Mary Cyr. Gambist, teacher, musicologist, b Fargo, N Dak, 20 Aug 1946, naturalized Canadian 1991; BA music (California, Berkeley) 1968, MA musicology (California, Berkeley) 1970, PH D (California, Berkeley) 1975. She studied baroque cello in Amsterdam with Anner Bylsma and viola da gamba in Brussels with Wieland Kuijken. She then embarked on a concert career as cellist and gambist with various US and Canadian orchestras and chamber ensembles. After teaching (1969-76) at the University of California in Berkeley, she joined the Faculty of Music of McGill University where she headed the areas of musicology (1978-82, 1983-6) and early music (1984-9); in 1991 she was appointed director of graduate studies (dept of theory).
In 1977 she played vielle and conducted at a concert dedicated to music and poetry by Guillaume de Machaut during a meeting of the International Musicological Society in Berkeley. She and the harpsichordist John Grew have given numerous recitals and recorded three Sonatas by Bach (1979, McGill University Records 78007). Cyr has also recorded Loves Pashion and Other Ayres for Lyra Violl (McGill University Records 82015). In 1988 she conducted the Collegium Musicum of McGill's Faculty of Music in a recording of works by Buxtehude with the countertenor Allan Fast (McGill University Records 750031-2-CD). She has given recitals in Canada, the USA, Yugoslavia (1980), New Zealand (1989) and Australia (1989). She made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 1980 and her London debut at Wigmore Hall in 1983. She has lectured in Canada, the USA, New Zealand and Australia, mostly on viola da gamba technique and repertoire, and the music of Rameau. She has contributed to the New Grove Dictionary.
Mary Cyr, '"Inclina Domine": a Martin motet wrongly attributed to Rameau,' Music and Letters, vol 58, Jul 1977
'On performing 18th-century haute-contre roles,' MT, vol 118, Apr 1977
'Rameau e Traetta,' Nuova Rivista Musicale Italiana, vol 12, no. 2, 1978
Eighteenth-century French and Italian singing: Rameau's writing for the voice,' Music and Letters, vol 61, Jul-Oct 1980
' Basses and basse continue in the Paris Opéra Orchestra, 1700-1764,' Early Music, vol 10, Apr 1982
'Performing Rameau'cantatas,' ibid, vol 11, May 1985
'Bach's Chromatic Fantasy in France: a new source,' ibid, vol 13, May 1985
'Carl Friedrich Abel's solos: a musical offering to Gainsborough?,' MT, vol 128, Jun 1987
Also several articles in J of the Viola da Gamba Society of America, Music Library Association Notes, and Music