Paul Scherman | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Paul Scherman

Paul (Isidor) Scherman. Conductor, violinist, b Toronto 12 Sep 1907, d Toronto, 12 Mar 1996.

Scherman, Paul

Paul (Isidor) Scherman. Conductor, violinist, b Toronto 12 Sep 1907, d Toronto, 12 Mar 1996. Raised (1912-20) in London, where he was a scholarship pupil of Leon Bergman and Hans Wessely at the RAM, Scherman returned to Toronto and studied violin with Luigi von Kunits at the TCM and theory with Louis Waizman privately. Later studies were taken with Albert Maieff in New York 1927-30, William Primrose in Toronto and London 1937-9, Dimitri Dounis in New York 1946-7, and Nadia Boulanger in Paris 1955-7. As a violin soloist Scherman toured 1923-6 in Ontario and made his radio debut in 1925 on CFCA, Toronto. He played in various Toronto theatre and radio orchestras and was a member of the New Symphony Orchestra under von Kunits for two concerts in the 1925-6 season and for the entire 1926-7 season.

While a violinist 1932-52 with the TSO Scherman appeared occasionally as soloist with the orchestra - for instance, in Wieniawski's Concerto No. 2 22 Mar 1946. Until 1944 he performed as Isidor Scherman. He was assistant conductor 1947-55 of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and made his conducting debut 7 Feb 1947 in a pop concert. In the 1940s he also conducted orchestras for several CBC radio programs, including 'The Northern Electric Hour' and, under the name Don Miguel, 'Latin American Serenade.' As a violinist he participated 1950, 1951, and 1953 at the Casals Festival in Prades, France. Scherman was one of the CBC Symphony Orchestra conductors 1952-7 and conducted its 1955 Stratford Festival presentation of Stravinsky's A Soldier's Tale. Scherman's appearance 24 Oct 1955 as conductor with the Orchestre de concerts Lamoureux in Paris was followed by engagements with the BBC Scottish Orchestra in 1955, the Vienna Radio Orchestra in 1955, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in 1956, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1959. Settling in London he was a member 1958-60 of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and then became a freelance violinist, playing in studio orchestras in the 1970s. He is credited as violinist for the Beatles' recording of 'Within You, Without You' on their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. In 1980 he returned to Toronto where he continued to freelance. CBC Records rereleased a recording of Glenn Gould on which Scherman conducted the Startime Orchestra (PSCD 2015 CBC Records). Scherman can also be seen in the 1992 video The Glenn Gould Collection, Vol. 6: The Earliest Decade (41-048409-82 v. 6 Sony Classical), and in the NFB 1953 film Rehearsal, in which he conducts the rehearsal for the premiere of a Harry Somers composition.

See also Discography for CBC SO (RCI 154).