Emil Gartner (1914-1960) was born in Vienna in 1914 and came to Canada in 1938, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1939, he became the conductor of the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir. He is considered by many to be the most influential and dynamic conductor in the choir's history. Under his leadership, the choir became more accomplished and increased in size. As a result, its repertoire increased considerably to include Canadian folk songs, and eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth-century works, in addition to the Yiddish and Hebrew folk songs and operettas that they had performed in the past. During Gartner's tenure the choir also performed with many world-renowned guests and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra often assisted the choir. Fagel Freeman Gartner, the director's wife, was the choir's accompanist.
Gartner was also a faculty member at the Hamburg Conservatory of Music in Toronto and remained conductor of the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir until 1959, a year before his sudden death in an automobile crash in 1960.
Scope and Content
This item is a portrait of Emil Gartner, former conductor of the Toronto Jewish Folk Choir.
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