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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

STEED, GRAHAM, 1913-1999
MUS 233


Graham Steed fonds.  - 1913-1997.  - 1.41 m of textual records.  - 1,115 photographs.  - 12 negatives.  - 42 audio tape reels. 

Biographical sketch
Organist and choir director born in England, Graham Steed studied music with his uncle Dr. J.E. Hutchinson and was also a graduate of the Royal College of Organists in London.  He began his career as an organist at age 16 at St. James Church and, in his early 20s, began conducting various choirs and recording concerts for the British Broadcasting Corporation.  In 1948, he emigrated to Canada and became an organist and choir director in Saskatoon, and subsequently at Christ Church Cathedral in Victoria, British Columbia, in addition to conducting the Victoria Choral Society.  In 1959, he moved to Ontario and founded a 36-voice choir, the Graham Steed Chorale.  Beginning in the 1960s, Graham Steed devoted himself primarily to activities as an organist, performing in a number of countries including France, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand and Australia. 

Scope and content
The fond consists of records pertaining to Graham Steed's musical activities.  It contains, among other items, a two-volume autobiography entitled Manual Labour; a genealogical tree of the Steed family; diaries; professional and personal correspondence (Ralph Vaughan Williams, Marcel Dupré, Sir W.  McKie); lectures and papers by Graham Steed on various composers including Marcel Dupré, César Franck and Charles-Marie Widor; compositions including Fantasy on Monk's Gate, Prelude on "Down Ampney" and Nocturne on W. H.  Monk's "St.  Matthias"; minutes of the Association des Amis de l'Art de Marcel Dupré; concert programmes and reviews; contracts; tour itineraries; scrapbooks of press clippings; photographs of Graham Steed illustrating his activities as an organist and choir director (Victoria Choral Society), his family life and his travels; and sound recordings of Graham Steed, the Graham Steed Chorale, The Canadian Brass, Philippe Djokic, Elvira Gonella, etc. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Graham Steed between 1993 and 1997. 

Restrictions: the autobiography entitled Manual Labour cannot be consulted without the permission of the heirs of Graham Steed. 

Finding aids:  provisional description. 

Accruals:  further accessions expected. 



Proactive Disclosure