Edward Johnson and music education in Canada

D'Alton, John Patrick
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University of Guelph

Edward Johnson (1878-1959), a Canadian-born operatic tenor, manager of the Metropolitan Opera Association in New York City, and chairman of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, is an integral part of Canada's cultural, educational, intellectual and national history. This study will argue that during the interwar and immediate post-Second World War years Johnson's efforts to create a cosmopolitan, national cultural identity through music education were radically new for the era. Johnson's views and actions ran counter to the prevalent trend of cultural preservation to foster a national identity. This study will examine Johnson's three main efforts in the Ontario cities of Guelph, London, and Toronto to prepare the groundwork for the creation of a distinct Canadian identity. Evidence contained in Johnson's private papers together with various university documents put this once-familiar Canadian into new perspective and context.

Edward Johnson, operatic tenor, interwar, post-Second World War, cosmopolitan, national culture, music education, national identity, Ontario, Guelph, London, Toronto, Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, Canada