Robin Wood

Robin (Lawrence) Wood. Pianist, teacher, b Victoria, BC, 13 Oct 1924, d there 28 Feb 2004; LRSM 1943, FRAM, honorary LL D (Victoria) 1978. He studied in Victoria with Stanley Shale and continued 1943-6 at Victoria College and the University of British Columbia.

Wood, Robin

Robin (Lawrence) Wood. Pianist, teacher, b Victoria, BC, 13 Oct 1924, d there 28 Feb 2004; LRSM 1943, FRAM, honorary LL D (Victoria) 1978. He studied in Victoria with Stanley Shale and continued 1943-6 at Victoria College and the University of British Columbia. After World War II a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, won in 1943 but postponed because of the war, enabled him to study 1946-50 with Vivian Langrish (piano) and Herbert Murrill (composition). He represented Great Britain in the 1949 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. He made a Wigmore Hall debut in 1951 and won a Boise scholarship, which allowed him to study with Nadia Boulanger in France and Edwin Fischer in Switzerland. He then settled in England as the pianist, 1954-65, of the St. Cecilia Piano Trio and a teacher 1955-65 at the RAM. In 1958 he received a Harriet Cohen Commonwealth Medal.

Wood returned to Canada in 1965 as assistant director of the Victoria School of Music and became director the following year. When the school became the Victoria Conservatory of Music in 1968, affiliated to the University of Victoria, he continued as principal. He became principal emeritus of the conservatory in June 1985, forming the artistic directorate along with his wife, the pianist Winifred Scott Wood and Denis Donnelly, the director.

Performances

In England, Wood performed with the Royal Philharmonic and the London and Birmingham symphony orchestras; in Canada, in a two-piano team with his wife, and with the Vancouver and Victoria symphony orchestras, and the CBC Vancouver and CBC Winnipeg orchestras. In 1968, he recorded Beethoven's Sonata in E flat Op. 81a, (CBC SM 71). Wood performed as the pianist in Trio Victoria and gave radio and TV recitals in Canada and England. He was heard on the BBC more than 100 times. Wood produced the weekly television program 'Music Victoria' for many years.

Into the early 2000s, he continued to perform in solo and chamber recitals, especially in the Victoria area.

Teaching Activities

Until 2004, Wood devoted much of his time to teaching, both at the conservatory and at the University of Victoria. His students won many national and provincial awards. He adjudicated and examined piano throughout Britain, the Far East (including Japan in 2002), and in many parts of Canada (for example, for the 1998 Eckhardt-Gramatte Competition) and the USA. He was also frequently a visiting teacher at the Johannesen International School of the Arts and the Banff CA. Jon Kimura Parker and the folk singer Valdy were perhaps his best-known students.

Awards

Wood was made an honorary life member of the BC Registered Music Teachers' Association in 1995. He was also an honorary citizen of Victoria, and a recipient of a BC Lifetime Achivement Award.


Further Reading

  • Ruschiensky, Lore. "An interview with Robin Wood and Winifred Scott Wood," Canadian Music Teacher, winter 2001

    Devlin, Mike. "Conserving a future," Victoria Times Colonist, 26 Feb 2004