Skip Navigation

In Memoriam: Marietta Orlov (1932-2020)

In Memoriam: Marietta Orlov (1932-2020)

Published on November 11, 2020

Marietta Orlov, an acclaimed pianist and a faculty member at The Glenn Gould School and The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, has passed away. She was 88 years old.

Marietta Orlov portrait

Before coming to Canada as a Romanian refugee in 1972, Mrs. Orlov toured extensively across Eastern Europe as part of a piano-cello duo with her husband Vladimir Orlov, a world-renowned cellist. In 1964 they defected to Vienna where they were tried and condemned as traitors in Romania in absentia. Mrs. Orlov taught at the Vienna Conservatory and, after arriving in Canada, became a faculty member at both The Royal Conservatory and the University of Toronto. She also played alongside Canada’s most distinguished musicians, including violinist Lorand Fenyves and pianist Patricia Parr, before ending her performing career due to an injury.

Despite her distinguished performing pedigree, it is primarily as a teacher that Mrs. Orlov left her mark on Canadian music. Not only was she a beloved and integral member of the piano faculty at The Glenn Gould School and The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists, she was also named an RCM Certificate Program Teacher of Distinction in 2017. She was regularly invited to participate in masterclasses as a visiting artist and served on juries at many prestigious festivals and programs, including the Canadian Music Competition.

Perhaps the most outstanding quality of Mrs. Orlov’s teaching was her remarkable ability to recognize the specific needs of each student and to create a rare emotional climate of trust, confidence, dedication, and faith in one’s abilities. Instead of imposing a rigid methodology on her students, she focused on each person’s unique qualities and strengths.

Her legacy of training so many gifted pianists was recognized just days before her death by a phone call from the Governor General’s office, telling her that she had been awarded the Order of Canada “for her lifelong contributions as a piano pedagogue and for her enduring devotion to the next generation of Canadian musicians.”

​"Marietta was a valued friend and colleague who enriched the lives of countless musicians. Her contributions to the RCM were enormous and ongoing, and we will all miss her greatly."
James Anagnoson, Dean, The Glenn Gould School