Elaine Keillor

(Frances) Elaine Keillor. Pianist, musicologist, teacher, b London, Ont, 2 Sep 1939; ARCT piano 1951, BA (Toronto) 1970, MA musicology (Toronto) 1971, PH D musicology (Toronto) 1976. Her piano teachers included her mother, Lenore Stevens Keillor, Reginald Bedford (intermittently 1947-65), and, for brief periods, Claudio Arrau (master classes in Stratford, Ont, 1956) and Harold Craxton (in London, 1959 and 1962). At 11 she became the youngest ARCT graduate in the history of the Royal Conservatory of Music and that same year she began her professional career as a recital and concerto pianist. In 1958 she won the Chappell medal, awarded by the music publishing house to an outstanding young pianist in the Commonwealth.

Keillor performed with orchestras in southern Ontario, Buffalo, and Germany, playing concertos by Bach, Schumann, Saint-Saëns, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and others. She appeared in the USSR in 1962 and was heard elsewhere in Europe. She also performed on CBC and NBC radio and TV. A committed champion of Canadian music and of women composers, she premiered works by many Canadians including Patrick Cardy, Nicole Carignan, Michael Colgrass, Clifford Ford, Vivian Fung, Mary Gardiner, Peter Paul Koprowski, Alexina Louie, Elma Miller, Mark Mitchell, Jean Papineau-Couture, David Thériault, and John Weinzweig. Keillor gave a solo recital at Carnegie Hall in 1984. In Canada, she has given recitals in Quebec City and Winnipeg, but has appeared most often in Ottawa and Toronto. She has also given duo performances with Christina Petrowska-Quilico and various chamber music groups. After 1990, Keillor performed often for such occasions as the Year of Indigenous Peoples (1993), the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival (1998), the Festival of Music by Women (2002), and the International Piano Conference (Ottawa, 2010). Beginning in 1998 she made a number of recordings for Carleton University's record label, Carleton Sound.

Keillor was a teaching assistant 1972-4 at the University of Toronto and taught 1975-6 at York University, 1976-7 at Queen's University, and 1984 at McMaster University. She joined the faculty at Carleton University in 1977 and in 2005 was named a Distinguished Research Professor Emerita. Specializing in musicology and ethnomusicology, she held particular responsibilities for the university's Canadian music program and helped initiate the school's first courses on Canadian Aboriginal music. Keillor engaged in biographical and bibliographical research relating to Canadian musical life in the late 19th and 20th centuries, including a bibliography of Canadian items in The Musical Courier (1974 and 1979, copies deposited at National Library of Canada). She conducted extensive musical research among the native peoples of the Northwest Territories and northern Quebec and later developed a series of educational websites on native music and dance. She edited volumes of Canadian piano and orchestral music in The Canadian Musical Heritage series (vols 1 and 6), contributed program notes for the National Arts Centre, assisted in the preparation of Compositeurs canadiens contemporains, and wrote for the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, The New Grove Dictionary, the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, and the Continuum Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World.

Elaine Keillor was a member of the American Musicological Society (1992-96) and the Society for Ethnomusicology (1995-97), a representative to the Canadian University Music Society (1994-99), and director of the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation of Canada (1997-99). In 2000 she became chair of the Canadian Musical Heritage Society, of which she had been vice-chair 1989-2000. Keillor received the first Canadian Women's Mentor Award in the arts and culture category in 1999, and in 2009 she was named one of 50 Canadian Music Centre ambassadors and received an honorary life membership in the Canadian University Music Society.

Selected Writings

"Wesley Octavius Forsyth, 1859-1937," The Canada Music Book, 7, Autumn-Winter 1973

"Leontzi Honauer (1737-ca 1790) and the development of solo and ensemble keyboard music," PH D thesis, University of Toronto 1976

"The heritage of Canadian composition," Booklet of the 30th Anniversary Conference of the Canadian League of Composers (Windsor 1981)

"Suites for winds and keyboard of the early classical period," Winds Quarterly, vol 1, Spring 1981

"Classical music in Canada: from the founding of New France to the centennial of Confederation," OKanada (Ottawa 1982)

"Les tambours des Athapascans du Nord," Recherches amerindiennes au Québec, vol 15, Winter 1985-6

"The role of youth in the continuation of Dogrib musical traditions," Yearbook for Traditional Music, vol 18, 1986

"La naissance d'un genre musical nouveau, fusion du traditionel et du 'country'," Recherches amerindiennes au Québec, vol 18, Winter 1988-9

"The conservative tradition in Canadian music," Célébration:, eds Godfrey Ridout and Talivaldis Kenins (Toronto 1984)

'"Musical activities in Canada's new capital city in the 1870s," Musical Canada: Words and Music Honouring Helmut Kallmann, eds John Beckwith and Frederick A. Hall (Toronto 1988)

John Weinzweig and His Music: the Radical Romantic of Canada (Metuchen, NJ 1994)

"Finding the sounds of Canada's musical past," Fontes Artis Musicae, 21, 1994

"Indigenous music as a compositional source: Parallels and contrasts in Canadian and American music," Taking a Stand: Essays in Honour of John Beckwith (Toronto 1995)

"The voices of First Nations women within Canada: Traditionally and presently," Australian-Canadian Studies, 14, 1996

"The elusive sounds of Canada's heritage," CAMMAC Journal, Feb 1996

"The Canadian soundscape," Profiles of Canada, 2nd ed (Toronto 1998)

"Chanson de Riel: A musical rubbaboo," Les Cahiers de la Société québécoise de recherche en musique, 2, 1998

"The Canadian soundscape," Profiles of Canada, 3rd ed (Toronto 2003)

Music in Canada: Capturing Landscape and Diversity (Montreal and Kingston 2006)

"Barbeau encouraging 'the study, appreciation and enjoyment of the Folk Music of Canada in all of its aspects,'" Folk Music, Traditional Music, Ethnomusicology: Canadian Perspectives, Past and Present, eds Anna Hoefnagels and Gordon E. Smith (Newcastle 2007)

"Le rababou au Québec: passé, présent et futur (essai sur la culture musicale québécoise)," Les Cahiers de La Société québécoise de recherche en musique, vol 10, no 1, 2008

"Music for radio and film," Weinzweig's World, eds John Beckwith and Brian Cherney (Waterloo 2010)

Selected Discography

Piano Music by Torontonians 1834-1984. 1984. World WRC1-3315

Piano Pieces of Barbara Pentland. 1997. Musicworks

Views of the Piano Sonata. 1998. Carleton Sound CD-1002

By a Canadian Lady: Piano Music 1841-1997. 2000. Carleton Sound CD-1006

Canadians at the Keyboard. 2000. Carleton Sound CD-1008

Canadian Sounds. 2001. Carleton Sound CD-1007

Romance: Early Canadian Chamber Music. 2002. Carleton Sound CD-1009

Mary Gardiner Works for Piano and Voice. 2002. Conservatory Canada

Musique: Songs for Parlour and Stage. 2006. Gloria-Jean Nagy, soprano, and Joan Harrison, cello. Carleton Sound CD-1011

Ballade: Canadian Women Composers. 2010. Ralitsa Tcholakova, violin, and Rebecca Danard, clarinet. Indiepool

To Music: Canadian Song Cycles. 2010. Wanda Procyshyn, soprano. Carleton Sound CD-1013