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Kathleen Parlow and Norway

The archival collections of the University of Toronto Music Library document the rich musical life of Toronto in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. A particularly fine example from the archive is the Kathleen Parlow collection. Parlow (1890-1963) was a Canadian violin prodigy and the first foreign student to enroll in the St. Petersburg Conservatory where she studied with Leopold Auer along with other prodigies such as Mischa Elman and Efrem Zimbalist.

Her early professional success took her to prestigious concert venues in Europe, North America, and Asia. This exhibit offers a glimpse into Parlow's unique relationship with Norway, from being the recipient of the 1735 Viotti Guarneri del Gesù violin given to her by Einar Bjørnson, to her performances all over Norway, including those for the Norwegian royal family. Featured are reproductions of some pages of the manuscript of the Johan Halvorsen violin concerto, which was dedicated to Parlow and premiered by her on August 14, 1909 in Scheveningen, Holland. Also included are letters from Halvorsen to Parlow giving her corrections to the score as well as suggestions for performance, photographs, entries from her daybooks, and examples of programmes of her Norwegian concerts, many under the baton of Johan Halvorsen.


Houman Behzahdi ; James Mason