Lois Marshall (Lois Catherine Marshall)

Lois Marshall

Lois Catherine Marshall, CC (January 29, 1924–February 19, 1997) was a Canadian soprano. Her husband, Weldon Kilburn, had been her early coach and piano accompanist. Born in Toronto, Lois Marshall “began voice studies at age 12 with Weldon Kilburn (at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto), her accompanist and coach until 1971 and to whom she was eventually married in 1968.” Lois Marshall was a graduate of the University of Toronto. “In 1968, Marshall was invested as a Companion of the Order of Canada but was, over her long career, the recipient of many other honours and awards, such as the University of Alberta National Award in Music (1962), the Centennial Medal (1967), a Canada Music Council Medal (1972), the Ontario Arts Council Medal of Excellence (1973), the Molson Prize (1980), the Toronto Arts Award for music (1987), a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (1993) and the Order of Ontario (1993). She held honorary degrees from the Universities of Toronto and Regina, and the Royal Conservatory made her an honorary fellow in 1994.” She enjoyed a long career, primarily as a concert and recital singer, first as a soprano and later as a mezzo-soprano. She recorded extensively and in a very wide repertoire. Especially prized are the live recordings, which provide something of the vitality and warmth she radiated on those occasions. The lifelong effects of childhood polio severely limited her mobility, especially in later years. Nevertheless, she appeared occasionally on opera stages and in televised opera, including Boston productions especially staged for her by Sarah Caldwell. Her final performances in opera were as the old nurse in Eugene Onegin, in both Ottawa and Toronto. Early fame came with appearances and recordings with Toscanini and Beecham. For many years, she toured as the soprano soloist in the Bach Aria Group, and sang in annual Toronto performances of Messiah and St. Matthew Passion under Sir Ernest MacMillan and successive conductors of the Toronto Symphony. Much of Lois Marshall’s recorded legacy is held in the archives of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Little of it, however, has been released.

Born

  • January, 29, 1924
  • Canada
  • Toronto, Ontario

Died

  • February, 19, 1997
  • Canada
  • Toronto, Ontario

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