- 1979-2018 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
5 m of textual records and other material (40 boxes)
Name of creator
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 Juno-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.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Donated by the Aldeburgh Connection.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Fonds consists of the administrative, financial, and performance records of the Aldeburgh Connection. Most of the fonds consists of materials created for, and as a result of, each concert produced by the Aldeburgh Connection, including promotional materials, scripts, annotated scores, correspondence, research notes, and reviews. The fonds also contains textual materials from the production of the Aldeburgh Connection’s recording projects, promotional events, board minutes, complete financial records, and correspondence regarding their fundraising efforts.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
No further accruals expected.
System of arrangement
Arranged and described as received from the Aldeburgh Connection. Fonds consists of four series: Governance and finance records; Promotional events and free concerts; Recording projects; and Concerts.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Archival records may be viewed in the Olnick Rare Book Room at the University of Toronto Music Library.
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Most of the records in the fonds are in English, with the exception of materials relating to one concert performed in Caraquet, New Brunswick, which are in French (see D-110).
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
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Rules and/or conventions used