Frederick Silvester

Frederick (Caton) Silvester. Organist, choir conductor, administrator, composer, b Darwen, near Manchester, England, 21 Jan 1901, d Toronto 24 Jun 1966; FRCO 1931; FRCCO 1943. He studied organ with C. Spencer Heap in England and, after moving in 1921 to Canada, with Lynnwood Farnam in Saskatoon.

Silvester, Frederick

Frederick (Caton) Silvester. Organist, choir conductor, administrator, composer, b Darwen, near Manchester, England, 21 Jan 1901, d Toronto 24 Jun 1966; FRCO 1931; FRCCO 1943. He studied organ with C. Spencer Heap in England and, after moving in 1921 to Canada, with Lynnwood Farnam in Saskatoon. During his eight years there, he was organist at the First Baptist Church and Knox United Church. He moved to Toronto in 1929, studied at the TCM with MacMillan (organ) and Willan (theory and composition), and was organist 1931-8 at the Church of the Messiah and 1938-66 at Bloor Street United Church, where he led the choir in many large works. At the TCM he served at first, 1929-46, as registrar of examinations, and then, 1946-66, as registrar. He gave organ recitals in many parts of Canada and on the CBC and was president 1945-7 of the CCO. He was also assistant conductor and coach 1942-57, and conductor 1957-60, of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. Of his work with the choir, George Kidd wrote, 'The overall effect is one of good discipline, a clear understanding, and a sincerity that spreads itself over all sections' (Toronto Telegram, 15 Dec 1957). Silvester wrote a number of short choral works (published by Harris) and songs (published by Western). His Chorale Prelude on Rockingham has been recorded by Eric Robertson.


Further Reading

  • A Responsive Chord: The story of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir 1894-1969 (Toronto 1969)