Music at University of Toronto | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Music at University of Toronto

Founded by royal charter at York (Toronto), Upper Canada, in 1827 as the Church of England (Anglican) King's College. It granted its first degree in 1844 and was secularized and renamed the University of Toronto in 1850.

Music at University of Toronto

Founded by royal charter at York (Toronto), Upper Canada, in 1827 as the Church of England (Anglican) King's College. It granted its first degree in 1844 and was secularized and renamed the University of Toronto in 1850. Three denominational Toronto universities - Victoria (originally at Cobourg, Ont), St Michael's, and Trinity - entered into federation with it at the turn of the century. In 1990 the University of Toronto offered a complete range of undergraduate and graduate studies, had the largest library in Canada, and was the country's leading centre of graduate education and research.

King's College (Toronto) opened for instruction in 1843. During the following year the university enacted statutes by which a professorship in music and the B MUS and D MUS degrees were established. In 1846 the B MUS degree, the first to be granted in Canada, was earned by James Paton Clarke. The claim in various reference books that Clarke was made music instructor is not confirmed by the university's archives. The professorship was not officially implemented. It may be assumed, however, that Clarke, a protégé of John McCaul, the music-loving first president of King's College, held an unofficial position as an adjunct teacher or a private instructor. See the entry for Clarke regarding the mystery of the 1856 D MUS degree.

It was not until the early 1890s that the university, following similar action taken by the University of Trinity College during the previous decade, established syllabi and administered examinations leading to the B MUS and D MUS degrees. The holder of the bachelor degree was permitted, after an interval of three years, to submit an extensive composition and pass further examinations in order to obtain a D MUS.

The university did not provide instruction apart from occasional lectures. Instead, examination candidates could take lessons at one of the recently established conservatories. The procedure was recognized formally in a number of affiliations with the university: the Toronto College of Music in 1890, the TCM (RCMT) in 1896, and the Hamilton Cons (RHCM) in 1906. The university's examiners for music degrees in the 1890s were F(rederick?) Archer, W.E. Fairclough, A.E. Fisher, and S.P. Warren. Those who served in the early 1900s were J. Humfrey Anger, Albert Ham, C.L.M. Harris, and H.A. Wheeldon; Healey Willan was appointed as a lecturer and examiner in 1914.

In 1901 the University of Toronto began sending representatives to communities in Ontario and the western provinces to administer practical and theoretical examinations leading to the licentiate diploma. More candidates presented themselves for the diplomas than for degrees - 471 students were examined in 1904-5, and of those, 390 obtained diplomas; but in the five school years 1900-5 only seven degrees were awarded - and a university commission in 1906 blamed the conservatories for making little effort to train students for degrees while exploiting their affiliation for advertising purposes. The report expressed the hope that the university eventually would set up its own school of music.

This hope was realized when the Faculty of Music was created in 1918. A.S. Vogt, the principal of the TCM, served 1918-26 as the faculty's first dean; Herbert A. Fricker, Albert Ham, Ferdinand Albert Mouré (b London 1870, d Toronto 1945), and Healey Willan were lecturers. (Mouré was the university's bursar 1904-38 and organist 1918-30.) In its early years the faculty offered a series of 18 lectures annually in association with its B MUS degree. By 1921 the university had assumed complete responsibility for the TCM (which took over the issuing of diplomas), and in 1924 it sanctioned the purchase of the Canadian Academy of Music, thus strengthening the TCM's teaching staff and incorporating the province's leading music schools. The Faculty of Music staff remained small however; Healey Willan and Leo Smith were the only professors in the late 1930s and early 1940s.

Ernest MacMillan, principal of the TCM 1926-42, was also dean of the Faculty of Music 1927-52. As head of both institutions he promoted closer ties and co-ordinated their lecture series.

The BA (honours music) was established in 1936 as a degree for musicians desiring advanced musical skills in combination with a liberal arts education, or for prospective teachers. In order to provide a more extensive and specialized training for teachers, a three-year B MUS in School Music was introduced in 1946 and the previous B MUS program became known as 'general music.' Arnold Walter, at the time implementing several recommendations of the 1937 Hutcheson Report (RCMT), was involved also, with Robert Rosevear, Leslie Bell, and Richard Johnston, in the development of the new degree in school music (renamed music education in 1953). The first 19 school music graduates were awarded degrees in 1949. Rosevear and Johnston were faculty members prominent in this program, which has had a far-reaching influence on the development of music in the elementary and secondary schools and ultimately on the expansion of music education courses (the training of school music teachers) in other Canadian universities.

In the years immediately following World War II there was a sense of excitement associated with these departures in professional training, stimulated to a great extent by the return of the war veterans who came in considerable numbers and who, having had to postpone their studies, brought a useful maturity to them. The growth and complexity of such developments within the Faculty of Music and the RCMT's senior division necessitated a major reorganization in 1952. At that time music was restructured into two operational units under the overall title RCMT: the Faculty of Music, which offered courses leading to degrees and assumed responsibility for preparing students for the diplomas formerly given by the Senior School of the RCMT; and the School of Music, which continued the conservatory programs in performance, teaching, and examining, and retained the administration of the Royal Cons Opera School (University of Toronto Opera Division). Arnold Walter became director of the faculty and Ettore Mazzoleni principal of the School of Music. Boyd Neel was appointed dean of the 'umbrella' RCMT in 1953 and retained that position until 1970.

Arnold Walter, in the years (1952-68) of his directorship of the Faculty of Music, presided over an unprecedented expansion involving a number of academic changes. The General Music program was phased out as an extramural degree 1951-5. In its place, composition and the history and literature of music were introduced in the 1953-4 school year as specialized areas of study in the B MUS program. In 1954 M MUS programs in composition, musicology, and music education were initiated. By 1963 all B MUS programs had been extended to four years, and in 1965 a PH D program in musicology and a four-year degree program in performance were introduced. The appointment in 1954 of Harvey Olnick to establish the first musicology program in a Canadian university led to an increasing importance of this field of study and to the subsequent development of the University of Toronto music library. Jean Lavender (b 1918; d Lindsay, Ont 23 Feb 2005; BLS Toronto), head librarian for the faculty 1947-73, was succeeded by Kathleen McMorrow - (b Edinburgh 22 Aug 1944; BA (Toronto) 1966, BLS (Toronto) 1967. McMorrow moved to Canada in 1948 and began working at the University of Toronto music library in 1967. She was president 1980-2 of CAML and began editing its Newsletter in 1983, and has written about Canadian music periodicals for Notes, Fontes artis musicae, and other journals.

The space and facilities in the College Street complex could not accommodate the expansion of programs in the 1950s (see RCMT), and new premises were erected to house the faculty; the Edward Johnson Building, named for the famous Canadian tenor, administrator, and chairman of the board of the RCMT in the 1950s, was occupied in 1962. An addition to the building, the Rupert E. Edwards Wing, was completed in 1990.

In 1968 the faculty was organized into four departments, under Gustav Ciamaga (composition), Harvey Olnick (history and literature), Robert Rosevear (music education), and Ezra Schabas (performance). The Royal Cons Opera school became a department of the faculty in 1969 (a division in 1978), and began offering a two-year postgraduate diploma in operatic performance in 1970, and a program to train pianists in the work of the operatic répétiteur in 1987.

After Walter's retirement in 1968, Boyd Neel continued until 1970 as dean of the RCMT (as that name had been re-applied in the 1952 restructuring) and assumed the duties of director of the Faculty of Music. With Neel's retirement in 1970 (in fact 1971, but he was on leave during his final year, and John Beckwith was dean designate), nomenclature changed again to accommodate the first major restructuring of the faculty-school-conservatory relationship since 1952.

The concept of an RCMT administrative umbrella shading an academic faculty and a practical school (conservatory) seemed outworn in view of the phenomenal independent developments of that faculty and that school. Therefore the name Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto was restored to the erstwhile School of Music - to which it belonged historically. The title dean replaced the title director in connoting the head of the Faculty of Music. The new dean of the faculty (John Beckwith, who was to serve 1970-7) undertook duties as the chief executive responsible for academic policies in music throughout the university. And faculty and conservatory thenceforth pursued related but separate courses within the university. However the increasingly uneasy relationship between conservatory and faculty led to lengthy discussions and negotiations in the 1980s about separating the two, as a result of which the RCMT again became an autonomous organization in 1991.

During the 1970s there was a marked increase in graduate enrolment and an emerging interest in contemporary music, ethnomusicology, and performance practice. Gustav Ciamaga succeeded Beckwith as acting dean 1977-8 and as dean 1978-84 (and also served as acting principal of the RCMT 1983-4). Carl Morey was dean 1984-90 and was succeeded in 1990 by Paul Pedersen.

The number of B MUS graduates to 1945 was 107. The number of B MUS graduates for the period 1946-68 was 445, of which 324 were in music education. There were 95 BA (honour music) graduates for the period 1941-68. In 1956 John Fenwick and Alan Arthur Smith were the first recipients of a master's degree. In the period 1969-78 618 degrees were awarded: 326 in music education, 199 in performance, 47 in music history and literature, and 46 in composition. More than 1200 diplomas and undergraduate and graduate degrees were awarded 1978-90; the major fields of specialization included performance (489) and music education (320). In 1990 the Faculty of Music had 119 teaching staff and 475 students.

In 1990 the faculty offered the following: Diploma in Operatic Performance, Licentiate Diploma, Artist Diploma, B MUS (music education; composition; history and literature; theory; performance), MA (musicology), M MUS (composition; music education; performance), PH D (musicology), and D MUS (composition). A B MUS in jazz performance was introduced in 1991, and Paul Read became director of jazz studies that same year. Two additional training programs have been offered: the special program in conducting, funded by the OAC and taught 1985-90 by Michel Tabachnik; and the Music Performance and Communication program, funded by OAC and Employment and Immigration Canada, and directed by Ezra Schabas 1987-90.

Among members of the faculty in 1990-1 were William Aide, Lee R. Bartel, Melvin Berman, Walter Buczynski, Ronald Chandler, Stephen Chenette, Gustav Ciamaga, James Craig, David Elliott, Robert Falck, Andrew Hughes, John Hawkins, Derek Holman, Gaynor G. Jones, Edward Laufer, Lothar Klein, Rika Maniates, Carl Morey, Timothy McGee, Vladimir Orloff, Mary Ann Parker, Patricia Parr, Doreen Rao, Patricia Shand, and David Zafer.

Recipients of honorary degrees have included J. Humfrey Anger (D MUS 1902), F.H. Torrington (D MUS 1902), Sir Alexander Mackenzie (D MUS 1903), Albert Ham (D MUS 1906), A.S. Vogt (D MUS 1906), John MacKenzie Rogan (D MUS 1907), Sir Frederick Bridge (D MUS 1908), Healey Willan (D MUS 1920), Ferdinand Albert Mouré (D MUS 1922), H.A. Fricker (D MUS 1923), Luigi von Kunits (D MUS 1926), Edward Johnson (D MUS 1934), W.H. Hewlett (D MUS 1936), H.K. Jordan (D MUS 1938), Alexander MacMillan (D MUS 1943), Sir Thomas Beecham (D MUS 1956), Glenn Gould (LLD 1964), Lois Marshall (LLD 1965), Zoltán Kodály (D MUS 1966), Helmut Kallmann (LLD 1971), Hugh Le Caine (LLD 1973), Harry Somers (LLD 1976), Maureen Forrester (D MUS 1977), John Weinzweig (LLD 1982), Yehudi Menuhin (LLD 1984), Oscar Peterson (LLD 1985), Jon Vickers (D MUS 1986), and Nicholas Goldschmidt (D MUS 1989).

When it opened in 1962 the Edward Johnson Building, with its 12 classrooms, 40 practice studios, recital and rehearsal facilities, (the instrumental ensemble room was later renamed in memory of Boyd Neel), and well-stocked library and listening room, was one of the best in North America. Its library, the Edward Johnson Library (moved in 1990 to the Rupert E. Edwards Wing), includes the Sniderman Recordings Archives and had grown by 1980 to the largest in Canada. In 1990 it held 130,000 books and scores, 40,000 pieces of sheet music, 90,000 LPs, and 5,000 CDs. The program seeks to add to its collection of historical documents, and archival collections include material from Kathleen Parlow, Edward Johnson, and the Hart House String Quartet. A 3000 volume rare book room includes early editions of Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Gershwin, and Canadiana. Many of the items were donated by Edward Johnson, Arnold Walter, Herman Geiger-Torel.(after whom the opera rehearsal room was named in 1984), Sydney Fisher (a collection of flutes, Sam Sniderman, A. Horne, Joseph H. Nunn, and Capitol Records of Canada. The building's electronic studios, developed in the 1960s by Myron Schaeffer, were the second such to be installed in a North American music school. The 500-seat Walter Hall was designed for chamber and solo recitals as well as lectures and came to be recognized as one of Toronto's finest small auditoriums. A two-manual tracker-action Casavant organ was installed there in the mid-1970s. The 850-seat MacMillan Theatre, inaugurated in 1964 with a performance of Britten's Albert Herring, was designed, also with considerable success, for the presentation of operas, guest productions, concerts, and recitals.

The numerous concert series, which have undergone frequent name changes, have included many in conjunction with the CBC as well as continuing guest series and others featuring faculty members, including artists-in-residence such as the Canadian String Quartet, Anton Kuerti, the Orford String Quartet, and (beginning in 1989) the Amici trio. In addition to the many student solo recitals, Faculty of Music performing groups have included the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra, known until 1968 as the Royal Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Mazzoleni, later by Boyd Neel, and after the change of name by Victor Feldbrill; the Concert Band (later the Wind Symphony) under Robert Rosevear, Melvin Berman, Ronald Chandler, and Stephen Chenette;.the Concert Choir, under Charles Heffernan, Robert Cooper, and Doreen Rao; the Opera Chorus; the University Singers (later the University of Toronto Symphony Chorus); the Repertory Orchestra; the Guitar Orchestra; the Chamber Orchestra; and the Jazz Ensemble. After Feldbrill's resignation to take a post in Japan, the University of Toronto SO was without a resident conductor 1982-5; guests included Mario Bernardi and Otto Werner-Mueller. Tabachnik held the post 1985-90, and Pierre Hétu was appointed in 1991. The orchestra has collaborated with the University of Toronto Symphony Chorus in such works as Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, and the premiere of John Burge'sMass for Prisoners of Conscience conducted by Doreen Rao. The faculty has also presented a Faculty Artist Series, and a Thursday Noon Series.

A number of musical activities at the university have taken place outside the Faculty of Music, presented by groups such as the Hart House Chorus (formerly Hart House Glee Club), the University of Toronto Chorus, and the earlier University of Toronto SO (not to be confused with the faculty orchestra mentioned above) established by John Weinzweig in 1934, open to all University of Toronto students and staff, and independent of the TCM and the faculty. Its conductors included Hans Gruber, Lee Hepner, Feldbrill, Elmer Iseler, Keith Girard, Rosevear, and Tibor Polgar. Many of the university's constituent colleges, schools, and faculties have produced musical entertainments, particularly annual revues or musicals, often with original scores.

In the 1960s, as the musical life of the university became increasingly centred around the Faculty of Music, the campus ensembles have been less prominent. Following Mouré in the university organist's post have been Healey Willan 1932-64, Charles Peaker 1964-78, and Peaker's successor, John Tuttle. The rich tradition of music activities at Hart House includes recitals of the Soldiers' Tower carillon (in 1990 one of the 11 carillons in Canada; Sydney J. Shep was appointed university carillonneur in 1984). Other university concert locations in addition to those at Hart House and the Edward Johnson Building include Varsity Arena, Varsity Stadium, Convocation Hall, and smaller facilities in several colleges.

A music alumni association became active in 1950. It has provided scholarships, and in its early years it commissioned works by Harry Somers, John Beckwith, Healey Willan, Howard Cable, and William McCauley.

University of Toronto Press, named firm of the year by the Canadian Music Council in 1982, has become the foremost publisher of books on Canadian music, including Music in Canada (1955), edited by Sir Ernest MacMillan; the Canadian Music Journal (1956-62); A History of Music in Canada 1534-1914 by Helmut Kallmann (1960, repr 1969 and 1987); Aspects of Music in Canada (1969), edited by Arnold Walter; Discopaedia of the Violin (1974), edited by James Creighton; Harry Somers (1975), by Brian Cherney; Canadian Music: A Selected Checklist 1950-73/La Musique canadienne: une liste selective 1950-73 (1976), compiled by Lynne Jarman; Canadian Music of the Twentieth Century (1980), by George Proctor; the two editions of Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, (1981 and 1992); Jazz in Canada by Mark Miller, Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Music ed by Robert Falck and Timothy Rice, and The Canadian jazz Discography 1916-1980 by Jack Litchfield (all 1982); A Theory for All Music by Jay Rahn, Barbara Pentland by Sheila Eastman and Timothy J. McGee, R. Murray Schafer by Stephen Adams, and Healey Willan: Life and Music by F R C Clarke (all 1983); Alternative Voices: Essays on Contemporary Vocal and Choral Composition by Istvan Anhalt (1984); The Musical World of Frances James and Murray Adaskin by Gordana Lazarevich and Musical Canada, edited by John Beckwith and Frederick A. Hall (both 1988); and Music Education in Canada: A Historical Account by J. Paul Green and Nancy Vogan (1991).

In 1984 a $1 million gift from Floyd and Jean Chalmers to the Faculty of Music endowed the Institute for Canadian Music and the Jean A. Chalmers Chair in Canadian Music, the first chaired professorship of music in Canada. A donation from the family of Wilma and Clifford Smith has supported an annual visit to the faculty by a distinguished musician, including Jon Vickers (1986), Sir Michael Tippett (1987), Claude Franck (1988), John Poole (1989), Richard Bradshaw (1990), and Jean Lamon (1991). The Briegel Trust, created in 1989 with donations from James Briegel in memory of his parents, has supported various projects, including master classes and lectures by Pinchas Zuckerman, Garrick Ohlsson, Robert Saxton, and Elisabeth Söderström.

For many years the University of Toronto Faculty of Music has been one of the leading schools of its kind in Canada. The musicians and scholars on its faculty are known for their compositions and publications, appearances on national radio and TV networks, and other professional activities. Many entries in EMC deal with the careers of its graduates, several of whom have received international recognition as performers and composers, or have become major figures in other areas of Canadian musical life, including universities and cultural organizations.

See also Archives; Carillon; College songs; Degrees; Electroacoustic music; Ethnomusicology; Libraries; Music education research; Musicology.

Further Reading