Muriel Kilby

Muriel (Laura) Kilby. Pianist, marimbist, b Toronto 5 Nov 1929. She began playing the piano at 7 and a toy marimba at 10.

Kilby, Muriel

Muriel (Laura) Kilby. Pianist, marimbist, b Toronto 5 Nov 1929. She began playing the piano at 7 and a toy marimba at 10. While studying with Hayunga Carman (piano) and Oskar Morawetz (composition) at the TCM, she enjoyed a brief career as a concert marimbist, playing works written originally for violin or piano. She made her TSO debut as pianist 23 Nov 1945 in the first movement of Chopin's Concerto in E Minor and in the next 15 years appeared at least 10 times as solo marimbist or pianist with that orchestra. She won CAPAC prizes in 1949, 1950, and 1951 for her songs and piano pieces (see Catalogue of Canadian Composers). On scholarships to the Chautauqua Summer School in 1951 and then to the Juilliard School, she studied piano with James Friskin. She made her US radio debut (1951) on the ABC network, playing the Schumann Piano Concerto. Continuing to live in the USA, she was staff pianist at the Chautauqua Music Festival (appearing annually with the festival's symphony orchestra) and in 1962 settled in Detroit, where she taught at Mercy College. While in the USA she played Prokofiev's Concerto No. 2 in Detroit and Chicago, and in 1963 she repeated the work in Canada with the CBC Symphony Orchestra. Her repertoire also included Saint-Saëns' fifth and the Ravel G major concertos.