Glen Stewart Morley

Glen Stewart Morley. Conductor, composer, arranger, cellist, b Vancouver 17 Sep 1912, d Vancouver 13 Jun 1996; ARAM 1927. Glen Morley studied cello 1927-8 with Bruno Coletti in Oregon and 1928-39 with Boris Hambourg and Marcus Adeney in Toronto.

Morley, Glen Stewart

Glen Stewart Morley. Conductor, composer, arranger, cellist, b Vancouver 17 Sep 1912, d Vancouver 13 Jun 1996; ARAM 1927. Glen Morley studied cello 1927-8 with Bruno Coletti in Oregon and 1928-39 with Boris Hambourg and Marcus Adeney in Toronto. He took conducting lessons in 1937 with Reginald Stewart in Toronto, in 1943 with Sir Henry Wood and Ernest Read in London, and 1945-7 with Ettore Mazzoleni in Toronto. He studied composition 1945-7 with John Weinzweig and 1947-9 with Bernard Rogers at the Eastman School of Music.

Glen Morley was a cellist 1932-4 on the CPR ship Empress of Japan and 1934-7 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra; the assistant conductor and chorus master, ca 1937, of César Borré's Toronto Opera Company; an arranger 1937-9 for CBC radio; and the conductor and music director 1938-9 of the Barrie Civic Band.

During World War II Morley was an arranger and conductor for the Canadian Army Concert Parties and for BBC broadcasts, to Canadian troops in England, of programs such as 'Maple Leaf Matinee' and 'Johnny Canuck's Revue.' He toured 1943-4 with the 'Tin Hats' in North Africa and Italy and, after the war, in Canada with the re-formed Tin Hats, part of the Canadian Army Show.

Morley was a cellist 1947-52 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and music director 1952-4 for Eastman Kodak's motion picture division. In 1954 he became a freelance conductor, composer, and arranger, working mainly for CBC radio in Vancouver.

Compositions

Glen Morley's earlier compositions include Christmas Overture (1950, revised 1960, Berandol) and 'The Dog Watch' Overture on Nautical Themes (1977), both for orchestra, the latter written for the Captain Cook Bicentennial. Dog Watch has been performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Other works are Five Preludes for viola and piano (1946, revised 1951) and Nocturne for piano (1946, BMIC 1954). Morley composed and conducted the music for the British film Playtime for Workers (1943). A pop song, 'Alone with My Dreams,' was written in the 1940s and recorded by Leslie Hutchison for HMV.

Later Career

Morley lived 1979-89 in Ottawa, where he researched early Canadian music, published The Glen Morley Collection of Historical Canadian Music (Ottawa 1984), and founded Kingsmere Concert Entreprises to help sponsor performances. The company continued as a small publishing firm, issuing mainly his own works, until 1990. His Cavalcade of 19th-Century Canadian Dances was premiered by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 1986. He returned in 1989 to British Columbia, where he wrote light music for smaller orchestras; his Coquihalla Legends was premiered by the Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra in 1990 and recorded by them in 1995 under conductor Arthur Polson. The pianist Dimiter Terziev recorded Nocturne in 2005. Morley was an associate of the Canadian Music Centre. Berandol Music published some of his works. He was also well known in musical circles as a caricaturist and published a collection of his cartoons entitled New Symphoniphobias (Ottawa 1980).

Morley married the US-born composer Diane Morgan.

Glen Stewart Morley should not be confused with the film composer Glenn K. Morley.


Further Reading

  • Chamberlain, Adrian. "Multi-talented musician going strong after six-decade career," Victoria Times-Colonist, 28 Sep 1992