Boosey & Hawkes Ltd.

Boosey & Hawkes (Canada) Ltd. Canadian branch of The Boosey & Hawkes Group, a British publishing firm.

Boosey & Hawkes Ltd.

Boosey & Hawkes (Canada) Ltd. Canadian branch of The Boosey & Hawkes Group, a British publishing firm. After the merger in 1930 in London of (Thomas) Boosey & Co (founded 1816) and (William) Hawkes & Son (founded 1865), the Canadian branch was opened in Toronto in 1935 and has remained a wholly owned subsidiary of the parent company. (Hawkes & Son and Frederick Harris, though not affiliated in England, had operated together 1912-23 in Toronto.) The offices moved to Willowdale, a suburb of Toronto, in 1970. Boosey & Hawkes (Canada) Ltd was managed 1939-47 by Harry E. Jarman and 1947-76 by Will (William J.I.) Croombs, who joined Boosey & Hawkes in his native England at 14, was also a board member of various Canadian organizations including CAPAC, and took a special interest in elementary music education. On Croombs' death in 1976 a scholarship was established in his name at the University of Toronto. He was succeeded by George Ullmann - B MUS (Toronto) 1967, MA (Toronto) 1969 - who was president 1979-80 of MIAC and 1987-9 of CAPAC, and was named vice-president of SOCAN in 1990.

The Canadian branch (in 1983 one of 13 in 10 countries) is made up of three sections - sheet music, music rentals, and instruments. Boosey & Hawkes' Canadian publications include, among much other material, choral and vocal music by Keith Bissell, Bernard Naylor, and Morris Surdin, piano music by Violet Archer and Oskar Morawetz, band and orchestral works by James Gayfer, Kelsey Jones, Talivaldis Kenins, John Weinzweig, and Healey Willan, and educational works by Cora Ahrens and Boris Berlin. The catalogue of the parent firm includes music by Bartók, Bernstein, Britten, Carter, Copland, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Reich, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and many others. Boosey & Hawkes (Canada) is the Canadian agent for Faber (rentals only) and Joseph Weinberger of Great Britain, Sikorski of Germany, Editio Musica of Hungary, Suvini Zerboni and G. Ricordi (rentals only) of Italy, and handles the rental materials of Oxford University Press and D'Oyly Carte of Great Britain and Artia and Supraphon of Czechoslovakia.

The sale of orchestral instruments manufactured by Boosey & Hawkes London and instrument repairs became a large part of the company's business in 1947. In 1981 the parent company acquired the French woodwind instrument builder Buffet Crampon. The Canadian branch also sells Besson brass instruments of England, Schreiber woodwind instruments and Paesold string instruments. The Canadian company has sponsored brass band festivals and keyboard workshops. Another supplementary activity is the distribution of recordings of background music produced by the parent company.

Boosey & Hawkes closed its Canadian operations on 31 December 1994.


Further Reading

  • 'Boosey & Hawkes celebrates 150th anniversary in 1966,' CanComp, vol 13, Dec 1966

    Mills, Kathryn. 'Boosey & Hawkes,' Canadian Music Trade, vol 4, Dec-Jan. 1983