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Aldeburgh Connection

The Aldeburgh Connection was founded in 1982 by pianists Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata. Former faculty members, pianists, and coaches at the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England, Ralls and Ubukata moved to Toronto in 1978 for positions at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto.

Starting in 1982, Ralls and Ubukata developed a Sunday afternoon vocal and piano concert series in Walter Hall that featured leading Canadian singers. The Aldeburgh Connection was officially formed as an organization and registered charity in 1986 under the name “The Aldeburgh Connection Concert Society.” Their founding patron was Sir Peter Pears, and Ralls and Ubukata were co-artistic directors.

Each concert in the Sunday afternoon series was based on a theme (musical, literary, or a historical character or period) and integrated music and narration, based on letters, diaries, newspapers, and poetry. In addition to this concert series, which ran from 1982 until 2013, the Aldeburgh Connection also produced a recital series (1993-2013), featuring complete song cycles without a narrative framework; and, the Young Artists Recitals series (1998-2011), renamed the Discovery Series in 2006. The Discovery Series consisted of two recitals per season and featured vocal and opera students from the University of Toronto. Following the success of three annual concerts in Bayfield, Ontario (2004-2006), the Aldeburgh Connection also established the Bayfield Festival of Song (2007-2012), which included masterclasses and concerts. Starting in 2009, they added a tour of Huron and Perth elementary schools to the festival. Ralls and Ubukata also performed with the Aldeburgh Connection at various venues in North America and in the United Kingdom, including two appearances at the Aldeburgh Festival in Suffolk, England (1988 and 1992).

The Aldeburgh Connection regularly commissioned new works by Canadian composers, including John Beckwith, Roger Bergs, John Greer, Derek Holman, Gary Kulesha, James Rolfe, Erik Ross, Harry Somers, and Timothy Sullivan. They also released seven CDs, including the 2008 Judo-nominated Schubert among Friends, with Gillian Keith (soprano), Colin Ainsworth and Michael Schade (tenors), and Gerald Finley (baritone). In 2013, Ralls and Ubukata were both named members of the Order of Canada.

Hart House String Quartet

The Hart House String Quartet was founded by violinist Geza de Kresz, violist Milton Blackstone (formerly Blackstein), cellist Boris Hambourg, and violinist Harry Adaskin. They gave their first performance in 1924 at Hart House Theatre, and its success of the concert led to the groups permanent establishment with funding by the Massey Foundation. The quartet continued to perform internationally until 1945. They performed 10 annual concerts at Hart House and 10 annual concerts at Convocation Hall, University of Toronto, as well as performing across Canada, the United States, and two tours of Britain and Europe.

Geza de Kresz left the quartet in 1935 and was replaced by James Levey; Harry Adaskin was replaced by Adolph Kodolfsky in 1938, and then Henry Milligan in 1942; and Milton Blackstone was replaced by Allard de Ridder in 1941 and Cyril Glyde in 1944. Boris Hambourg remained with the quartet throughout its existence.

Albert College (Belleville, Ont.)

Albert College was established as Belleville Seminary in 1857. Its name was changed to Albert College in 1866, and when it later affiliated with Victoria University in 1884, it gave up its right to grant degrees.

Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Library

The library at Victoria University (and its earlier institutions) existed from at least the 1840s. In 1910, the Birge Carnegie Library was built to house the collection, and in 1961 the Victoria College Library was built for the Victoria College collection; the library was renamed to the E.J. Pratt Library in 1967.

The position of Librarian existed at Victoria University dating back to at least 1878. Incumbents in the position included:
John Fletcher McLaughlin, 1896-1907, 1912-1913;
Augustus Edward Lang, 1907-1912, 1913-1924;
Francis Louis Barber, 1924-1945;
John Daniel Robins, 1945-1952;
Margaret V. Ray, 1952-1965;
Lorna D. Fraser, 1965-1977;
Robert C. Brandeis, 1977-2013
Lisa Sherlock

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