Fonds 83 - Robert G. Manson fonds

Identity area

Reference code

CA OTUFM 83

Title

Robert G. Manson fonds

Date(s)

  • 1929-1950 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

2 boxes (9 ms. scores + 117 ms. parts)

Context area

Name of creator

(1883-1950)

Biographical history

Robert Graham Manson was a violinist, violist, pianist, and composer. Born in London, England on July 11, 1883 to James Alexander Manson (journalist and author) and Margaret Emily Deering, Robert G. Manson studied music at the Royal College of Music in London (1900-1903) with Arthur Somervell, Sir Frederick Bridge, and Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. After graduation he stayed in the United Kingdom where he performed with the Scottish Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra.

By 1911, he was living at a boarding house at 320 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario with fellow musician Percy Thomas, a second violinist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) conducted by Frank Welsman starting in 1908. Manson also played in Welsman's TSO, and is listed as a violist on two programs for TSO concerts with Kathleen Parlow (March 16, 1911 and October 18, 1911).

After World War One, during which he served in the British Expeditionary Force, he married Mary L. Stewart in Bedford, England (m. 1921, d. 1940 in Toronto) and performed regularly in North America, including two seasons with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nikolai Sokoloff, and fifteen years with the "New" Toronto Symphony Orchestra, formed by Luigi von Kunits (violin, 1925-1932; viola, 1932-1940). He also performed with the Spivak String Quartet, led by Elie Spivak, and taught at the Hambourg Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

Manson also wrote a number of original compositions and made several arrangements. His compositions exist in manuscript form only. Helmut Kallmann's Catalogue of Canadian Composers (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1952) lists eight manuscripts: Symphony in C minor, An Atlantean episode, Niagara, Canadian fantasy, Ukrainian fantasy, Quintet in F major, Quartet in D major, Alouette. and The collection of Manson's manuscripts at the University of Toronto Music Library also includes Symphony in G minor, which was premiered in County Orange Hall by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Donald Heins; Symphony in D major; and two of Manson's arrangements.

During World War Two, he served as a translator in Ottawa; on one of his travel documents from a trip in 1922 from England to Canada, he listed having reading comprehension of English, French, German, and Spanish. Following the war, he continued to perform regularly in and outside of Canada. According to his obituary, he performed at the Hart House Theatre two weeks before he died at his home on 49 Huntley Street, Toronto on February 14, 1950.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated to the Music Library by Myron Moskalyk (A2023-02). Moskalyk found the manuscript in his father's (John Moskalyk) music library. John Moskalyk was a violinist with the TSO from 1945 to 1952.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of autograph manuscript scores and parts for compositions and arrangements for orchestra, string orchestra, string quartet, and woodwind quintet by Robert G. Manson.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Works listed in ascending chronological order, where date of manuscript is known. Undated material listed at the end.

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Original envelopes that Manson used to store his scores and parts are in Box 2.

Finding aids

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Created March 2023.

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