Early Years and Education
Raised in a working-class neighbourhood in Montreal, Forrester was the youngest of four children of a family of Scottish and Irish background. She studied piano as a child and, encouraged by her mother, joined several Montreal church choirs, eventually becoming a soloist. Two organists, Warner Norman at St. James United and Doris Killam at Stanley Presbyterian, provided her with a background in vocal coaching and music theory and music literature. She also sang at the Erskine and American United Church in Montreal.
Forrester dropped out of high school at age 13 to help support her family. Her music studies were financed by her earnings as a secretary and supplemented by assistance from the Montreal Social Club. She sang (as a mezzo soprano and alto) in various local concerts and began voice studies at 16 with Sally Martin in Montreal. Martin soon recognized the potential of Forrester’s lower voice. Forrester continued voice lessons at 18 with Frank Rowe, a retired English oratorio and opera tenor. Her studies with Bernard Diamant, whom she acknowledged as her most important teacher, began formally in 1950 and continued on a casual basis into the 1960s. Forrester also studied with Michael Raucheisen in Berlin in 1955. She was first runner-up in the Opportunity Knocks competition in spring of 1951, and also competed in Singing Stars of Tomorrow and Nos Futures Étoiles.
Early Professional Career 1951–54
Forrester made her professional debut on 8 December 1951 with the Montreal Elgar Choir in Elgar’s The Music Makers at the Salvation Army Citadel. Her solo recital debut (primarily of German lieder — classical songs sung in German) came on 29 March 1953 at the Montreal YWCA, accompanied by John Newmark on piano. (Forrester and Newmark’s collaboration became a long-standing one and included many world tours.)
Her first opera experiences came in minor roles with the Opera Guild of Montreal. She played a sewing girl in Gustave Charpentier’s Louise in January 1953 and the Innkeeper (a mezzo-soprano role) in Boris Godunov in January 1954. Forrester was then engaged to give a recital for the Ladies’ Morning Musical Club, which subsequently awarded her a scholarship. The expenses of launching a career that many believed would prove long and fruitful were assumed for many years by J.W. McConnell, then publisher of the Montreal Star, who had been made aware of the young singer’s gifts by his music critic, Eric McLean.
Forrester made her debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in December 1953 in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Otto Klemperer. She also performed on CBC Radio and TV, toured Quebec and northern Ontario with the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada (JMC) in 1953–54, and made her Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) debut in Handel’s Messiah on 28 December 1954.
Professional Career 1955–65
Forrester made her European debut at the Salle Gaveau in Paris on 14 February 1955 with Newmark as her accompanist. The European tour that followed, planned by the JMC to last two and a half months, was so successful that Forrester and Newmark continued to perform in recital and oratorio until spring 1955. They also performed on the BBC and the West German public broadcaster, Westdeutscher Rundfunk. Forrester’s subsequent Canadian tour included the premiere of Harry Somers’s Five Songs for Dark Voice at the Stratford Festival on 11 August 1956. The festival had commissioned the piece specifically for Forrester.
A few months later, she made her New York debut with a recital at Town Hall on 12 November 1956. This recital was very well received and put Forrester in great demand. Shortly afterwards, at the request of conductor Bruno Walter, she sang in Gustav Mahler’s Second Symphony (the “Resurrection”) with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall on 14, 15 and 17 February 1957. (She later sang the work again at the orchestra’s 10,000th concert in March 1982). Forrester quickly developed a remarkable affinity for the music of Mahler, despite being previously unfamiliar with it. She performed Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with Bruno Walter and the New York Philharmonic in the spring of 1960.
In addition to a demanding schedule of recitals, oratorio appearances and broadcasts in Canada in 1957, she also appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic and with Sir Thomas Beecham and the Royal Philharmonic in London, England. At the 1958 Vancouver International Festival, she sang Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody with the Vancouver Bach Choir under Bruno Walter (repeating it three days later in the presence of Princess Margaret), and premiered Jean Coulthard’s Spring Rhapsody.
Although she became known primarily as a recital and oratorio singer during this period, Forrester also made some appearances in operas. For example, she portrayed Cornelia in a concert performance of Handel’s Julius Caesar with the American Opera Society on 18 November 1958.
Forrester sang at the Casals Festival in 1960, 1961 and 1963. Her 1960 performances there of the Alto Rhapsody and Scarlatti’s recently rediscovered Salve Regina were filmed by the National Film Board for the short documentary Festival in Puerto Rico (1961). On 30 July 1961, she gave the Canadian premiere of the Salve Regina at the Stratford Festival. On 26 August, she premiered Darius Milhaud’s Bar Mitzvah Israel at the First Israel Music Festival in Tel Aviv. In December of that year she began an eight-concert tour of the Soviet Union — one of the earliest tours there by a Canadian during the Cold War.
She made her Toronto opera debut at the O’Keefe Centre on 28 May 1962, playing Orpheus in Orpheus ed Eurydice under Nicholas Goldschmidt. She also toured Australia late in 1962. Forrester lived for two years in Connecticut, then moved to Toronto in 1963. Her European and American appearances continued; in 1963, she sang in the NBC TV production of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Her American debut in a fully staged opera was with the New York City Opera on 27 September 1966, when she again played Cornelia in Handel’s Julius Caesar (the previous performance had been a concert version).
Professional Career 1966–82
In the mid-1960s, Forrester began to do some voice teaching in addition to performing. She gave her first master classes at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music in the summers of 1965 and 1966. Also in 1966, she became chair of the voice department at the Philadelphia Music Academy.
In 1965, Forrester and Lois Marshall joined the US-based Bach Aria Group, bringing the number of Canadian singers in the group’s quartet to three (with bass-baritone Norman Farrow, an original member). Forrester sang with the group until 1974. In 1971, she returned to Toronto to teach part-time at the University of Toronto, where her pupils included Mary Lou Fallis. In 1975, Forrester was featured along with Glenn Gould, Edith Butler and Gilles Vigneault in the NFB documentary Musicanada.
On 10 February 1975, she made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Erda in Das Rheingold — the first of several performances she gave there that year in Wagner’s Ring cycle. She also performed at the Met that year in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera (these would prove to be her last performances at the Met). She also appeared frequently and toured as soloist with both the MSO (in the United States in 1981–82) and the TSO (in Japan and China in 1978). She returned to China in 1982 with Claude Corbeil and pianist Claude Savard. She received her only Juno Award nomination in 1980 for The Stratford Ensemble (1980).
Later Career 1983–2002
As Forrester’s voice took on a reedier quality in the late 1980s, she began to include less contemporary music in her repertoire. She also occasionally performed popular music, including the songs of Jerome Kern and Stephen Sondheim at Toronto’s Royal York Hotel. She discussed her life and career in the 1986 autobiography, Out of Character: A Memoir.
In the 1990s, she trimmed her schedule to approximately 50–60 engagements annually while still undertaking new endeavours, such as lending her voice to the animated television series The Adventures of Tintin (1991–92). She also made her Opéra de Montréal debut in 1994 as the Marquise in Daughter of the Regiment. In 1995, she sang with the British Columbia Boys Choir and in the TSO’s tribute concert of Mahler’s Second Symphony, at which she was presented with the $125,000 Royal Bank Award.
Forrester further reduced her opera appearances and classical recitals. By 1996, she had embarked on a national tour with composer-pianist David Warrack of Interpretations of a Life, featuring humourous tunes that Warrack had written for her. In 2000, CBC Radio 2 featured Forrester on In Performance, and CBC TV aired the television documentary “Maureen Forrester: The Diva in Winter”on its Life and Times series. Suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and the effects of alcoholism, Forrester performed only occasionally until 2002. She lived in a Toronto nursing home until her death in 2010.
From the outset of her career, Forrester’s singing was marked by emotional sensitivity and a reliable and sophisticated musicianship. These qualities, abetted by stamina, poise and impeccable pitch, made her popular with conductors and managers at home and abroad.
Early in her career, she was favourably compared with British contralto Kathleen Ferrier. Forrester’s voice was originally a richly dark mezzo-soprano of trumpet-like clarity and power. It matured into an extraordinarily responsive contralto that was also at ease in mezzo roles, commanding virtually the entire repertoire within that range. She was arguably most effective in lieder (especially Brahms, Schumann, Mahler and Strauss), in oratorio and in orchestral works with voice, such as Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde.
Key Collaborators and Repertoire
At the height of her career, Forrester gave as many as 120 performances a year on five continents. At one time, she averaged more than 30 concerts a year in Canada alone. She performed with virtually every major orchestra and choir in the world under such renowned conductors as Barbirolli, Beecham, Bernstein, Casals, von Karajan, Klemperer, Krips, Levine, MacMillan, Ozawa, Reiner, Sargent, Stokowski, Szell, Walter and many others.
In addition to John Newmark, Forrester collaborated in recital with the pianists Stuart Hamilton, Donald Nolan, John Arpin, Derek Bampton and David Warrack. Song cycles and solo roles that Forrester regularly performed included Brahms’s Alto Rhapsody, arias in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Oskar Morawetz’s A Child’s Garden of Verses, Stephen Chatman’s You Are Happy, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe and Handel’s Roman Vespers.
Premieres of Canadian Compositions
Often described as one of the world’s leading contraltos, Forrester remained loyal to her Canadian origins and to Canadian music. She premiered many notable works by Canadian composers, including: Gabriel Charpentier’s Trois poèmes de Saint Jean de la Croix (1954); Jean Papineau-Couture’s Mort (1956); Robert Fleming’s The Confession Stone (Stratford, 16 July 1967); Harry Freedman’s Poems of Young People; Srul I. Glick’s I Never Saw Another Butterfly (Toronto, 6 September 1969); four of Keith Bissell’s Six Folk Songs from Eastern Canada (at a CBC Festival, 12 July 1971); Oskar Morawetz’s A Child’s Garden of Verses (under the title From the World of a Child, at a CBC Festival, 10 February 1973) and his Psalm 22: God Why Have You Forsaken Me? (4 January 1984); R. Murray Schafer’s Adieu Robert Schumann (with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, 14 March 1978), Beauty and the Beast (with the Orford String Quartet, 1 April 1981), and The Garden of the Heart (with the NACO, 6 May 1981); Jean Coulthard’s Three Sonnets of Shakespeare (Vancouver, 2 April 1978); and Stephen Chatman’s You Are Happy (Vancouver, 15 March 1989).
Although Forrester became well regarded as an opera singer, she actually sang very little opera until the 1970s. In addition to the roles already mentioned, her opera appearances included: Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde in Buenos Aires (1963), as well as for the Opéra de Québec (1975) and the Canadian Opera Company (COC, 1979); the Witch in Norman Campbell’s CBC TV production (1970) of Hansel and Gretel (a role she repeated at the 1979 Guelph Spring Festival and at the San Diego Opera in 1984); Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera with the Edmonton Opera (1971); Fricka in the COC’s Die Walküre (1971); Carmen in a concert performance with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (1972); Madame Flora in Menotti’s The Medium (at the Stratford Festival in 1974 and again in 1977 for the COMUS Music Theatre production in Toronto, which was also telecast by CBC in November 1978); Mistress Ford in Falstaff for Opéra de Québec (1974); the Countess in The Queen of Spades at Festival Canada (Festival Ottawa) in 1976 and 1979; Herodias in Salome with the Edmonton Opera in 1977 and the COC in 1986; the Marquise in the COC’s Daughter of the Regiment in 1977 and for Festival Ottawa in 1980; Klytemnestra in Elektra for the COC (1983); Madame de la Haltière in Massenet’s Cendrillon for the San Francisco Opera (1982) and the New York City Opera (1983); the Old Prioress in Dialogues des Carmélites (COC, 1986); and Amente-Nufe in the premiere of Schafer’s Ra in 1983. Her La Scala debut, rather late in her career, was as the Countess in The Queen of Spades in 1990.
Forrester also ventured into Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, performing as Queen of the Fairies in Iolanthe (1984 at the Stratford Festival) and as Katisha in the COC’s Mikado (1986). As part of Carnegie Hall’s centennial celebrations, she was a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in Verdi's Falstaff (15 November 1990) and with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Raymond Leppard in the world premiere of an orchestral arrangement of Benjamin Britten’s A Charm of Lullabies (17 January 1991).
In addition to her busy performance and teaching schedule, Forrester began to branch out into arts administration in the 1970s. She served as national president of the Jeunesses Musicales of Canada (JMC) from 1972 to 1975 and was a founding director of the COMUS Music Theatre Foundation in 1975. She was a member of the board of the National Arts Centre (1973–79) and an honorary member of the International Music Council (1977). In 1985, she gave master classes for the department of music at the University of Alberta, and in 1986 she was named honorary president of the International Year of Canadian Music.
Forrester served a challenging term as chair of the Canada Council for the Arts (1983–88), travelling extensively to promote Canadian music and lobbying various levels of government on the need for greater support and increased funding for the arts. She was also chancellor of Wilfrid Laurier University (1986–90), which established a music scholarship and a recital hall in her honour in 1994. She was appointed director of du Maurier Arts in 1993 and was honorary president of the Toronto School of Music Canada.
Forrester married violinist Eugene Kash in 1957. They had five children, including actors Linda Kash and Daniel Kash, and separated in 1974. Forrester continued her international career during her child-raising years. She later suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and the effects of alcoholism, and lived in a Toronto nursing home from 2002 until her death in 2010.
Honours and Legacy
Maureen Forrester was arguably the best-known Canadian classical singer since Dame Emma Albani. She reached the peak of her career at a time when Canada was coming of age musically and its classical artists (e.g., Glenn Gould, Teresa Stratas) were developing international reputations. She made around 130 recordings beginning in the 1950s.
In 1967, she was made a Companion of the Order of Canada and also received the University of Alberta National Award in Music. She received the Molson Prize in 1971, the Diplôme d’honneur from the Canadian Conference of the Arts in 1980, the Canada Music Day Award in 1981 and the Canadian Music Council Medal in 1983. She also received more than 30 honorary degrees.
In 1990, she became the only classical performer other than Glenn Gould to be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. She also received the Order of Ontario that year, and in 2003 she was made an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
She received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in 1995 for her development of Canadian arts and music. In 2000, she was awarded Opera Canada’s first “Ruby” award in the creative artist category, and in 2004 she was named a MasterWorks honouree of the Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada. The Jeunesses Musicales Canada (JMC) administers a Maureen Forrester Award.
A version of this entry originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.
- Companion, Order of Canada (1967)
- National Award in Music, University of Alberta (1967)
- Council’s Prize, Harriet Cohen International Music Award (1968)
- Molson Prize, Canada Council (1971)
- Diplôme d’honneur, Canadian Conference of the Arts (1980)
- Canada Music Day Award (1981)
- Canadian Music Council Medal (1983)
- Sanford Medal, Yale University (1983)
- Life membership, Canadian Actors’ Equity (1986)
- Music Award, Toronto Arts Foundation (1988)
- Inductee, Canadian Music Hall of Fame (1990)
- Member, Order of Ontario (1990)
- Royal Bank Award (1995)
- Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (1995)
- Ruby award, Opera Canada (2000)
- Star, Canada’s Walk of Fame (2000)
- Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
- Officer, Ordre national du Québec (2003)
- MasterWorks Honouree, Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada (2004)
Selected Honorary Degrees
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) (1969)
- Honorary Doctor of Letters, York University (1972)
- Honorary Doctor of Letters, Saint Mary’s University (1972)
- Honorary Doctor of Music, Western University (1974)
- Honorary Doctor of Music, Mount Allison University (1974)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Wilfrid Laurier University (1975)
- Honorary Doctor of Music, University of Toronto (1977)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, McMaster University (1978)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Victoria (1978)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Carleton University (1979)
- Honorary Doctor of Music, McGill University (1982)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Trent University (1983)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Dalhousie University (1983)
- Honorary Degree, University of Ottawa (1984)
- Honorary Degree, Université de Sherbrooke (1985)
- Honorary Doctor of Music, Université Laval (1985)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Prince Edward Island (1986)
- Honorary Degree, Université de Montreal (1987)
- Honorary Doctor of Letters, Lakehead University (1988)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Windsor (1988)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Simon Fraser University (1989)
- “Why I Love Mahler,” Music Journal, (June 1972).
- “This is our music: putting words to our musical history,” Imperial Oil Review, no. 5 (1980).
- “Beyond La Belle Province,” Music Magazine (Nov. 1986).
- - with Marci McDonald, Out of Character: A Memoir (1986)/ Maureen Forrester: au-delà du personnage, trans. Jean Chapdelaine Gagnon (1989).
- Preface to David W. Barber, When the Fat Lady Sings: Opera History as It Ought to Be Taught(1990).
- - in James Strecker, “Glenn Gould: Man, Musician, and Legacy: Nine Canadians talk about the legendary pianist,” Bulletin of The International Glenn Gould Society (March 1991).
- Arne Songs to Shakespeare Plays. Young tenor, Vienna Academy Chamber Choir, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor. 1964. West WST-17075
- Bach Arias. Bach Aria Group, Priestman conductor. 1972. 2-Desto DC-7139-40
- - Cantatas No. 35 and 42. Vienna Academy Chamber Choir, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Scherchen conductor. 1964. West WST-17080/West Gold WGS-8303
- - Cantatas No. 53, 54 and 169. Vienna Chamber Choir, I Solisti di Zagreb, Janigro conductor. 1965. Bach Guild BGS-70670
- - Cantata No. 170 – D. Scarlatti Salve Regina. Wiener Solisten, Heiller conductor. 1966. Bach Guild BGS-70683
- - Easter Oratorio. Temple University Concert Choir, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1963. Col MS-6539
- - St. John Passion. Singing City Chorale, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1971. 3-Col M3-30517
- C.P.E. Bach - J.W. Franck - Schumann - Loewe. Newmark piano. 1958. RCI 149/(selections) RCI 615
- M.C. Baker Seven Wonders. Bampton piano. 1984. 2-Centrediscs CMC-14-1584/2-RCI 585
- Beethoven Missa solemnis. Singing City Choirs, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1970. 2-Col M2-30083
- - Symphony No. 9. St Hedwig’s Cathedral Choir-Berlin, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Fricsay conductor. 1959. 2-Decca DXSA-7157/DG 2535-203/(“Song of Joy”) Polydor 2310-071
- - Symphony No. 9. New England Conservatory Chorus, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Munch conductor. 1958. 2-RCA Victor LSC-6066/2-RCA VICS-6003/RCA AGL1-3007
- - “Ode to Joy” from Symphony No. 9. Chorus of Rutgers University, MSO, Pelletier conductor. 1967. CBC Expo-1
- Brahms Four Serious Songs - Wagner Wesendonck Lieder. Newmark piano. 1968. CBC SM-100/RCI 330/Lon CCL-6003/Lon STS-15113
- - Two Songs, Opus 91. Trampler viola, Wadsworth piano. 1975. Classics Record Library SQM-80-5731
- A Brahms-Schumann Recital: Schumann Frauenliebe und leben - Brahms Zigeunerlieder; Two Songs, Opus 91. Joachim viola, Newmark piano. 1958. RCA LSC-2275
- Brott Songs of Contemplation. Orford String Quartet. 1985. SNE 516
- Casals El Pessebre. Puerto Rico Conservatory Chorus, Festival Casals Orchestra, Casals conductor. 1972. Col Master M2-32966
- A Charm of Lullabies: Britten - Brahms - Coulthard - Dela - et al. Newmark piano. 1967. W-17137/West Gold WGS-8124
- Cherubini Missa solemnis in D minor. Clarion Concerts Ochestra and Chorus, Jenkins conductor. 1972. 2-Vanguard VCS-10110-11
- Christmas with Maureen Forrester. 1982. RCA KXL1-0477
- Custer Comments on This World. Phoenix Quartet. Serenus SRS-12031
- Duos: Schumann - Mendelssohn - Brahms. Streich soprano, Machwilsky piano. 1979. ETCETERA ETC-1010
- Elgar Sea Pictures - Steven Pages of Solitary Delights - Forsyth Three Métis Songs from Saskatchewan. Ouellet harp, McGill Symphony Orchestra, Hoenich conductor. 1986. McGill University Records 85025/McGill 750-028-2 (CD)
- An Evening With Maureen Forrester and Andrew Davis. Davis piano. 1985. Fanfare DFL-9024
- Fleming The Confession Stone - Schumann Liederkreis, opus 39. Newmark piano. 1982. RCA KRL1-0437/CTL S-5245
- From Kern to Sondheim: Great American Theatre Songs. Arpin piano. 1987. Pro Arte CDD-374
- Glick I Never Saw Another Butterfly - Freedman Poems of Young People - Beckwith Five Songs. Newmark piano. 1972. CBC SM-77/Sel CC-5-073/(Glick) 4-ACM 34 (CD)/(Freedman) 6-ACM 8/(Beckwith) 5-ACM 26
- Gluck Orfeo ed Euridice. Choir and Orchestra of the Vienna State Opera, Mackerras conductor, Forrester (Orfeo). 1966. 2-Bach Guild BGS-70686-87/2-Bach Guild HM-66-67
- Handel Hercules. Vienna Academy Chorus, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor. 1966. 2-RCA Victor LSC-6181
- - Jephtha. Amor Artis Chorale, English Chamber Orchestra, Somary conductor, Forrester contralto (Hamor). 1969. 3-Vanguard VCS-10077-79
- - Julius Caesar. New York City Opera Chorus and Orchestra, Rudel conductor. 1967. 2-RCA Victor LSC-6182/(excerpts) RCA LSC-3116
- - Rodelinda. Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor, Forrester alto (Bertarido). 1964. 3-West WST-320/3-West WGSO-8205/(excerpts) West WST-17102/(excerpts) West WST-17114
- - Roman Vespers: Psalms 110, 112, 127. Philadelphia Singers, Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Korn conductor. 1985. 2-RCA ARC2-7182
- - Serse. Vienna Academy Chamber Choir, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor. 1965. 3-West WST 321/3-West Gold WGSO-8202/(excerpts) West WST-17115/(excerpts) West WST-17114
- - Theodora. Amor Artis Chorale, English Chamber Orchestra, Somary conductor, Forrester alto (Didimus). 1968. 3-Vanguard VCS-10050-52
- Handel - Purcell - Mahler - Duparc - Paladilhe - Debussy - Fleming. Newmark piano. 1967. CBC Expo-4/RCI 246
- Haydn Ariadne auf Naxos - Coulthard Spring Rhapsody - K. Jones To Music. Newmark piano. 1961. RCI 203/(Haydn) RCI 615/(Coulthard) 6-ACM 10/(Jones) 5-ACM 24
- Le Lied: Schubert - Beethoven - Schumann - Brahms - Wolf - Strauss - Dvorak. Ladhuie viola, Newmark piano. 1955. Éditions du Club national du disque CND-7/Everest SDBR-3247
- Lullabies: Dela - Arpin - et al. Arpin piano. 1988. Pro Arte CDD-411
- Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn. Rehfuss bass-baritone, Vienna Festival Orchestra, Prohaska conductor. 1963. Vanguard VSD-2154/Vanguard SRV-285-SD/Harmonia Mundi HM-B-5116
- - Kindertotenlieder; Songs of a Wayfarer. Boston Symphony Orchestra, Munch conductor. 1958. RCA LSC-2371/RCA Gold Seal AGL1-1338
- - Das Lied von der Erde. R. Lewis tenor, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Reiner conductor. 1959. RCA Victor LSC-6087/RCA Gold Seal AGL1-5248/RCA 5248-2-RC (CD)
- - Das Lied von der Erde. New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Walter conductor. 1960. Curtain-Call CD-206
- - Das Knaben Wunderhorn: “Rheinlegendchen,” “Verlor’ne Müh.” Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Gamba conductor. 1979. MMG 112
- - Symphony No. 2. Cundari soprano, Westminster Choir, New York Philharmonic, Walter conductor. 1958. 2-Col M2S-601/2-Odyssey Y2-30848/2-CBS M2K-42032 (CD)
- - Symphony No 2. Ardwyn Singers, BBC Welsh Chorus, Cardiff Polyphonic Choir, Dyfed Choir, London Symphony Orchestra, Kaplan conductor. 1988. 2-MCA 2-11011
- - Symphony No 2. St Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Slatkin conductor. 1982. 2-Telarc CD-80081
- - Symphony No. 3. Netherlands Radio Women’s Chorus, Boys’ Chorus of St Willibrord’s Church-Amsterdam, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Haitink conductor. 1966. 2-Philips PHS-2996/2-Philips SAL-3593-4/2-Philips 420-113-2 (CD)
- - Symphony No. 3. Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mehta conductor. 1978. 2-Lon CSA-2249
- Maureen Forrester Sings Famous Arias of Bach and Handel. I Solisti di Zagreb, Janigro conductor. 1964. Vanguard/Bach Guild BGS-70669/“O Thou That Tellest”) Moss MMG-1136
- Maureen Forrester Sings Mahler and Brahms: Brahms Alto Rhapsody - Mahler Five Rückert Songs. Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Fricsay conductor. 1958. DG LPE- 17199/Heliodor 89-857
- Maureen Forrester Sings Operatic Arias and Songs: Handel - Gluck - Mozart - Purcell. Vienna Academy Chamber Choir, Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Zeller conductor. 1964. West WST-17074/HMV Concert Classics SXLP-20096
- Meet Me in St. Louis. Fanfare Palm Court Ensemble, Arpin conductor. 1989. Pro Arte CDD-456
- Mozart after Hours. Vienna Academy Choir, Vienna State Opera Orchestra members, Jazz Rhythm Group, Kingsley conductor and harpsichord. 1964. Vanguard VRD-79165
- Mozart Ombra Felice - Somers Five Songs for Dark Voice. National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO), Bernardi conductor. 1970. RCI 286/RCA LSC-3172/(Somers)10-ACM 7
- The Other Me. 1981. RCA KKL1-0440
- Papineau-Couture Églogues. Duschenes flute, Newmark piano. 1954. Hallmark RS-6
- Purcell Songs and Orchestral Interludes. Young tenor, Vienna Radio Orchestra, Priestman conductor, Isepp harpsichord. 1966. West WST-17113
- Rachmaninoff Vespers, opus 37. Choral Arts Society of Washington, Rostropovich conductor. 1985–86. Erato ECD-75319 (CD)
- Ravel 3 Mallarmé Poems - Wolf 2 Sacred Songs. Stratford Ensemble, Armenian conductor. 1978. Cantabile CSPS-1349
- Respighi. Lauda Per La Natività Del Signore. Philadelphia Singers, Concerto Soloists Instrumental Ensemble, Korn conductor. 1988. RCA Victor 7787-2-RC (CD)
- Rodgers Carousel. Ambrosian Singers, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gemignani conductor. 1987. MCA 6209
- Schafer Adieu Robert Schumann. NACO, Bernardi conductor. 1978. CBC SM-364
- - “Aria of Amente-Nufe” from Ra. Wyre percussion. 1983. Centrediscs CMC-1283
- Schubert “An die Musik,” “Ständchen” - Schafer The Star Princess and the Waterlilies. Toronto Children’s Chorus, Bartle conductor, Cameron narrator. 1986–7. TCC D-004
- Strauss Elektra. Orchestre National de France, Perick conductor. 1984. 2-Rodolphe RP-12420/2-Rodolphe RPC-32420 (CD)
- Verdi Requiem. Amara soprano, Tucker tenor, London baritone, Westminster Choir, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ormandy conductor. 1964. 2-Col M2S-707/2-Odyssey Y2-35230
- Weigel Three Songs. Phoenix String Quartet. 1976. Serenus SRS-12062
- Willan Songs and Folk Songs - Fleming Folk Lullabies - Bissell From Six Folk Songs. Newmark piano. 1971. CBC SM-144
- Wagner Wesendonck Lieder - Archer 4 Songs. Newmark piano. 1954. RCI 108/(Archer 3 songs) 6-ACM 17
- Iolanthe. VHS. CBC/Stratford Festival, 1985, 1998
- Extended scenes from Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. VHS. Video Artists International/Radio-Canada, 1975