Toi, Roman

Toi, Roman. Composer, choir conductor, organist, b Estonia 18 Jun 1916, naturalized Canadian 1957; ARCT composition 1973, PH D (Union Graduate School, Ohio) 1977. Toi studied 1942-3 at the Mozarteum, Salzburg, under Clemens Krauss, and at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Montreux, Switzerland. After radio, theatre, and choral work in Europe, Toi moved in 1949 to Montreal and in 1951 to Toronto. There he began conducting the Estonian Male Choir in 1952 and was organist-choirmaster 1952-68 at Centennial United Church and conductor 1957-72 of the Estonia Mixed Choir. He also has conducted at choral festivals in Canada, the USA, Europe, and Australia and was president 1973-4 of the Ontario Choral Federation. With the 85-voice Estonia Choir, which he founded in 1976, he has travelled to Israel (1987), Australia (1988), and Estonia (1989, 1990). He began teaching theory, conducting, and composition at the RCMT in 1974, after studies there with Samuel Dolin. Composing within a tonal framework and acknowledging the influence of Vaughan Williams, Toi has written three symphonies (1969, 1972, 1974), nine cantatas (1953-77), and over 80 choral works, of which some are standard repertoire among Estonian choirs and are among the most frequently performed works by an Estonian-born composer living outside Estonia.

See also Estonia.