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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

MORRISON, MARY, 1926-
MUS 295


Mary Morrison fonds.  - 1943-2001. - 1.24 m of textual records. - 13 photographs. - 42 audio tape reels. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Mary Morrison began her vocal training in 1942, studying with Doris Mills and John Goss. She completed her studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto with renowned musicians Myrtle Rose Guerrero (piano), Ernesto Vinci (voice), and Emmy Heim and Greta Kraus (Lieder). In 1951, following a number of operatic performances, Morrison was a semi-finalist in the CBC competitions "Singing Stars of Tomorrow" and "Nos futures étoiles." She sang with the CBC Opera (Micaëla in Carmen, Liù in Turandot, Mimi in La Bohème, Lucie in A Tale of Two Cities, etc.), the Canadian Opera Company (Marguerite in Faust, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte and Sara Riel in Louis Riel), and made numerous appearances as soloist with various symphony orchestras and choirs, including the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. An advocate of twentieth-century music, Mary Morrison favoured and promoted this repertoire throughout her career. The Lyric Arts Trio, which she formed with flutist Robert Aitken and pianist Marion Ross, regularly premiered and performed the works of Canadian composers. The group toured in North America, Europe and Japan. Morrison also performed frequently with the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec (Montreal) and Ten Centuries Concerts and New Music Concerts (Toronto). From 1976 onward, she taught singing at various institutions, including the University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, the University of Toronto and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She is also in demand as a competition juror, festival adjudicator, and examiner. Mary Morrison received the Canada Music Citation of the Canadian League of Composers (1968) and the medal of service of the City of Toronto (1985), among others. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1983. 

Scope and content
The fonds consists of records pertaining to Mary Morrison's personal life and musical career as a performer, teacher, juror, adjudicator, examiner and advisor: biographical information; diary; extensive correspondence with renowned Canadian and foreign musicians including Violet Archer, John Cage, Gabriel Charpentier, George Crumb, Lionel Daunais, Serge Garant, Bruce Mather, François Morel, Jean Papineau-Couture, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Catherine Robbin, R. Murray Schafer; Harry Somers, Simon Streatfeild, Toru Takemitsu, Gilles Tremblay, Jon Vickers and many others; contracts; notes; honours and awards; annotated scores; scripts; programmes; press clippings; photographs of such subjects as the New Music Concerts ensemble, Montreal Bach Choir's tour of Japan, Morrison in performance with the Lyric Arts Trio and John Vickers; sound recordings of performances by Mary Morrison, including some with the Lyric Arts Trio. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Mary Morrison in 2001. 

Restrictions:  none. 

Finding aids:  provisional description. 

Accruals:  futher accessions expected. 



Proactive Disclosure