Vancouver Bach Choir. In 1987 she co-founded the Elektra Women’s Choir which became recognized internationally. In 1991 she formed Cypress Choral Music Publishing with her husband.  In 1992 she founded Chor Leoni Men’s Choir which became one of Canada’s leading male choirs. She composed and arranged numerous spirituals for her choirs. In 1999 her work garnered her recognition with the Order of Canada. In 2002 she received the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee medal. In 2007 she founded En Chor and auditioned 40 voice mixed voice choir for singers over 55 years of age. In 2009 she became conductor emeriti for her choirs. Source: “Choral conductor had a gift for getting the best from her singers” by Suzanne A Hearne, The Globe and Mail January 9, 2013.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Alexina Louie

Born July 30, 1949 Vancouver, British Columbia.  Alexina earned a Bachelor of Music in Music History from the University of British Columbia in 1970. She went on to complete studies for her Master's degree from the University of California, San Diego, U.S.A. in 1974. She is a musician and composer who writes music for orchestra, chamber music and electronic music. She relocated to Toronto in 1980. She is known for a work that she dedicated to the memory of the famous Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. In 1986 she composed the opening music, The Ringing Earth, for Expo 86 in Vancouver and was named that year as Composer of the Year by Canadian Music Council. In 1988 she won a Juno Award for her orchestral composition, Song of Paradise. In 1990, 1992, and 2003 she received the SOCAN Concert Music Award for the most performed Classical composer of the year. In 1999 she won the Jules Leger Prize for new Chamber Music  for Nightfall, a work for 14 strings written for I Musici de Montreal. In 2001 she was inducted into the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada in 2005. In 2006 she was made a fellow of he Royal Society of Canada. (2018)

Anna McGarrigle Born December 4, 1944  Montreal, Quebec.  Along with her sister and singing  partner, Kate McGarrigle (1946-2010) , she began singing in coffee houses in Montreal in the 1960's. Anna studied at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Montreal from 1964-1968. In 1976 they produced a record album together and won the Melody Maker Best Record of the Year.  Other albums followed including an all French album in 1982 and the duo would win Juno Awards for their works. Anna married journalist Dane Lanken and the couple have two children.  The McGarrigles were named to the Order of Canada in 1994. In 1999 the sisters received the Women of Originality Awards. In 2006 the singers received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).
Kate McGarrigle Born February 6, 1946 Montreal, Quebec. Died January 18, 2010 Montreal, Quebec. Kate was the youngest of three sisters who grew up in St-Sauveur-des-Monts, Quebec. Along with her sister and partner, Anna, she began singing folk music in coffee houses in Montreal in the 1960’s. From 1963 to 1967 she joined Jack Nisserson and Peter Weldon to form the Mountain City Four. Kate studied engineering at McGill University before she began writing songs.  In 1976 they produced a record album together which won Best Record of the year from Melody Maker. Kate married Loudon Wainwright lll and the couple had two children, Rufus  Martha who themselves became acclaimed musicians.  After a brief solo experience in New York, Kate rejoined her sister and more albums followed including a French language collection in 1982. n 1998 the sisters won Juno Awards for two albums. The McGarrigles were named to the Order of Canada in 1994.In 1999 Kate and Anna earned Women of Originality Awards. In 2006 the sisters received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN).  In 2008, after a diagnoses of cancer Kate established a Fund at the McGill University Health Centre to raise awareness of the rare cancer called Sarcoma. May 12-13, 2011 a tribute concert was filmed and released in June 2013 as:  Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle Place Kate McGarrigle was inaugurated August 7, 2013 in Montreal.
Loreena McKennitt  Born Morden, Manitoba February 17,1957. As a young girl, she was trained in classical singing. During her teens she experimented with folk music and performed in clubs in her home town of Winnipeg. In the 1970's she became familiar with Celtic music.  She worked as a singer, actress and writer at the famous Stratford Festival in Ontario. She learned to play the harp and even played as a busker on the streets of Toronto. She has written musical scores for works by the National Film Board of Canada as well as producing albums of her work. Her 1991 album won a Juno Award. The recording "The Bells of Christmas" was recorded for the Walt Disney film The Santa Claus in 1994.
Natalie MacMaster

Born June 13, 1972 Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Natalie was introduced to the fiddle when she was nine and had her performing debut that same year. She released her 1st album when she was 16 and in 1991 she released her second album. In 1998 the album A Compilation was produced. In 1999 she performed at the Juno Awards.   In 2002 she married fiddler Donnell Leah and the couple Lakefield, Ontario. The couple have seven children. The couple have appeared as sol artists, as a duo and have performed and recorded together with their fiddle playing children. She has begun to mix her Cape Breton roots music with Celtic and American bluegrass music. She has received a number of Canadian music awards, including several "Artist of the Year" awards from the East Coast Music Association, two Juno Awards for best instrumental album, and "Fiddler of the Year" from the Canadian Country Music Association. In 2006 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. (2019)
Marjorie Mills née Munter Born June 12, 1945, Quebec City, Quebec. Died January 16, 2013, As a youngster she showed musical talent with the piano. As an adult she would record he playing with Quality Records of Canada, Master Recordings, and Gemstone Records. She made two concert tours crossing the country she loved. She married composer David Mills. Source: Obituaries The Globe and Mail January 19, 2013.  Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Marie-Thérèse Paquin Born July 4, 1905 Montreal, Quebec. Died May 9, 1997 Montreal, Quebec. In 1926 she travelled to Brussels on a scholar ship to study piano. Returning home to Canada she joined the Dubois String Quartet and played  20 years as a member of the group. From 1936-1964 she was a pianist for the Montreal Symphony. A linguist who knew Spanish, Italian and German the translated and published opera librettos.  Orchestra. She worked as a music coach at McGill University and the Ecole normale de musique in Montreal. In 1980 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada. In 1982 she received the Calixa-Lavallée Award and in 1987 she became Chevalier de l'Ordre national du Québec. (2019)
Kathleen Parlow Born September 20, 1890 Fort Calgary, Alberta. Died August 19, 1963. When she was just 4 her mother Minnie took her to live in San Francisco, California, U.S.A. and made sure Kathleen received violin lessons. Her 1st teacher labeled her a child prodigy.  Kathleen made her professional debut in 1907 in Berlin Germany. Known as ‘the Lady of the Golden Bow’ she toured Europe, Russia, North America and Asia. On January 1, 1905 the 14 year old Kathleen arrived in England to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra and from there she became the 1st foreign student at the St Petersburg Conservatory in Russia. At 17 she was doing solo recitals on a very tight living budget tour of Europe. While in Norway she gained a patron and received a violin a Guarnerius del Gesù  created in 1735, which remained her primary instrument. During her 3rd North American tour she recorded several pieces for Columbia Records. She also toured Hawaii, the Far East, China, and Japan. At 40 she turned more and more to teaching to ensure an income. Her 1st faculty appointment was to the music department of Mills College in Oakland, California. Kathleen also organized a string quartet. In 1933, Mills College awarded her an honorary Master of Arts degree and by the summer of 1935, she had formed the South Mountain Parlow Quartet in Massachusetts. In 1936 she took an appointment at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music. By 1940 she had returned to Canada where in 1941 the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto engaged her for a series of lecture-recitals. In Toronto she formed The Canadian Trio. In 1942 she formed her 3rd string quartet, entitled simply The Parlow String Quartet. This group, for 15 years, performed only in Canada and for the CBC. From financial necessity, Parlow continued performing, giving a concert series in Toronto in January 1958. As her career wound down she had no pension and by 1959, for not the 1st time in her career, she relied on the generosity of others Her friends, established a fund for her support. In October 1959, friends arranged for the 70-year-old violinist to be appointed head of strings at the College of Music of the University of Western Ontario.  Source: Kathleen Parlow, Violinist and teacher (1890-1963) Collections Canada National Library of Canada. (accessed 2000)
Barbara Lally Pentland Born Winnipeg, Manitoba January 2, 1912. Died February 5, 2000. One of the first Canadian composers  to use avant-garde techniques, she has helped introduce 2 generations of young Canadians to modern Music. She was named to the Order of Canada in 1989.
Shauna Rolston Born Edmonton, Alberta January 31, 1967. She began Cello lessons at age 3! She had her first public performance at age 6! It is no wonder this musical prodigy was accepted in the gifted youth programme at the Banff centre for the Arts in Alberta. She went to Yale University in the U.S. to earn a degree in art history and returned to studying the cello at the Yale School for Music. Her New York debut was in 1983. Since then she has performed world wide and made numerous recordings. In 1994 she accepted a position to teach cello at the University of Toronto.
Micheline Saint-Marcoux née Coulombe. Born August 9 1938 Notre-Dame-de-la-Doré, Quebec. Died February 2, 1985 Montreal, Quebec. Micheline studied at the Ecole de musique Vincent-d"indy, the Conservatoire de musique du Québec and the Conservatoire de Paris in France. She was a composer and teacher who played a profound role in the development of contemporary music in both North America and Europe. She was commissioned to write works for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) and the Quebec Contemporary Music Society. In 1967 she earned the Prix d'Europe for her work. In 1969 she co-founded Groupe international de musique electroacoustique de Paris and back in Montreal she was co-founder of the Ensemble Polycousmie in 1971. She taught music at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec.(2019)
Gloria Saarinen Born Dunedin, New Zealand September 21, 1934. A child prodigy on the piano she studied first in New Zealand and then winning scholarships she studied in London, England and Europe. She settled in Calgary, Alberta in 1963 and that same year won the Harriet Cohen Commonwealth Medal. She has toured and performed throughout North America, Europe and in her homeland of New Zealand. She founded the Chinook Piano Competition , which became a national event by 1985. She formed part of the Chinook Trio with Susan Hoeppner (flutist) and Ofra Harnoy (cellist) and later joined the Canadian Piano Trio, an ensemble in-residence at Your University in Toronto. She was artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Calgary and hosted a Calgary TV program called Musical Portraits. She has also enjoyed a career in teaching with the Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. and at a private studio. She has received awards for her contribution to her community from both provincial governments of Alberta and Ontario.
Ruth Lowe Sandler Born August 12, 1914 Toronto, Ontario. Died January 4, 1981, Toronto, Ontario. Ruth was born with Canadian/U.S.A. parents and became a naturalized Canadian in 1942. She lived in California during her early teen years but by 16 she was promoting the sale of sheet music by playing the tunes on piano at Toronto music stores. Using the name Nancy Lee she worked in Toronto night clubs and in 1933 worked with singer George Taggart on radio station CKNC. She sang with a female vocal trio, The Shadows and performed with some of the big bands of the era. In the med to late 1930’s she was working with bands in the U.S.A. In 1938 she married Harold Cohen a Chicago music publicist. He died during surgery the following year. Back in Toronto in 1939 she composed the son ‘I’ll Never Smile Again’ after the death of her husband. She offered the song to a member of the famous Tommy Dorsey Band and Dorsey (1905-1956) gave the song to his male singer Frank Sinatra (1915-1998). It proved to be a big hit for the famous crooner. In 1942 she penned ‘Put your Dreams Away for Another Day’ which was also picked up by Sinatra becoming his closing theme song at his concerts. The song was also played at his funeral. The song was also covered by crooner Perry Como (1912-2001), Barry Manilow (1943-   ) and Canadian singer Gisèle MacKenzie (1927-2003). Ruth retired from performing in the early 1940’s but continued to compose. In 1945 she married Nathan Sandler and the couple had two sons. In 1982, just a year after her death she was induced into the American Music Hall of Fame and given an honorary Grammy Award.  The Musical ‘Ruthie’ is based on her life and staged in 1990 in Toronto. Her story is also chronicled in the documentary ‘I’ll Never Smile Again: The Ruth Lowe Story by Great North Productions Inc. in 2001. Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia, Online Accessed March 2016.
Ann Southam Born February 4, 1837, Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Died November 10, 2010. While still a tee Ann began composing music after attending a summer music camp in Banff, Alberta. She went on to study composition at the Royal Conservatory of Music and attended the University of Toronto from 1960-63 learning electronic music. By 1966 she was a teacher at the Royal Conservatory of Music.  She began a collaboration with the New Dance Group of Canada (later known as Toronto Dance Theatre) in 1967, where she became composer-in-residence in 1968. She was a founding member, and served as the 1st  president  from 1980–88 Association of Canadian Women Composers. Ann was also an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, which named its recording collection the Ann Southam Digital Audio Archive.  She was awarded with the Friends of Canadian Music Award in 2001. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010 Her she left $14 million to the Canadian Women's Foundation. Source: Ronald Napier: A guide to Canada's composers ; Willodale, Avondale Press.
Ethel Stark Born Montreal Quebec, August 25, 1910.Died February 16, 2012. The violin is her personal instrument of choice. She studied in Canada and the U.S. She was the first woman soloist heard on radio when she performed under conductor Fritz Reiner the Tchaikovsky “Concerto. “ She Founded the New York Women’s Chamber Orchestra and when she returned to live in Quebec in 1940 she founded and became the conductor of the 80 member Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra. In 1947 the women were the first Canadian Symphony Orchestra to play in the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City!! The Orchestra would continue to perform well into the 1960’s. Ethel has been awarded many honours for her contributions to the Canadian music scene. She has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary, the Order of Canada and the Canada 125 Medal in 1992.
Valerie Tryon Born September 5, 1934, Portsmouth, England. Valerie learned to play the piano as a child. Her extraordinary talent started her on a career as a concert pianist when before she was 12 she had broadcast for the BBC and was appearing regularly before the public on the concert platform. She was one of the youngest students ever to be admitted to the Royal Academy of Music. A bursary took her to Paris to study in 1955-1956. . She has played in most of the major concert halls and appeared with many of the leading orchestras and conductors in England, Europe and North America.  In 1971 she settled to live in Canada.  In 1976 she became Associate Professor of Music at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1980 she was1st Artist-in-Residence at McMaster University. She enjoys playing all sorts of music from Bach, Liszt, and Chamber music to contemporary composers. She has been awarded several distinctions for her services to music including being an early recipient of the Harriet Cohen Award. The Liszt Memorial Plaque was bestowed on her by the Hungarian Minister of Culture in recognition of her lifelong promotion of Franz Liszt's music. Valerie had presented at numerous radio (BBC and CBC) and her works have also been recorded for sale and distribution
Blanche van Ginkel née Lemco. Born December 14, 1923,London, England.  Blanche and her husband are Architects and urban planners.  They have worked on plans for old city of Montreal, new Montreal, New York City, Calgary, and even development sites for the Canadian Arctic.  She was Dean of Architecture at the University of Toronto, 1977-1982.
Jeannine Vanier

Organist and composer
Born August 21, 1929, Laval-des-Rapides, Quebec. Jeannine studied music at the Institut Nazareth and the University of Montreal in 1950. In 1949 she won 2nd prize in the Casavat Society competition and in 1952 she won the Royal Canadian College of Organists top prize. She was organist at St Paul-de-la-Croix church from 1952 until 1974. She taught at Institut Nazareth from 1955 through 1970and later until 1983 she taught at the University of Montreal. In 1962 she won a competition sponsored by the Canadian Amateur Musicians. In late 1970’s and through the 1980’s she was organist at various parishes in Montreal. Some of her original manuscripts are on deposit at the Bibliotheque du Quebec. 
Jane Elizabeth Vasey Born October 16, 1949, Winnipeg Manitoba. Died July 6, 1982, Toronto, Ontario. Jane loved music and began piano lessons at 6. She performed on the CBC television’s Call all Children. She earned the Earl Ferguson Award at the Manitoba Music Festival. In 1970 she graduated from the University of Manitoba. She played for a short while for the Winnipeg Ballet School before relocating to Toronto to further studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music. She played for ballet classes, the Global Village Theater, the Toronto Workshop Theatre and the Young Peoples’ Theatre. A;; the while she was composting music for Carol Bold Plays. It was during this time that she came to love and perform the blues. In 1973 she joined the all male band Downchild Blues Band . The group would record 6 albums together and travel to demanding crowds throughout North America. She played with the Band in Toronto when she became too ill with leukemia to travel. Brandon University established a scholarship for piano Performance in her memory. Source: Jane Vasey. Manitoba Music Museum. Online (Accessed May 2014)
Margaret Weisbord      77 née Wilson. Born April 13, 1914, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Died November 7, 2011, Kalona, British Columbia. She received her 1st violin at the age of 5. Her passion for the musical instrument lasted a lifetime. As a child prodigy she performed throughout western Canada. IN 1932 she was noticed by a Hungarian violinist, Geza DeKresz and she was invited to Hungary to study in Budapest and later in Salzburg. She returned to Canada in 1937 where, in Ottawa, she played for the CBC Radio. It was here that she met and married Armond Weisbord. The couple had two daughters. They often perform together and were well known. She often joked that she played second fiddle to her husband. She took over Armond’s  job of playing the violin at the Chateau Laurier while he served his country during the war for four years. Later in life she backed up for the entertained Rod Stewart. She also enjoyed teaching violin to the children in Ottawa before she retired to British Columbia to be closer to her family. Source: “Concert violinist Loved to Teach Young Children” by Margaret Wilson Weisbord, Ottawa Citizen, November 3, 2012 : Obituary, Ottawa Citizen, November 19, 2011. . Suggestion submitted by June Coxon, Ottawa, Ontario.
Choral Conductors  Return to categories

Anne Campbell

née Adamson. Born June 16, 1912, Sutherland Saskatchewan. Died April 13, 2011, Cochrane, Alberta.  Music was a part of Anne’s family life growing up. Besides living an a music loving home there was also church choir. At 8 years of age she began formal singing lessons. At 14 she was conducting the church choir. She went on to earn level certificates and Licentiate in Music in piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music. In 1939 she married Don Campbell. The young couple settled in Calgary, Alberta and raised their 2 children. Anne taught voice and piano and of course there was the music at Wesley United Church. By 1953 she was in Lethbridge, Alberta where the family home soon filled with music students. She formed the Lethbridge Junior Girls Choir and by 1963 a second group, the Teen-Clefs. Shortly after the Anne Campbell Singers was formed. There was also the group for girls 6-8 years and as the girls grew older there was the Linnet Singers. There were performances at church, fall operettas, spring sing concerts and the Kiwanis Music festivals throughout the Canadian west. These events paved the way to national and international competitions in the United Kingdom, Europe and Japan where they dressed in the official Alberta tartan. The appeared as part of Expo ’67 during Canada’s Centennial celebration  and the group would record 13 albums. In 1976 Anne received the Governor’s General Medal for her commitment to music. In 1978 she received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and in 1983 she received an honorary degree from Lethbridge University. Sources: Lisa Wajna, Great Canadian Women: Nineteen portraits of extraordinary women. (Folklore Publishing, 2005) ; R. Dale McIntosh, Anne Campbell (2012) Canadian Encyclopedia Online (Accessed June 2015)
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Ida Halpern née Ruhdorfer . Born Vienna, Austria   July 17, 1910. Died February 7, 1987. She and her husband, a chemist, immigrated to Canada and settled on the West coast in 1939. She was active in the local music life of her new home. She began to have a vivid interest in the Music of West Coast aboriginal culture. She was the first person to formally study this music. She would eventually produce 4 albums of First Nations’ Songs. She became Director of the Academy of Music. Her work was recognized when in 1978 she was presented as a Member to the Order of Canada. Source: The History of Metropolitan Vancouver – Hall of Fame.  (accessed June 2009)

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