Joseph A. Fowler. Organist, choirmaster, pianist, composer, teacher, b Montreal 1845, d there 4 Jan 1917. Born of an Irish father and a French-Canadian mother, he was one of the first piano pupils of Paul Letondal. He began teaching at the Collège Ste-Marie when he was 16 and continued ca 1868-90 at the Sacré-Coeur Convent at Sault-au-Récollet, near Montreal. He was organist-choirmaster 1868-1908 at St Patrick's Church and retired with the title of organist emeritus. In 1915 he donated an organ to the adjoining Lady Chapel. Active as a pianist and accompanist, he played Beethoven's Variations on 'God Save the King' at a concert organized by A.J. Boucher in 1870 to mark the centenary of the composer's birth.
Fowler's Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I. Suckling and Sons 1893) and Mass of the Sacred Heart (Whaley Royce 1898) were written for choir and orchestra. He composed some songs for voice and piano, including three settings of 'Ave Maria' (I. Suckling and Sons 1890, 1892, Whaley Royce 1895) and some piano pieces published by Whaley Royce including Jour de bonheur (1899). On occasion Fowler acted as an impresario, and he brought to Montreal the Irish baritone William Ludwig, among others. Alexis Contant and the pianist and organist Arthur Pépin were among his pupils. Fowler visited Europe on three occasions.