Patricia Blomfield Holt

Holt (b Blomfield), Patricia Blomfield. Composer, teacher, pianist, b Lindsay, Ont, 15 Sep 1910, d 5 Jun 2003. Self-taught during her early years, she studied and taught concurrently 1929-39 at the TCM, where her teachers included Norman Wilks, Hayunga Carman, Norah de Kresz, and Healey Willan.

Holt, Patricia Blomfield

Holt (b Blomfield), Patricia Blomfield. Composer, teacher, pianist, b Lindsay, Ont, 15 Sep 1910, d 5 Jun 2003. Self-taught during her early years, she studied and taught concurrently 1929-39 at the TCM, where her teachers included Norman Wilks, Hayunga Carman, Norah de Kresz, and Healey Willan. In 1939 she married, turning down a Juilliard scholarship; she later rejoined the RCMT staff in 1954 to teach piano, composition, theory, and history. Blomfield Holt continued to teach at the RCMT until her retirement in 1985. Her compositions, which have been performed widely in Europe, the USA, and Canada, were mainly for small ensembles. One of these, the Suite No. 1 for violin and piano, won the 1938 Vogt Society award for the best Canadian composition. Of her Suite No 2 London's Musical Times stated: 'the language is frankly of the 19th century, and the forms are reminiscent of Schumann, but the material is handled with certainty and a nice sense of texture' (August 1953).

Holt's Lyric Piece No. 2 was recorded by Jeremy Findlay and Elena Braslavsky (Bohemia CEC 0254); her Legend of the North Woods may be heard on Sundogs (Unical UC-CD 9901), performed by the University of Calgary Orchestra. She was an associate of the Canadian Music Centre, and a member of the Association of Canadian Women Composers.

Compositions

Orchestra
Legend of the North Woods. 1985. Ms

To the Distant Shore. 1988 (rev 1990). Ms

Also some early short works for orchestra

Chamber

Pastorale and Finale: Suite No. 1. 1936. Vn, piano. GVT 1943.

Lyric Piece Nos. 1 and 2. 1937. Vc, piano. Ms

2 String Quartets. 1937, 1956 (both rev 1985)

Suite No. 2. 1939. Vn(viola), piano. Ber 1952

Dirge and Dance. 1973. Acc. Wat 1974

Metamorphosis. 1985. Va, piano. Ber 1985

Set of Two. 1987. Fl, piano. Ms

Sonata. 1987. Vc, piano. Ms

Also works for various instrumental groupings

Vocal and Choral

Songs of Early Canada (D. C. Scott, S. Moodie, M. Pickthall). 1947?. Bar, horn, string orch. Ms

Three Songs of Contemplation (E.J. Pratt, M. Adeney, A. Lowell). 1948? (rev 1970). High voice, piano. Ber 1970

The Birds (Belloc). 1973. V, piano. Wat 1976

Polar Chrysalis: Ten Haiku Poems (C. Pratt). 1980? Mezzo soprano, solo horn, cello, piano, timpani, cymbal, marimba, vibe, glockenspiel, bell tree

Magnificat. 1986. SATB. Ms

A Song of Darkness and Light (Blomfield Holt, Bible, anonymous). 1990. Sop, piano. Ms

Also other works for voice and piano and voice and other instrumental groupings

Also studies and works for piano published by RCMT, Berandd, Frederik Harris, and Harmuse


Further Reading

  • Obituary, Globe and Mail, 19 Jun 2003