Vernon, Timothy

Timothy (James) Vernon. Conductor, b Vancouver 3 Jul 1948. He lived in Victoria, BC 1953-64, where he studied piano, voice (he was a treble soloist at Christ Church Cathedral), cello, and piano. He studied conducting 1962-4 with Otto-Werner Mueller at the Victoria School (now Cons) of Music. From the age of 14 he held appointments as organist and choirmaster in Anglican churches in the Victoria area. He studied in Europe with Hans Swarowsky, Erwin Ratz, Joseph Mertin, Friedrich Cerha, and others at the Vienna Academy of Music (1965-72), graduating (with honours) in 1971; at the Mozarteum, Salzburg (1972); and with Franco Ferrara in Nice (1965), Siena (1969, 1973), and the Netherlands (1970). He did graduate studies 1973-5 in Vienna and during that period accepted his first engagements as a conductor.

Vernon returned to Canada in 1975, becoming conductor and music director of the Regina Symphony Orchestra (1975-7) and subsequently (1977-80) music director of the COC's touring company. He became artistic director of Pacific Opera Victoria in 1980 and of the Courtenay Youth Music Centre in 1985; he began teaching at the Faculty of Music, McGill University, and became conductor of the McGill SO and associate director of Opera McGill in 1986. He has made regular guest appearances with opera companies and orchestras across Canada. He has performed frequently for the CBC and has acted as jurist for the Canada Council, the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatté Competition, and the GPA Dublin International Piano Competition. Vernon has a special affinity for the Viennese classical and late Romantic repertoire.