Robert Creech | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Robert Creech

Robert Edward Creech, French hornist, teacher, administrator (born 26 September 1928 in Victoria, BC; died 20 December 2019 in Quilty, Ireland). Robert Creech was a successful musician, educator and arts administrator. He performed with symphony orchestras across Canada, taught at the University of Western Ontario and served as an administrator in Canada, England and Ireland.


Robert Creech graduated from the University of Manitoba with a BA in history. He then studied with Mason Jones at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia before earning a music degree and a master’s degree in history at the University of British Columbia.

Performance Career

Creech was first horn with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra (1944–46), the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (1949–52), and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (1946–48; 1958–74). He was also second horn with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1952–55) and CBC Symphony Orchestra (1955–58); principal horn with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra (1958–76); and a member of the Vancouver Woodwind Quintet (1968–76).

Creech performed widely as a soloist in Canada and the United States. He also recorded with the Baroque Strings of Vancovuer, the Vancouver Woodwind Quintet and the Purcell String Quartet.

Career as Educator

Creech was a member of the music staff at the University of British Columbia (1959–76), served as music director of the Courtenay Youth Music Centre (1970–85) and was founder and first chairman of the music department of Vancouver Community College (1973–76). He taught at the University of Western Ontario (1976–89) and was chairman of the performance department (1976–82). In 1986, he was asked by the Royal Conservatory of Music to prepare reports on academic programs and administrative possibilities. He was also the conservatory’s vice-principal from 1987 to 1991.

Career as Administrator

Creech was chairman of the music committee of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver (1967–69), during which time the committee planned and implemented the founding of the Community Music School of Greater Vancouver (now the Vancouver Academy of Music). He was a director of the Canadian Music Council (1975–79) and chairman of the Arts Advisory Council of the Canada Council (1976–78). He was appointed the chief executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society in 1991 and the executive director of Summer Music on the Shannon/Summer Music in Galway in Ireland.

He and G. Campbell Trowsdale wrote the report Orchestras Ontario (Toronto 1988) for the Ontario Arts Council as well as the report Independent and Affiliated Non-profit Conservatory-type Music Schools in Canada (Ottawa 1988) commissioned by the Canadian Music Council.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.