Howard Leyton-Brown

Leyton-Brown, Howard. Violinist, conductor, administrator, teacher, b Melbourne, Australia, 19 Dec 1918, naturalized Canadian 1963; Associate in music (Australia) 1931, diploma (Melbourne) 1937, LGSM 1952, FGSM 1955, DMA (Michigan) 1972.

Leyton-Brown, Howard

Leyton-Brown, Howard. Violinist, conductor, administrator, teacher, b Melbourne, Australia, 19 Dec 1918, naturalized Canadian 1963; Associate in music (Australia) 1931, diploma (Melbourne) 1937, LGSM 1952, FGSM 1955, DMA (Michigan) 1972. After studies in Australia, Germany, and Belgium, and in England with Carl Flesch and Max Rostal at the GSM, he joined the London Philharmonic Orchestra as deputy concertmaster in 1948 and became concertmaster in 1951, from time to time appearing as soloist. He played with various other orchestras while in England.

Leyton-Brown had lived briefly in Canada during the early 1940s - he had been a bomber pilot and flying instructor during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross - and he returned to serve 1952-87 as head of the string department of the Regina Cons. He was director 1953-87 of the WBM and 1955-87 of the Regina Cons, where he had begun conducting the Conservatory Chamber Orchestra (later University of Regina Chamber Orchestra) in 1953. He continued in the latter position in 1991. He was the conductor 1960-71 of the Regina Symphony Orchestra and was its concertmaster 1978-89. He has appeared as soloist (beginning in 1953) with the symphony orchestras of Calgary, Lethbridge, Regina, and Saskatoon, the CBC orchestras of Winnipeg, Vancouver, and Toronto, and several US orchestras. He served 1967-71 on the SAB and 1971-4 on the Canada Council.

Leyton-Brown has guest-conducted various ensembles in Saskatchewan and elsewhere in Canada and the USA, and taught at the American Congress of Strings in Cincinnati in 1984 and Dallas in 1985. He conducted the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra in its tour of China and Japan in 1986 and has been broadcast as soloist with orchestra and in recital on CBC radio and in Australia, England, Iceland, and Switzerland. He has also appeared on numerous TV programs, including two years of weekly chamber-music programs for CKCK TV in Regina. He has composed cadenzas to several violin concertos, has arranged works for string orchestra, and in 1980 completed Ernest Bloch's unfinished Suite for Solo Viola (all unpublished in 1991). He edited Violet Archer's Twelve Miniatures for violin and piano (Waterloo 1982) and violin works by Hallgrimur Helgason. He was an examiner for the WBM and adjudicated for the Canadian Music Competitions, the CNE competition, and Kiwanis festivals across Canada.

He was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 1986 and became professor emeritus at the University of Regina in 1988. In 1991 he was awarded the Saskatchewan Arts Board's Lifetime Award for Excellence in the Arts. In 1991 he continued to teach at the Regina Cons. His pupils, among them Brian Boychuk, Gary Kosloski, Darren and Malcolm Lowe, Alanna Deptuch Vághy, and Donald Whyte, fill positions in orchestras in Canada and Europe.

Writings

'Regina Symphony Orchestra,' CanComp, 28, Apr 1968

'The training of contemporary string players,' CME 2, Feb 1972

- and Riddell, W.A. The Regina Conservatory of Music (Regina 1988)


Further Reading

  • Wilson, Ruth. 'Young man, old violin make magic on air,' Winnipeg Free Press, 15 Jul 1950