Emigration of Canadian Musicians
Emigration of the talented has constituted a pattern of loss established in the early years of the rise of the music profession in Canada. In the 1850s H.A. Clarke moved to Philadelphia, Calixa Lavallée sought his fortune in New Orleans, and Joseph B. Sharland began a career in Boston.
Emigration. Emigration of the talented has constituted a pattern of loss established in the early years of the rise of the music profession in Canada. In the 1850s H.A. Clarke moved to Philadelphia, Calixa Lavallée sought his fortune in New Orleans, and Joseph B. Sharland began a career in Boston. Not surprisingly the USA, with its kindred culture but earlier development, its wider choice of employment, and its geographical proximity, has continued to be the main beneficiary of Canadian emigration. The list includes, among dozens of others, the instrumental virtuosos Alfred De Sève, Raymond Dudley, Lynnwood Farnam, Arthur Gold, Gwendolyn Williams Koldofsky, Waugh Lauder, Salomon Mazurette, Kathleen Parlow, and Samuel P. Warren; the singers Eva Gauthier, Jeanne Gordon, and Edward Johnson; the musicologists Marion Barnum, Elizabeth M. Bartlet, Jaroslav Mrácek, and Colin H. Slim; and the composers Henry D. Brant, Nathaniel Dett, Sydney Hodkinson, Charles Jones, Cedric Lemont, Edward Betts Manning, Gordon Monahan, Colin McPhee, and Gerald Strang. But Europe - frequently England and France - also has drawn on the Canadian resource. Opera singers in particular - from Emma Albani, Pauline Donalda, Raoul Jobin, and Rodolphe Plamondon to Victor Braun, Donna Brown, Paul Frey, Frances Ginzer, Joseph Rouleau, Lilian Sukis, André Turp and Edith Wiens - have made Europe their home, but so have many instrumentalists, including harpsichordists Kenneth Gilbert and the late Bradford Tracey. The pianists Diedre Irons and Louise Bessette settled respectively in New Zealand and Paris.
The emigration pattern also has extended to stars in popular music and jazz, eg, Paul Anka, Dorothy Collins, Deanna Durbin, Maynard Ferguson, Robert Goulet, Beatrice Lillie, Guy Lombardo, Libby Morris, Hank Snow, and Neil Young; the conductor-arrangers Percy Faith and Robert Farnon; the outstanding orchestral players Emmanuelle Boisvert, Martin Chalifour, Malcolm Lowe, David Martin, Lorne Munroe, Joseph Shadwick, and Paul Scherman; the conductor Arthur Davison; and the pianist-teacher Russell E. Chester.
The loss of musicians undeniably has been large in quantity as well as quality, but its seriousness has been exaggerated by well-meaning editorialists and lobbyists. Careers in Canada and immigration have been larger factors in the development of the profession. Besides, it must be remembered that opera singers, concert virtuosos, and conductors of all Western countries tend to have international careers and even at the rank-and-file level a change of residence is far more common among musicians than among accountants or lawyers. The particularly high mobility of Canadian musicians has had much to do with the lack of outlets for opera singers and virtuosos in a developing country and with the need, on the other hand, for teachers, conductors, and instrumentalists steeped in the traditions of more advanced countries. Furthermore the emigration of Canadian musicians sometimes was based on opportunities encountered while studying abroad, as in the case of Frederick Grinke or Harry M. Field, or on marriage to a non-Canadian, as happened to Gena Branscombe, Nora Clench, Ethel Codd Luening, and Jane Leslie MacKenzie. And not only did many Canadians return to their native land to have 'retirement careers' as teachers or organizers - Pauline Donalda, Sarah Fischer, Raoul Jobin, Edward Johnson, Kathleen Parlow, and Rodolphe Plamondon are prime examples - but in many cases the line between emigration and temporary absence or extended touring is hard to draw.
The editors of EMC have had to face few decisions more difficult than whether to treat certain musicians in separate articles or to document their careers briefly under the entry for their country of main activity. The choice has been influenced by the number of adult years spent in Canada and by the strength of Canadian contacts maintained while abroad, but it has been impossible to impose a set of rigid rules and to avoid inconsistencies. Although they spent most of their professional lives abroad, Albani, Branscombe, Johnson, Lavallée, Parlow, and Vickers have been given separate entries, while such singers as Marie Dressler, Christie MacDonald, and the piano teachers Kate Sara Chittenden and Jeannette Durno are mentioned in the entry on the United States in a section devoted to Canadian contributions made to that country.
See also articles on individual countries: eg, England, France, United States of America, etc; Conductors; Profession of music.