William Tritt | The Canadian Encyclopedia


William Tritt

William Tritt. Pianist, teacher, b Pointe-Claire (Montreal) 27 Dec 1951, d Montreal 23 Oct 1992; B MUS (Montreal) 1969, M MUS (Montreal) 1969.

Tritt, William

William Tritt. Pianist, teacher, b Pointe-Claire (Montreal) 27 Dec 1951, d Montreal 23 Oct 1992; B MUS (Montreal) 1969, M MUS (Montreal) 1969. He studied 1962-9 in Montreal at the École Vincent-d'Indy with Lucille Brassard, Yvonne Hubert, and Gilles Manny prior to advanced studies in 1971 with Yvonne Lefébure at St-Germain-en-Laye, France, and 1972-4 with György Sebök at the University of Indiana. A semi-finalist at the 1969 Munich Festival, he also won the 1970 MSO Concours, the 1971 CBC Talent Festival, and the 1971 International Stepping Stone of the Canadian Music Competitions, and took third place in the 1971 Montreal International Music Competition.

He was artist-in-residence and teacher at Dalhousie University 1974-84. In 1976 he founded the Dalart Trio with the violinist Philippe Djokic and the cellist William Valleau. He was a member of the Da Camera Ensemble of Toronto (with James Campbell, Moshe Hammer, and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi), which presented Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time across North America 1984-90, and in London. Pursuing his career mainly in North America, from the late 1980s maintaining bases in New York and Toronto, Tritt was a soloist with many Canadian and US orchestras, including the MSO, the TS, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Pops, and the Houston Symphony Orchestra, and performed often on CBC radio and TV. He also appeared at London's Wigmore Hall and toured France and Japan. Tritt performed in chamber ensembles at the Lincoln Centre in 1991 and New York's Barge Concerts, and appeared in festivals at Shaw; Sharon; Vail, Colorado; and Angel Fire, New Mexico. He continued to perform as late as June 1992, when he appeared at the Scotia Festival of Music in Halifax.

Although Tritt was perhaps best known for his recordings of George Gershwin's works, he also recorded works by Canadians, including Lavallée, Contant, Champagne, and Dela. Reviewing his recording of works by Jacques Hétu, Haydn, Brahms, and Bach-Busoni, the May 1975 issue of Harmonie magazine noted 'a flawless technique ... a very solid architecture, a communicative spirit ... and a beautiful vigour.' Dalhousie University offers two scholarships in Tritt's name.

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