Arlidge, Joseph Churchill

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Arlidge, Joseph Churchill

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  • J. Churchill Arlidge

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1849-1913

History

J. (Joseph) Churchill Arlidge, flutist, organist, teacher, and composer, was born in Stratford-on-Avon, England on March 17, 1849, and died in Toronto, Ontario on January 22, 1913. Arlidge studied flute with Benjamin Wells and Antonio Minasi, and made his debut in 1860 at the Crystal Palace in a concert given by Sir Julius Benedict. He continued to perform in London and studied with Robert Sidney Pratten (flute) and James Coward (piano and organ), before leaving London for Belgium in 1864 where he studied for two years with Jacques-Nicholas Lemmens (piano and organ). In 1874, he visited America and appeared as a solo flutist in Gilmore's 22nd New York Regiment Band. In late 1874 he moved to Toronto, where he married Olivia Mary Arlidge.

In Toronto, Arlidge performed as a solo flutist with F.H. Torrington, was the first organist and choirmaster at Toronto's Carlton Street Methodist Church, and taught. In late 1875, he returned to England for a teaching position, but permanently settled with his family in the Toronto area in 1885, participating in the First Toronto Musical Festival held the following year. He served as organist and choirmaster at the Carlton Street Methodist Church, as well as Christ Church Deer Park, Bonar Presbyterian, and St. John the Evangelist. He also continued to appear as a flutist with the Toronto Philharmonic Society, and provided accompaniment for singers, including Emma Caldwell, Lilli Lehmann and Emma Albani. In the late 1880s, he established the Toronto Flute Quartet with his students N. Lubraico, D. Glionna and Herbert Lye. Other students included Arthur Semple, Harold Wallace, and Oliver Foote.

Arlidge also taught music at the Toronto College of Music and the Toronto Conservatory of Music, and in 1902, established his own school the Toronto Academy of Music, following controversy with Torrington and Edward Fisher regarding the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (1899). Arlidge was also a composer, although most of his compositions remain unpublished.

In the Toronto community, Arlidge was also involved with the YMCA, the Independent Order of Foresters (IOF), was a member of the St. Andrews Masonic Lodge and the Saint George's Society. He was also a member of the newly-formed Canadian Guild of Organists.

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Last updated June 7, 2021.

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J. Churchill Arlidge. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Last edited December 16, 2013.

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