Leslie Grossmith

Leslie Grossmith. Pianist, conductor, violinist, composer, teacher, b Birmingham, England, 19 May 1870, d Victoria, BC, 27 Aug 1957. He received his training in Australia from Henri Kowalski and Max Vogrich and became a violinist in the Municipal Orchestra in Melbourne.

Grossmith, Leslie

Leslie Grossmith. Pianist, conductor, violinist, composer, teacher, b Birmingham, England, 19 May 1870, d Victoria, BC, 27 Aug 1957. He received his training in Australia from Henri Kowalski and Max Vogrich and became a violinist in the Municipal Orchestra in Melbourne. Later he played for a Milan opera company, then returned to England to serve as chorusmaster for an English opera company and conductor of various theatre orchestras in London. In 1918 he moved to Victoria, BC, where for a time he was a pianist at the Empress Hotel. He also performed in other Vancouver Island communities. With the opening of Victoria's Capitol Theatre in 1921 he became, for a year, music director of the Capitol Opera Company. He also arranged music for silent films. In the 1920s he was active in Vancouver, but in the 1930s he taught in Victoria.

Grossmith toured as a pianist and entertainer in Canada (twice from coast to coast), Britain, the Middle East, and Asia. His compositions, listed in the Catalogue of Canadian Composers, include Air de ballet, which won first prize in the Musical Canada Pianoforte Composition Contest (MCan, Jun 1929); the three-act opera The Immortal Slave; the musical play Zip Van Twinkle of the Canadian Rockies; the opera Uncle Tom's Cabin (1928); and Jubilee Symphony in D (1951, written for the Australian Jubilee Symphony Competition). Other pieces for piano have been published by Musical Canada, Francis Day & Hunter, and Derek.


Further Reading

  • 'Leslie Grossmith,' MCan, vol 10, Jun 1929