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Remembering Conductor, Violinist and champion of Canadian music Victor Feldbrill

Remembering Conductor, Violinist and champion of Canadian music Victor Feldbrill

Published on June 18, 2020

Portrait of Victor Feldbrill

The Royal Conservatory mourns the death of Honorary Fellow and Alumnus Victor Feldbrill, OC OOnt, who passed away at age 96 on June 17, 2020.  One of Canada’s leading conductors, Victor Feldbrill was born in Toronto and spent his teen years playing the violin joining the Navy in World War II to play the violin in the Navy Show.

After earning his Artist Diploma from The Royal Conservatory in 1949, Mr.  Feldbrill enjoyed a highly successful performing career as first violinist in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1949-1956).  As a conductor, he appeared as a guest leader with virtually every major symphony orchestra in Canada in addition to his roles as Principal Conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (1958-1968), Resident Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1973-1978) and was the first conductor-in-residence at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music (1968-1982). 

A champion of music for youth, Mr. Feldbrill founded the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra in 1974 and was its conductor until 1978 and was a faculty member of Tokyo National University of Art and Music.

Even in his 90s, Victor Feldbrill’s dedication to music was unbridled. He was named an Honourary Fellow by The Royal Conservatory in 2014 and, at the age of 94, he returned to conduct the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for its 70th anniversary.

What really set Mr. Feldbrill apart was his limitless enthusiasm and support of Canadian music and young musicians, as well as his insistence on playing the music of Canadian composers. His contribution to music in Canada and the development of essential organisations and individuals stands as a testament to the power of determination and core belief in the value of music and the arts.

The Royal Conservatory sends its deepest condolences to his immediate family. 

Victor Feldbrill, 1973. Photo by Dick Darrell. From the Toronto Star Archives.