Allard De Ridder
Allard de Ridder. Conductor, violist, composer, b Dordrecht, Holland, 3 May 1887, d Vancouver 13 May 1966; B MUS (Toronto) 1943, D MUS (Toronto) 1945. He studied violin and conducting in Holland and at the Cologne Cons. His teachers included Johan Wagenaar, Fritz Steinbach, and Willem Mengelberg. He was a guest conductor at Arnhem, The Hague, and Amsterdam and in other European cities. For two seasons he conducted the National Opera in Amsterdam. In 1919 he emigrated to the USA and, after brief seasons with the Boston and Richmond (Va) orchestras, became assistant conductor and violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Many of his orchestral works received their premieres at this time.
In 1930, on the invitation of Mrs B.T. Rogers, de Ridder conducted a concert by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (re-formed for the occasion). This led to further concerts, four a year until 1933 when he moved to Canada as regular conductor of the orchestra. He retained that position until 1941. Shortly after moving to Vancouver he formed the Allard de Ridder Chamber Music Quartette. In 1934 he organized Stanley Park summer concerts, sponsored by BC Electric, and persuaded W.H. Malkin to finance the construction of the Malkin Bowl. He was a guest lecturer 1936-7 at the University of British Columbia.
Moving in 1941 to Toronto, de Ridder joined the Hart House String Quartet, taught at the TCM, and appeared as guest conductor of the Promenade Symphony Concerts in 1942 and the TSO in 1943. In 1943 he was a guest-conductor of the National SO, Washington. He founded and was the conductor 1944-50 of the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra and continued to guest-conduct in Vancouver before returning permanently to that city in 1952. He became conductor of the Holland Choir there and in 1957 appeared with the Vancouver SO in a performance of his Variations on a Swabian Folk Song.
In his later Vancouver years de Ridder taught conducting, viola, and composition. His pupils in Canada included John Avison, Bryan Gooch, Hans Gruber, Klemi Hambourg, Ricky Hyslop, Arnold McLeod, and Doug Randle. De Ridder was revered by his students for his knowledge, his insistence on discipline in performance and writing, and his special insights into the music of Beethoven, Mendelssohn (a direct ancestor of his wife), and Reger.
De Ridder's orchestral compositions include a violin concerto; four symphonic poems (Titania, On the Ocean, Song of Lamia, and In the Woods); a Sketch for flute, violin, and orchestra; an Overture in D; an Intermezzo; a string quartet; a scherzo for unaccompanied choir (Beware of Love); and several songs.