Clifford von Kuster

Clifford (Austin) von Kuster. Pianist, teacher, administrator, b Turtleford, northwest of Saskatoon, 2 Jun 1921, d London, Ont, 5 Nov 2000; B MUS (Toronto) 1949, honorary D MUS (University of Western Ontario) 2000.

von Kuster, Clifford

Clifford (Austin) von Kuster. Pianist, teacher, administrator, b Turtleford, northwest of Saskatoon, 2 Jun 1921, d London, Ont, 5 Nov 2000; B MUS (Toronto) 1949, honorary D MUS (University of Western Ontario) 2000. Von Kuster served in the RCAF during World War II, then obtained a veteran's education grant. A pupil of Mona Bates, Margaret Miller Brown, and Clifford Poole, he later studied in the USA and Europe with Carl Friedberg, Eduard Steuermann, Cecile Genhart, and Marcel Ciampi. As soloist, he appeared three times with the London Symphony Orchestra, and eight times at the Aeolian Hall in New York. He also performed sonata recitals with Kathleen Parlow.

Appointed in 1952 to the staff of the Music Teachers' College, London, Ont, which was affiliated to the University of Western Ontario, he became principal of the reorganized college in 1960 and dean when it became the Faculty of Music of the university in 1968. He assembled an efficient team of administrators and teachers, and under his leadership the school became one of the largest in Canada, moving into its own building on the campus in 1973. At that point, von Kuster resigned his deanship to devote himself to teaching. He served on the boards of the WOCM, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the London Music Scholarship Foundation. When he retired in 1986 the university renamed its recital hall von Kuster Hall in his honour. In 1998, the 30th anniversary of the University of Western Ontario's faculty of music, von Kuster donated his Steinway piano to the university.

Writings

"Kathleen Parlow remembered," Canadian String Teachers' Association Notes, vol 5 no 2, 1981


Further Reading

  • "Von Kuster to receive honorary degree," Ensemble, spring 2000

    Downey, Donn. "Dean of music gave Western national stature," Globe and Mail, 9 Nov 2000