Derek Holman (1931–2019)

The death has been reported of British-Canadian composer Derek Holman. 

Born in Cornwall he was educated at Truro School, the Royal Academy and the University of London. Various teaching posts followed, including at Westminster Abbey Choir School, at the Royal School of Church Music and, following his decision to emigrate to Canada in 1965, at University of Toronto. Throughout his career he also held organist and choir-master postings, his last being at St. Simon’s Bloor St, Toronto.

Holman’s composing output was considerable and produced to commission, including from the CBC, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Brass, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, the Toronto Children’s Chorus, the International Choral Festival of 1993, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Aldeburgh Connection. His output focused particularly on vocal music and includes twelve song cycles comprising some 60 songs, a children’s opera, oratorios, organ and liturgical works.

In the wake of his death Holman was described by one of his pupils as ‘a musician’s musician – a first-rate composer, pianist and organist and conductor.’ 

He was a member of the Canadian League for Composers and made a member of the Order of Canada in 2003.

Derek Holman – Postlude on a Melody by Melchior Vulpius, Joel Hastings, organ

For more information about Derek Holman: 

Canadian Music Centre

Originally posted at Composition:Today ©Red Balloon Technology