Ernest Whyte

Ernest Whyte. Composer, teacher, b Perth, Ont, 14 Oct 1858, d Ottawa 23 Nov 1922.

Whyte, Ernest

Ernest Whyte. Composer, teacher, b Perth, Ont, 14 Oct 1858, d Ottawa 23 Nov 1922. After studies with Martin Krause (piano) and others at the Leipzig Cons ca 1890, Whyte operated the Martin Krause School of Pianoforte Playing and Singing in Ottawa, teaching piano and voice and in 1894 was the director of music staff at Miss Harmon's School. Though a man of independent wealth, he was known also to have taught at the Ottawa Conservatory about 1900. He wrote some 270 songs which reflect a strong German romantic influence. Many were written to poems by Burns, Goethe, Heine, Kipling, Poe, Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Yeats and by the Canadians Wilfred Campbell, Archibald Lampman, and Duncan Campbell Scott. Published are Twelve Songs (McKechnie 1907), Ten Songs (Orme 1902), and Twenty-six Songs, the last in three volumes (Nordheimer 1925-6). A programme of Canadian songs, mostly by Ernest Whyte, performed by Joanne Dorenfeld, soprano and Bryan N.S. Gooch, was broadcast on CBC radio in November 1981. Manuscripts of 17 Whyte songs and other papers are held at the National Library of Canada. Several of Whyte's songs have been reissued in CMH, vol 13.


Further Reading

  • Saunders, C.E. 'The songs of Ernest Whyte,' Acta Victoriana, Christmas 1905