Lyell Gustin

Lyell (Adams Raphael) Gustin. Pianist, teacher, b Fitch Bay, near Sherbrooke, Que, 31 May 1895, d Saskatoon 7 Feb 1988; honorary LL D (Saskatchewan) 1969, honorary FTCL 1978. After studies at Stanstead Wesleyan College, Stanstead, Que, he moved to Saskatoon in 1912.

Gustin, Lyell

Lyell (Adams Raphael) Gustin. Pianist, teacher, b Fitch Bay, near Sherbrooke, Que, 31 May 1895, d Saskatoon 7 Feb 1988; honorary LL D (Saskatchewan) 1969, honorary FTCL 1978. After studies at Stanstead Wesleyan College, Stanstead, Que, he moved to Saskatoon in 1912. He studied there with Blanche St John-Baker (a pupil of Godowsky), in Chicago with Jeannette Durno (a Canadian-born pupil of Leschetizky), and in New York and London with Madeley Richardson. Returning in 1920 to Saskatoon, Gustin opened a piano studio. In over 60 years of teaching, his hundreds of pupils included Edmund Assaly, Garth Beckett and Boyd McDonald, Reginald and Evelyn Bedford, Dorothy Bee, Alma Harrington Brock-Smith, Anne Campbell, Neil Chotem, Robert Fleming, GordonHancock, Audrey Johannesen, Paul de Margerie, Thelma Johannes O'Neill, Marguerita Spencer, Walter Thiessen, Douglas Voice, and Gordon Wallis.

Gustin directed his own summer school program for over 30 years and served 1944-70 as an examiner for the TCM (RCMT). He also lectured 1936-42 at the University of Regina, 1950-1 at the University of Saskatchewan, and summers 1950 and 1968 at the RCMT. He was the founder in 1924 of the Musical Art Club, Saskatoon, and a founding member of the SRMTA; he also served 1941-6 as president of the CFMTA and 1952-64 as chairman of the music committee of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. In 1955 he received the University of Alberta National Award in Music, in 1967 he was one of six recipients of the CFMTA Centennial Citations for outstanding teaching, and in 1973 he was given the Canadian Music Council Medal. CFQC-TV (Saskatoon) broadcast a two-part documentary, 'A Man and his Music,' in 1975. In 1976 Gustin was honoured by a CBC radio documentary on his life and work. He was awarded the CCA's Diplôme d'honneur in 1983 and received the Saskatchewan Award of Merit in 1986.

Gustin's approach to music and teaching was comprehensive and he encouraged his students to develop interests in literature and other fine arts. The Lyell Gustin Piano Studios began publishing the Studio Bulletin in 1941; it appeared biennially until 1966 and annually thereafter.


Further Reading

  • Brandhagen, W.L. 'One man conservatory,' PfAC, vol 4, Spring-Summer 1962

    Leeper, Muriel. 'A challenging life of cultivating the prairies,' Music, Mar-Apr 1980

    - The Gustin Influence (Saskatoon 1982)