Macmillan, Ernest

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    <br><br>Sir Ernest Alexander Campbell Macmillan (English Ernest Alexander Campbell McMillan, August 18, 1893, Etobicoke – May 6, 1973, Toronto) – Canadian conductor, composer, pianist, teacher and functionary of musical organizations. Long-term director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Choir. Mendelssohn. Companion of the Order of Canada (1970).<br>Biography<br>By the age of ten, Ernest Macmillan began to compose songs and give public organ concerts. As a teenager, he attended music courses at the University of Edinburgh and received an organist degree and a first degree in music. At the age of 15, he already got a job as organist in one of the churches in Toronto.<br><br>In 1914, at the beginning of World War I, Macmillan ended up in Germany and spent four years in an internment camp as a subject of a hostile power. In the camp, he organized performances and concerts, and after returning to Canada in the early 1920s, he again became organist and choirmaster. He also wrote notes for magazines, gave music lessons, and continued to compose. Most of his own works were written during these years.<br><br>In 1926, Macmillan became the head of the Toronto Conservatory of Music. He will hold this post until 1942. From 1927 to 1952 he was also Dean of the Department of Music at the University of Toronto. At the same time, he takes an active part in organizing concerts and music (including folklore) festivals throughout the country. In 1931 he became Music Director and Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and remained in this position until 1956. During the last 14 years of this period, he concurrently leads the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. He organized the first commercial recordings of both bands. As a conductor, he specialized in the performance of Bach and Canadian composers.<br>Recognition of merit<br>In 1935, Ernest Macmillan was knighted. In 1964 he was the Medal of the of Canada, and in 1970 he became a of the Order of Canada. In 1973, posthumously, Macmillan was awarded the Canadian Council of Music Medal. He is also a recipient of the Richard Strauss Medal (from the German Authors’ Society GEMA) and honorary doctorates from eight universities.<br><br>A theater in Toronto and a chain of fine arts clubs in are named after Ernest McMillan. The Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Fund, founded by his family in 1985, is dedicated to helping gifted young musicians.<br>

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