George Richard Haddad, pianist, teacher (born 11 May 1918 in Eastend, near Swift Current, SK; died 27 September 2010 in Columbus, Ohio). George Haddad was a world-renowned pianist who performed as a soloist with many major orchestras in Canada, Europe and the United States. He also served for 35 years as a highly respected professor at Ohio State University.
The eighth of ten children in a musical family, Haddad studied privately with Mme DeSerres and Margaret Graham, and with Hayunga Carman at the Toronto Conservatory of Music (now the Royal Conservatory of Music). He earned his Associate diploma there at age 13. After graduating in 1940 with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, he studied with Olga Samaroff-Stokowski at the Juilliard School until 1943.
Haddad made his Toronto debut on 31 May 1945 at the Promenade Symphony Concerts and his New York debut at Town Hall on 18 October 1947. He performed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in 1947, as well as in Mexico and Central America before touring Europe on a Prix de Canada grant and studying with Marguerite Long in Paris (1950–52). In 1950, he presented a broadcast series of Canadian works on Radiodiffusion Française. In Europe, Haddad frequently played works by Harry Somers, Barbara Pentland, Maurice Dela and Jean Papineau-Couture, among other Canadian composers.
In 1953, he became a professor and artist-in-residence at Ohio State University (OSU). Haddad continued to perform in recital in the United States, Europe and Canada, as well as with the Montréal, Regina, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria Symphony Orchestras and the Calgary Philharmonic. He also appeared in North Africa, Latin America, and the West Indies. After he retired in 1988, OSU named him Professor Emeritus of Piano; he taught privately, performed in master classes and adjudicated competitions. He continued to teach piano until his death at age 92.
OSU established a piano scholarship in his honour in 1986. That same year, he received a presidential citation “for excellence in teaching and for inspirational rapport with students.” In 1995, he was inducted into the Columbus Senior Musicians Hall of Fame, and in January 2000 the Upper Arlington City Council presented him with a Community Arts Award for being a cultural asset to the community. In 2011, a George Haddad Exhibit was added to the Eastend Historical Museum and Cultural Centre in his hometown.
A version of this entry originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.