Watson, Lorne

Lorne Watson. Pianist, educator, administrator, b Leamington, near Windsor, Ont, 29 Jul 1919, d Winnipeg, Man, 10 Jan 2010; ATCM 1936, LTCM 1940, BA music (Toronto) 1948, MA musicology (New York) 1958, D MUS performance (Indiana) 1976, honorary FRHCM 1978, honorary D. Mus. (University of Brandon) 1993. His teachers were Ernest Seitz (piano) and Muriel Gidley Stafford (organ) at the TCM (RCMT), Rosalyn Tureck (piano) 1941-2 in New York, and Sydney Foster, Bela Böszörmenyi-Nagy, and György Sebök 1961-3 at Indiana University. He was a soloist with the TCM SO in 1940 at Massey Hall. While attending the University of Toronto 1945-8 he was assistant conductor of the Hart House Glee Club. He became director of the department of music at Brandon College (Brandon University) in 1948 and began examining for the RCMT in the early 1950s and for the WBM in 1967. He gave recitals throughout Canada 1949-56. He conducted the Brandon Choral Society1951-2, formed a Brandon branch of the JMC (YMC), and later became the JMC National Council's western representative. He was co-chairman 1974-6 of the committee which established the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition for the Performance of Canadian Music and then became its artistic director. Before Eckhardt-Gramatté's death in 1974 he worked closely with her to record her particular piano method and, as part of the requirement for his D MUS, completed a paper on it - 'The Eckhardt-Gramatté piano technique' - which is deposited at Indiana University. He also prepared a radio documentary on the composer for the CBC in 1973 and edited two volumes of her early piano works, published as Pieces From My Childhood (Waterloo 1980-1).Watson was president of the MRMTA 1952-3 and the MMEA 1960-1 and 1967-9, first secretary 1965-7 and president 1973-5 of CAUSM, a vice-president of the Canadian Music Council 1983-9, and a contributor to and member of the board of directors of EMC. He was an adjudicator, clinician, and consultant, and has organized many projects. In the spring of 1979, during a sabbatical, and on a grant from the MAC, he visited 14 European countries to study, compare, and evaluate schools of conservatory type. He stepped down as director of the School of Music of Brandon University in 1981 but remained on its teaching staff and director of its Conservatory of Music until 1991, when he became chairman of the board of the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Arts in Winnipeg. The Lorne Watson Recital Hall at Brandon University was named in his honour to mark his 40th anniversary in the city.