Morton-Master Duo. Piano duo active 1955-1990s, comprising Dorothy Morton and Esther Master. The Morton-Master Duo was formed at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal (CMM) and coached by Louis Bailly. The duo made its concert debut at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in 1955 and continued to give numerous recitals and concerts. It recorded works by Chopin, Infante, and Schumann (1973, CBC SM-207); Saint-Saëns (1973, CBC SM-242); Roger Matton and Ravel (1977, RCI 442; the Matton work with percussionists Pierre Béluse and Larry Levine); and Bach (with the McGill Chamber Orchestra, CBC SM-290). It premiered Canadian works, including David Bach's Sessions II (a commissioned work, ca 1982) and George Fiala's Concerto for Two Pianos. In 2008, McGill Records released The Morton-Master Piano Duo, a 2-CD set.
Dorothy Morton (b Breitman). Pianist, teacher, b Montreal 17 Sep 1924, d Montreal 17 Sep 2008. Morton was a piano pupil of Stanley Gardner and then entered McGill University, where she studied theory and composition 1941-9 with Claude Champagne, Douglas Clarke, Marvin Duchow, and Violet Archer. At the CMM she studied piano 1943-54 with Germaine Malépart and Isidor Philipp, then took private tuition with the latter in New York. She won the Delphic Study Club scholarship in 1931 and the Sarah Fischer Concerts scholarship in 1942 and received numerous other private grants. She performed extensively on radio and in concert, and in 1955 she became a teacher at McGill University, where her pupils included William Benjamin, Paul Berkowitz, Jamie Gelfand, Michel Kozlovsky, Robert Mayerovitch, Robert Silverman, and Donald Steven. She was made professor emeritus in 1996 and a concert series at McGill University is named for her. She was on the faculty at the JMC Orford Arts Centre in 1977, 1978, 1988, and 1989, and was a frequent jury member for Canadian piano competitions. She contributed the chapter on piano teaching to the book Careers in Music: A Guide for Canadian Students (Oakville, Ont, 1986).
Esther Master. Pianist, teacher, b Riga, Latvia, 11 Sep 1922. Master's family settled in Montreal when she was an infant. Master studied piano in Montreal with Rose Goldblatt and in 1945 in New York with Robert Casadesus. She also studied with Jean Dansereau and Philipp at the CMM. Master was a recipient of the Ladies Morning Musical Club scholarship, and played with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Désiré Defauw. Her performance career concentrated on accompanying and chamber music. Master began teaching at McGill University in 1974, gave master classes in China in 1985, and adjudicated competitions there and in Canada.
See also Piano Teams