Sir Ernest MacMillan: The Importance of Being Canadian

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University of Toronto Press, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 374 pages
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As a conductor, organist, pianist, composer, educator, writer, administrator, and musical statesman, Sir Ernest MacMillan stands as a towering figure in Canada's musical history. His role in the development of music in Canada from the beginning of this century to 1970 was pivotal. He conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for twenty-five years, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir for fifteen . He was principal of the Toronto (now Royal) Conservatory of Music and dean of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music. He founded the Canadian Music Council, and the Canadian Music Centre, and was a founding member of the Canada Council. He was also the first president of the Composers, Authors, and Publishers Association of Canada (CAPAC).

Ezra Schabas provides not only the first detailed biography of MacMillan, but also a frank, richly detailed and handsomely illustrated account of the Canadian music scene. He tells of MacMillan's rise in Canada, from his early years as a church organist to his international successes as a guest conductor; from his internment in a German prison camp to the knighthood conferred on him by King George V. As Robertson Davies said of MacMillan, 'It is on the achievements of such men that the culture of a country rests. Their work is not education, but revelation, and there is always about it something of prophetic splendour.'

  

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Contents

A Gifted Child
3
Choosing a Career
20
Life behind Barbed Wire
37
No Finer Organist
52
Directing a School
69
Canadas Musical Heritage
84
Conducting a Symphony Orchestra
98
The Depression Years 1152
112
Music and the War Effort
162
Canadas Musical Ambassador
183
A Spokesman for Music
198
A Question of Power
213
A Matter of Morality
225
Successes and Failures
243
Notes
313
Interviews
338

A Musical Knight
130
Personal Problems Resolved
147

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About the author (1994)

Ezra Schabas is Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

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