In 1921, the University of Toronto took over ownership and operation of the Toronto Conservatory and its library collection became the basis for the present-day Music Library. In celebration of our 100-year anniversary, we are in the process of featuring 100 items from our library on Instagram and Facebook. All items were selected by current and past library staff. If you missed them on social media, here they are again. To see all items selected thus far, check out the blog series "100 years at the Music Library". To learn more about the past, present, and future of the U of T Music Library, see the series articles written for Open Shelf, the Ontario Library Association (OLA) magazine: "Becoming University of Toronto Music Library."
The following items were selected and curated by Rebecca Shaw, Music Archivist.
2001: Elizabeth Benson-Guy fonds
In 2001, the Estate if Greta Kraus Dentay released a CD of Elizabeth Benson-Guy's recordings from the 1950s, with Greta Kraus accompanying on harpsichord and piano.
Benson-Guy made her operatic debut in 1947 at the Royal Conservatory of Opera School as Marie in The Bartered Bride by Bedrich Smetana, and subsequently appeared in many CBC radio opera productions and song recitals, with the Opera Festival Association of Toronto, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the Festival Singers. She debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 10, 1959, and at Wigmore Hall in London on October 31, 1967. She also taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the University of Toronto Faculty of Music (1969-1979).
You can explore her archives at the Music Library, including correspondence, photographs, programs, reviews, press notices.
(1) Greta Kraus and Elizabeth Benson-Guy examining a score
(2) Elizabeth Benson-Guy in costume as Marie in The Bartered Bride, with Mrs. P. Evans and Mrs. M. Ogle (Royal Conservatory of Music, 1947).
2002: Derek Holman fonds
In 2002, professor emeritus Derek Holman (1931-2019) became a Member of the Order of Canada.
The University of Toronto Bulletin announcement read: "Holman is a noted choir director, composer and teacher. Numerous individuals and arts groups have commissioned his compositions and recordings of his work have met with significant critical acclaim. As a professor of composition for nearly 20 years, he was regarded as a passionate and inspiring teacher who drew students from other musical disciplines and who taught several prominent Canadian composers. As a choirmaster, he was mentor to countless young people in churches and in the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus."
In 2020, his complete archives were donated to the Music Library, including his manuscripts, recordings of his compositions and arrangements, and various other personal and professional papers.
Borrow scores and recordings at the Music Library
Pictured (from the archives):
(1) [Holman conducting at the Croydon Parish Church, ca. 1968-1965]
(2) Holman with Robertson Davies during a 'creative' session, working on the children's opera Doctor Canon's Cure (commissioned by the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus, 1982). Photo by Milan Chvostek.
2003: Walter Buczynski fonds
The Music Library holds the archives of professor emeritus Walter Buczynski, including manuscripts of his compositions, correspondence, and programs from performances of his music. Buczynski taught piano, theory, and composition at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music from 1969 until his retirement in 1999. His first donation to the archives was in 2003.
Explore his archives:
Borrow scores and recordings from the Music Library
An excerpt from one of his early manuscripts, "Mr. Rhinoceros and his Musicians," an opera for pre-school children for narrator, soprano, violin, violoncello, clarinet, bassoon, trombone and percussion. Libretto by Lilly Barnes. Music completed in Toronto on August 31, 1965.
For our 100 year anniversary, we are issuing 100 posts that highlight items from our collection. For their 26 year anniversary in 2004, the magazine Musicworks issued a series of 26 postcards featuring composers and compositions that appeared in their magazine issues.
Visit the library to see the complete set of postcards in our rare book collection.
Browse the complete run (to date) of Musicworks.
(1) "Somewhat Surprised" by William E. (Bill) Smith, circa 1970s
(2) Concerto for Flute and Offernkleide by R. Murray Schafer
(3) "4 Possible Sound Poems" by W. Mark Sutherland
2005: Oscar Peterson Quartet with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
On June 4, 2005, the Oscar Peterson Quartet (David Young, bass ; Ulf Wakenius, guitar ; Alvin Queen, drums ; Oscar Peterson, piano) appeared in concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michel Legrand. The concert was recorded for CBC broadcast, and you can borrow and listen to the recording at the Music Library.
2006: Extra muros / intra muros collaborative exhibition
In 2006, the Music Library participated in a collaborative exhibition of rare books and special collections at the University of Toronto titled Extra muros, intra muros. For our selections, former chief librarian Kathleen McMorrow selected various items from our rare book collection. Among them were:
(1) Libro de mvsica de vihuela de mano by Luis Milan (Valencia: Francisco Diaz, 1535) - The first printed collection of music for the vihuela.
(2) Toccate d'intavolatvra di cimbalo et organo... by Girolamo Frescobaldi (Rome: N. Borbone, 1637) - Frescobaldi's final revisions of earlier collections originally published in 1615 an 1627.
(3) Acis and Galate by Georg Frideric Handel (London: I. Walsh, 1743) - A "vigorously-used copy" previously in the collection of H.H. Langton (the University's chief librarian, 1892-1923) and his wife, Ethel Street, founding member of the Women's Musical Club of Toronto. See a complete digitized copy on Internet Archive.
(4) The Favourite Songs in the Opera call'd Il filosofo di campagna by Baldassare Galuppi (London: I. Walsh, ) - An example of the passé-partout technique of printing title pages, in which a generic plate is used for multiple similar publications with a blank area for title information, to be added from a second plate or written in manuscript.
Visit the library to see our rare book collection or borrow the exhibit catalogue from the library.
2007: Barbara Monk Feldman
In 2007, Barbara Monk Feldman issued 56 bound copies, reproduced from the holograph, of The Chaco Wilderness (commissioned by The Downtown Ensemble, New York City and completed in 2005). We hold copy 12 in our rare book collection. Visit the Music Library to see the holograph score.
2008: J. Churchill Arlidge fonds
In 2008, we received the first of two donations that make up the J. Churchill Arlidge fonds at the Music Library.
Arlidge (1849-1913) was a flutist, organist, teacher, and composer who settled permanently in Toronto in 1885. He appeared as a performer with the Toronto Philharmonic Society, as an accompanist to various singers (including Emma Caldwell, Lilli Lehmann and Emma Albani), and was a founding member of the Toronto Flute Quartet. He also taught at the Toronto College of Music and the Toronto Conservatory of Music, before founding his own school, the Toronto Academy of Music, in 1902.
Arlidge's archival collection contains writings, family letters, photographs, various biographical documents, and manuscripts of Arlidge's original compositions, arrangements, and transcriptions of performed pieces. Many of his compositions and arrangements are now digitized and can be viewed online.
Browse the J. Churchill Arlidge fonds in the Music Library archives.
Pictured: Excerpt from one of Arlidge's original compositions, the Olivia Gavotte for orchestra.
2009: Toronto Songbook
In 2009, Plangere issued The Toronto Songbook: New Music for Voice and Piano by Nine Toronto Composers, edited by Brian McDonagh. The collection includes "Nightsongs" by Maria Case, "Epilogue to Through the Looking Glass" by Hunter Coblentz (text by Lewis Carroll), "Five Shakespeare Songs" by Colin Eatock, "Places Among the Stars" by Juliet Hess (text by Stephen Crane), "City Night" by Alice Ping Yee Ho (text by Bo Wen Chan), "A Red Red Heart" by John Greer (text by Marianne Bindig), "Seven 'Dark Lady' Sonnets by William Shakespeare" by David Passmore, "Drei Lieder nach Texten von Heinrich Heine" by Alexander Rapoport, and "Red Moon and Other Songs of War" by Robert Rival (text by various authors.
At the time, Plangere, a Canadian publisher of classical music, was a year old. The Toronto Songbook was published to celebrate the addition of their e-commerce retail website and national score distribution.
Borrow the Toronto Songbook from the Music Library.
Members of our U of T community can also explore digital scores of Plangere Editions online, including the Toronto Songbook.
2010: Symphony no. 9 by Ludwig van Beethoven, facsimile
The Music Library holds numerous facsimile editions of manuscripts, including Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 (facsimile edition issued by Barenreiter in 2010). The autograph manuscript for Beethoven's Ninth is held at The Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preussicher Kulturbesitz. The Barenreiter facsimile is the third and only complete facsimile edition of the symphony.
When the manuscript (among other items in Schindler's Beethoven collection) was sold to the Berlin Royal Library in 1846, several folios were missing. These ultimately ended up in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and Beethoven-Haus in Bonn. Read the story of the manuscripts travels during Beethoven's lifetime and beyond in the commentary by Martina Rebmann that accompanies the facsimile.