Christopher Allworth

(Robert) Christopher (Holmes) Allworth. Instrument maker, musicologist, organist-choirmaster, teacher, b Toronto 9 Oct 1940; BA (Mount Allison) 1966, M MUS (Illinois) 1974.
(Robert) Christopher (Holmes) Allworth. Instrument maker, musicologist, organist-choirmaster, teacher, b Toronto 9 Oct 1940; BA (Mount Allison) 1966, M MUS (Illinois) 1974.


Allworth, Christopher

(Robert) Christopher (Holmes) Allworth. Instrument maker, musicologist, organist-choirmaster, teacher, b Toronto 9 Oct 1940; BA (Mount Allison) 1966, M MUS (Illinois) 1974. After studies at Mount Allison University he researched English medieval church music, iconography, and historical instrument-making 1968-70 at Jesus College, Oxford. He returned to Canada in 1972 and eventually settled in Yarmouth, NS, where he became organist-choirmaster at Beacon United Church and established an early-instrument workshop. He has built replicas of medieval instruments such as fytheles, gitterns, harps, hurdy-gurdies, liras, psalteries, and viols. He has also researched early bowed string instruments. A few of his instruments are housed at the Canadian Centre for Folk Culture Studies of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Others are owned by musicians and private collectors in Canada and England.

Allworth has given lectures and lecture-recitals on medieval instruments, has performed on early wind, keyboard, and string instruments, and has written articles and reviews, many for Consort, the journal of the Early Music Society of Nova Scotia. In 1973 in Ottawa he addressed the first Canadian Conference of Musical Instrument Makers. He displayed samples of his work at Festival Canada (Festival Ottawa) in 1973 and at the Craftsmanship Exhibition (Royal Festival Hall, London) in 1974. Allworth has performed with the Halifax Consort and in 1977 was the subject of the CBC TV documentary A Way Out.

In 1983, with assistance of the NS Dept of Culture, Recreation and Fitness, he took a violin-making course in England. Allworth moved to Halifax in 1984 to become music director at St John's Anglican Church, and to teach music and speech arts at the Atlantic School of Theology.

Writings

Christopher Allworth, "The medieval processional," Ephemerides liturgicae, vol 84, 1970

"Musical instruments in Nova Scotia," The Occasional, vol 4, no. 3, 1977


Further Reading

  • "Christopher Allworth: musical instrument maker," Craftsman/L'Artisan, vol 6, no. 1, 1973