Martens, Victor

Victor Martens. Tenor, teacher, conductor, b Yarrow, east of Vancouver, 18 Feb 1931; ARCT 1955, BA (Waterloo Lutheran) 1963. After lessons in Winnipeg with Gladys Whitehead he studied at the Nordwestdeutsche Musikakademie in Detmold, Germany, under Frederick Husler, Theodore Lindenbaum, and Kurt Thomas. A recitalist and oratorio soloist noted for his interpretation of Lieder and of the Evangelist roles in the Bach passions, Martens has sung on radio in London, Frankfurt, Zurich, and Geneva and in concert with orchestras in Germany. He also has performed on CBC radio (eg, the Male Chorus in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia in 1963), with the NACO, and with the Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Vancouver SOs. He was a member 1965-70 of the Manitoba Consort and has recorded with that group. With the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra he sang the leading tenor roles in concert versions of La Traviata in 1972, Carmen in 1973, Fidelio in 1975, and Don Giovanni in 1976.

Martens was music director 1958-69 at Winnipeg's Mennonite Brethren College and conductor there of the Oratorio Choir and the A Cappella Choir. He moved to Waterloo, Ont, in 1969 to teach voice and direct the Laurier Singers at Wilfrid Laurier University. In 1990 he was head of the voice department there. He was awarded the outstanding alumni award (WLU) in 1986 and the outstanding teacher award (WLU) in 1987. He has acted as adjudicator at many national music festivals and has conducted masterclasses and workshops across Canada. He has also served as coach for the Opera Hamilton chorus. His pupils in Winnipeg and Waterloo have included Theodore Baerg, Kathleen Brett, Maureen Browne, Desmond Byrne, Christopher Coyea, Ann-Marie Donovan, Paul Frey, Margaret Kuhl, Daniel Lichti, John Martens, Wilmer Neufeld, Alvin Reimer, Elizabeth Strauss, Ingrid Suderman, Phyllis Cooke Thomson, Donna Trifonovich. See Brown, Donna, and Irena Welhasch Baerg. Martens' wife, Dorothea Epp (soprano, b Winnipeg l3 Oct l934) studied with Gladys Whitehead and won the Rose Bowl at the 1966 Manitoba Music Competition Festival (Winnipeg Music Competition).