Star Walk

Star Walk, Music, Deceased


CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra with the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Commendation 1961

Canada Music Citation 1970

Order of Canada 1978

Canadian Music Council Medal 1980

Posted: Jun-27-2011
John (Henry Patrick) Avison was born in Vancouver April 25th,1915, He received his ATCM in 1929. He attended the University of British Columbia (BA 1935) and the University of Washington (B MUS 1936). After World War II service he resumed music studies at the Juilliard School in 1946, at Columbia U 1946-7, and at Yale in 1947. He began performing with orchestras in Vancouver in 1936 and toured western Canada and the USA. In 1938 he became the first conductor of the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. Though he continued to conduct that orchestra until his retirement in 1980, he appeared with many others, including the London Philharmonic (1959) and orchestras in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, and Seattle. In 1971 as conductor of the Vancouver Radio Orchestra he directed the first orchestral concerts given in the Canadian Arctic. In 1966 he became the regular conductor for the CBC Talent Festival. Avison appeared as a solo pianist, and as an accompanist to such performers as Maureen Forrester, Lois Marshall, and on an RCI series of folk recordings. He composed and arranged music for CBC radio and TV programs including 'River of the Clouds' and 'The Journey' in 1965. In 1966 he was host of the six-part CBC TV series 'Man and Music'. He was associate director 1952, 1954, and 1956 of the Aspen, Colo, Music Festival. He served as a member of the Canada Council's arts advisory committee 1968-71. A versatile conductor especially proficient in 18th-century music, Avison conducted a vast quantity of 20th-century music, including premieres of such Canadian works as Murray Adaskin's Serenade Concertante (1954) and Bruce Mather's Music for Vancouver (1969). The CBC Vancouver Orchestra presented a series of three concerts entitled The Avison Series to mark its 50th anniversary in 1988. Avison was married to the violinist Angelina Calangis Avison, a longtime member of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He died in Vancouver on November 30th, 1983....
Posted: Jun-29-2011