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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

WILLAN, HEALEY, 1880-1968
MUS 1


Healey Willan fonds.  - 1881-1968.  - 10 m of textual records.  - 369 photographs.  - 26 negatives.  - 13 slides.  - 1 watercolour.  - 8 audio tape reels. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Balham, England, Healey Willan attended the Saint Saviour's Choir School of Eastbourne at a very young age.  He subsequently held several positions as choirmaster and organist before coming to Canada in 1913 to become head of the theory department at the Toronto Conservatory of Music.  He was also a professor at the University of Toronto and musical director of the Hart House Theatre.  In 1921 he left his post of organist-choirmaster at St. Paul's Anglican Church to perform the same duties at St. Mary Magdalene Church in the same city.  A prolific composer, Willan was interested in all musical genres, but particularly in stage music (The Beggar's Opera, Brébeuf, Deirdre), organ music (Introduction, Passacaglia and Fugue, Ten Hymn Preludes) and sacred and choral music (Coronation Suite, An Apostrophe to the Heavenly Hosts). 

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining to the musical activities of Healey Willan.  Willan's numerous musical works have expanded the Canadian repertoire of music for organ, choral and sacred music.  It contains, among others items, manuscripts of compositions and arrangements; correspondence; concert programmes; press clippings; subject files; biographical records; diplomas and certificates; catalogues of works; speeches, lectures and articles; folk songs collected and transcribed by Marius Barbeau; photographs of Willan and personalities in the music world; watercolour-on-graphite portrait of H. Willan; sound recordings of the program Tribute to Dr. Healey Willan, produced by the English CBC network, and of interviews with H. Willan. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from the Estate of Healey Willan in 1969 and from the Frederick Harris Music Co. in 1982. 

Restrictions:  none.  

Finding aids:  Giles Bryant.  Healey Willan Catalogue.  Ottawa:  National Library of Canada.  1972.  174 p. ; Giles Bryant.  Healey Willan Catalogue:  Supplement.  Ottawa:  National Library of Canada.  1982.  52 p. 



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