On his return to Vancouver in 1986 he became co-concertmaster (with Campbell Trowsdale) of the Vancouver Opera orchestra and from 1987-2003 was conductor of the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra. He led the latter orchestra on tours of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Russia, Scotland, and Australia, and recorded several CDs with them. He was adjudicator for the 1997 E-Gré string competition. He also played in various chamber groups with Ian Hampton and Melinda Coffey, among others, and played as a freelance violinist until his death.
Polson was a prolific composer, and was especially influenced by the works of Alun Hoddinott, Prokofiev, Shostakovitch, and Vaughan Williams. His works include a Concertino (1957) for violin and strings, Tension No. 2 (1958) for violin (or flute) and orchestra, Introduction and Scherzo (1959) for cello and orchestra, Concerto (1965) for bassoon and strings (written for George Zukerman), a Concerto (1974) for flute, strings, and percussion commissioned by the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, a Concerto for trumpet and orchestra commissioned by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and premiered 24 Feb 1978 by the orchestra and Ramon Parcells, and a Triple Concerto for oboe, bassoon, piano, strings, and timpani commissioned by the CBC and dedicated to the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra in 1978. Other works include a Quartet (1964) for violin, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, an Organ Concerto (1969), two String Quartets (1966, 1974), and various other chamber pieces and songs. His Duo No. 5 for horn and piano has been recorded by Gloria Johnson and William Aide (CBC SM-79). Polson was an associate of the Canadian Music Centre.
Polson's wife, Nora (b Borrowman), actress, singer, was born in Vancouver; her father, Alexander Borrowman, composed over 400 songs. She spent five years as a child actress in Hollywood in films such as The Starmaker (with Bing Crosby) and Destry Rides Again (with Jimmy Stewart and Marlene Dietrich), and later was associated with productions of the Greater Vancouver Operatic Society and the Vancouver Opera Association.
See also Youth Orchestras.
Author Leonard Isaacs, Bryan N.S. Gooch, Betty Nygaard King
Berger Clichés. Winnipeg SO members, Davies conductor. 1978. Century 21 (unnumbered)
Brahms - Leclair - Polson Dracula Fantasy. Aide piano. 1968. CBC SM-64
Celebration 2001. Vancouver Youth SO, Polson, Krebs cond.
Davies Pulsations. Polson elec violin, London SO, Kunzel conductor. 1986. Pro Arte CDD-368
Davies - Rathburn - Gershwin - Morley. Rhapsody on Rails. Vancouver Youth SO, Polson cond. 1995. VYSO2
Gershwin - Beethoven - Cowell - Corelli - Polson Tension No. 2 for Oboe and Strings. Aide piano, Carr oboe, Winnipeg Youth O, Polson conductor. 1970. WYO (unnumbered).
Kreisler. Isaacs piano. 1971. CBC SM-91
The Music of Victor Davies. Festival Players Canada. 1995. Campion RRCD 1339
Pentland Trio for violin, cello, and piano. J. Hunter violoncello, Pentland piano. 1967. RCI 242/6-ACM 25
Polson (arr) Czarivna (Ukrainian ritualistic songs). Alexis Kochan-Budyk voice, Polson conductor. 1983. Yershan YFP-1030
- Improvisation for violin and orchestra. CBC Winnipeg O, Wild conductor. 1968. CBC SM-68
-.(arr) Shingoose - Ballad of Norval. Polson violin, Shingoose voice and guitar. 1979. CBC LM-467
Silhouettes. Davies - Polson. Festival Players Canada. 1991. Water Lily Records WLCD 5996