Thursday, January 15, 2009

Otto Joachim

Otto Joachim was a Canadian violist, violinist, composer, teacher, conductor, and instrument maker, born in Dusseldorf, Germany, on October 13, 1910. He studied violin from 1916 until 1931. I have no idea what he did between 1931 and 1934, but I do know that in 1934, he taught in Singapore and China. In 1949, intending to settle in Brazil, he traveled by way of Canada and within a very short time opted to stay there. He was Principal violist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra for some time and taught at the Montreal Conservatory and at other music schools as well. He also conducted the National Arts Centre Orchestra, among many other ensembles. Joachim, understandably, was not a prolific composer, but he managed to write more than thirty works of some variety. His specialty was electronic and twelve-tone music. I have never heard any of it nor do I intend to - I dislike that sort of noise. Joachim died on July 30, 2010, at age 99.

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