Clement Hambourg

Clement Hambourg. Pianist, promoter, b London 31 Jul 1900, d Toronto 3 Feb 1973. Trained in London as a pianist by his father, Michael, he settled with the family in Toronto, where he made his concert debut in 1925.

Hambourg, Clement

Clement Hambourg. Pianist, promoter, b London 31 Jul 1900, d Toronto 3 Feb 1973. Trained in London as a pianist by his father, Michael, he settled with the family in Toronto, where he made his concert debut in 1925. The following years were spent playing in the Hambourg Trio, giving solo recitals, teaching at the Hambourg Conservatory, and operating a recording studio. In 1946 he and his wife, Ruth, opened the House of Hambourg, one of the first after-hours jazz clubs in Toronto. The musical home of many musicians who later achieved prominence in the local jazz and/or studio worlds, the club had five successive locations before it closed in 1963. Clement, whose career was marked by optimistic determination and a benign and catholic musical taste, thereafter performed in Toronto nightclubs, his repertoire comprising classics, jazz, pop tunes, and improvisation. He also appeared in TV commercials. A two-piano recording that he made with Norm Amadio of parts of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue was distributed privately. Clement and Ruth Hambourg were portrayed in, and the House of Hambourg was the setting for, the play Boom, Baby, Boom!, by Banuta Rubess (music by Nic Gotham), premiered in 1988 at Harbourfront.

Clement's son Klemi, a violinist and teacher (b Ottawa 10 Jul 1928, ATCM 1946, FTCL 1965), taught strings in the Peterborough school system and in 1967 was the founding conductor of the Peterborough Symphony Orchestra (see Orchestras). He later taught in the USA.

See also Jan and Boris (his brothers).


Further Reading

  • Petlock, Bert, and Curtin, Walter. 'House that jazz built,' Weekend Magazine, 16 Nov 1957

    Ruddy, Jon. 'The ninth life of the ninth cat,' Toronto Telegram, 24 Jul 1965

    Hausman, Ed. 'Who remembers 194 Wellesley,' Toronto Daily Star, 6 Jan 1968

    McNamara, Helen. 'Clem Hambourg; the old man and the keys,' That's Show Business, vol 1, 18 Oct 1972

    Koch, Eric. The brothers Hambourg (Toronto 1997)

    Metropolitan Toronto Library. Music division. Vertical files

    NL of C. Vertical files