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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

MacMILLAN, ERNEST, SIR, 1893-1973
MUS 7


Sir Ernest MacMillan fonds.  - 1890-1973.  - 12.33 m of textual records.  - 913 photographs.  - 11 negatives.  - 4 glass-plate negatives.  - 16 drawings.  - 52 audio discs.  232 audio tape reels. 

Biographical sketch
A dominant figure in the world of Canadian music, MacMillan distinguished himself as a conductor, organist, pianist, composer, educator, writer and administrator.  He spent forty years of his life in downtown Toronto, not far from Massey Hall, his most frequent performance venue.  He conducted the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1931 to 1956 and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir from 1942 to 1957.  He was principal of the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1926 to 1942 and dean of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music from 1927 to 1952.  He chaired a number of organizations, such as the Canadian Music Council (1947-66) and the Canadian Music Centre (1959-70).  His work as an examiner and festival adjudicator took him all across the country.  His musical works and numerous arrangements feature elements of French-Canadian and Scottish folklore, as well as Amerindian music.  The most important include:  Fantasy on Scottish Melodies for orchestra, Two Sketches for Strings, Six Bergerettes du Bas-Canada for chamber ensemble, England and a Te Deum for choir, a String Quartet in C Minor and the opera Prince Charming

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining to the entirety of MacMillan's professional activities.  The series "Career and Other Activities" illustrates MacMillan's devotion to music promotion in Canada and his abilities as administrator and teacher.  The many writings also show the author's musical and social thought, including texts such as The Arts in War Time (1940) and Is Canada Progressing Musically (1956). 

The fonds is composed of the following series:  A - Career and Other Activities; B - Correspondence; C - Compositions; D - Writings; E - Programmes; F - Sound Recordings (sound recordings of compositions, interviews and concerts conducted by MacMillan); G - Writings About MacMillan by Others; H - Sir Ernest MacMillan Fine Arts Clubs of Canada; I - Photographs and Drawings (photographs of MacMillan and personalities of the music world; drawings, by Arthur Lismer, among others); J - Personal Documents; K - Awards, Honours, Titles; L - Financial Documents. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  records deposited on loan at the National Library of Canada in 1977 and purchased from the Estate of Ernest MacMillan in 1984. 

Restrictions:  none.

Finding aids:  Maureen Nevins.  "Numerical List of the Sir Ernest MacMillan fonds."  Ottawa:  National Library of Canada.  1992.  409 p.  (unpublished). 

 

Proactive Disclosure