Tryon, Valerie

Valerie Tryon. Pianist, teacher, b Portsmouth, England, 5 Sep 1934, naturalized Canadian 1986; ARCM 1948, LRAM 1948, FRAM 1984, hon LWCM (Conservatory Canada) 1991, hon D LITT (McMaster) 2000. Valerie Tryon studied 1950-5 with Eric Grant at the Royal Academy of Music and with Jacques Février in Paris 1955-6. While still a child she appeared regularly in public. She toured as a soloist at nine with the Northern Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and at 11 made the first of many BBC broadcasts. Critical acclaim for her recital at the 1959 Cheltenham Festival (UK) launched her career with appearances as soloist and recitalist in major British concert halls and in Europe, South Africa, Canada, and the US. Tryon moved to Canada in 1971 and continued her international career. Primarily a solo performer, she has also appeared often with chamber ensembles including Camerata and Trio Canada (Hamilton). She has performed and recorded with the Rembrandt Trio, which she co-founded with Gerard Kantarjian, violin and Coenraad Bloemendal, cello in 1986, and she has been heard on the CBC. Tryon's wide repertoire includes some 50 concertos and spans from Bach to the late 20th century. She is best known for her interpretation of romantic works, particularly those of Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff. In addition to giving recitals as soloist or accompanist, Tryon has made frequent recordings in Canada, the US and the UK, including of works by Canadian composers, eg, Srul Irving Glick (Suite Hébraïque No. 1 and other works), Murray Adaskin (Dedication), Milton Barnes (Folk Dances) and Claude Champagne (Quadrilha brasiliera). About her recording of Chopin's scherzos and ballades, the New York Times declared it "among the best Chopin recordings of the last decade," while Diapason called her playing of Scarlatti "supreme elegance." Tryon has also been artist-in-residence with the Brott Summer Music Festival.

In 1986 the Hungarian Ministry of Culture awarded her the Ferenc Liszt Medal of Honour for 'outstanding achievement' in the interpretation of Liszt's music. Her Debussy Songs won a best classical album Juno award in 1994. Tryon began teaching at McMaster University in 1976 and has been artist-in-residence there.