Sessional Teaching Staff: Voice Studies
R.C.A.D. (Royal Conservatory Artist Diploma)
O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada)
F.R.C.M.T (Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto)
Mary Morrison is a sessional lecturer of Voice at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music. She has supervised and been a mentor to an outstanding array of performing artists such as Valdine Anderson, Nancy Argenta, Ingrid Attrot, Measha Brüggergosman, Gregory Dahl, Tracy Dahl, Barbara Hannigan, Wendy Nielsen, Adrianne Pieczonka, John Tessier, to name but a few.
In 2017 Morrison was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Toronto, in recognition of her teaching career. Earlier Ms. Morrison was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto (F.R.C.M.T). In light of her achievements in the world of vocal pedagogy she is a recipient of the Opera Canada Rubie award (presented by Marilyn Horne). With regards to her “outstanding contribution to Canadian music” she has received several awards: the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal. the Queen Elizabeth Commemorative Medal, a Medal of Service from the City of Toronto, and in 1983 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
Ms. Morrison had a long and distinguished performing career, which included principal operatic roles with the Canadian Opera Company and the CBC Opera Company, solo symphony appearances with the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, and the symphony orchestras of Montreal, Toronto, and Winnipeg. In addition, she was heard in many solo recitals, chamber music concerts and recordings, often appearing as part of the Lyric Arts Trio with Robert Aitken (flute) and Marion Ross (piano). She was also featured at prestigious international music festivals throughout North America, Europe and Japan.
A pioneer of contemporary music in performances and recordings, Ms. Morrison worked with some of the world’s most renowned and prolific international composers of the 20th century including Luciano Berio, John Cage, George Crumb, Maxwell Davies, György Ligeti, Krzysztof Penderecki, Igor Stravinsky, Toru Takemitsu and Iannis Xenakis. She was also a champion of Canadian vocal works, many of which were written specifically for her, by John Beckwith, Murray Schafer, Harry Somers, John Weinzweig and her late husband, Harry Freedman. In acknowledgement for her work, Ms. Morrison was awarded the Canadian Music Citation for Outstanding Achievement in the Performance of Canadian Music in 1968.
For over 40 years, Mary Morrison has taught voice at universities across Canada as well as at the Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal, the Banff Centre for the Arts, Centre d’Arts Orford, Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, the Toronto Summer Music Academy and Festival, the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in Aldeburgh, England and most notably, at the University of Toronto. Mary Morrison’s contribution to Canadian music is a testament to her extraordinary life and legacy as both a remarkable singer and a treasured teacher.