Calvin Sieb | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Calvin Sieb

Calvin Sieb coached the strings of the Jeunesses musicales World Orchestra in 1972 in Germany, in 1975 in Belgium, and in 1978 in England.

Sieb, Calvin

 Calvin (Robert) Sieb. Violinist, teacher, b Newark, NJ, 30 May 1925, naturalized Canadian 1970, d Quebec City 21 May 2007. Calvin Sieb began studying violin at five in Newark with Mandel Svet and continued 1938-43 with Hans Letz at the New York College of Music, 1945-8 at the Juilliard School, and 1949-50 at Chatham Square School with Emmanuel Vardi. He took classes in composition and musical aesthetics in the spring of 1950 with Nadia Boulanger at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau and studied violin 1950-1 with Jacques Thibaud in Paris. A winner of the 1951 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Competition, Sieb returned to New York, where Wilfrid Pelletier offered him a teaching post at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Québec 1951-6 and a position as assistant conductor of the Quebec Symphony Orchestra 1951-3. He also taught 1955-79 at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal. He was concertmaster 1954-8 of the CBC 'Little Symphonies' orchestra and 1960-79 of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Sieb performed often on CBC radio and TV and recorded Rodolphe Mathieu's Quintet No. 1 in 1956 (see Discography for Hyman Bress). In addition to serving as concertmaster of the CBC and National Film Board orchestras, Sieb was soloist in 1959 at the Stratford Festival and 1964-7 at the Pablo Casals Festival in Puerto Rico.

Middle and Later Career Years

Calvin Sieb coached the strings of the Jeunesses musicales World Orchestra in 1972 in Germany, in 1975 in Belgium, and in 1978 in England. He was a member of the jury at the 1970 Enesco International Competition in Bucharest and a member 1966-79 of the music advisory committee of the Montreal International Competition. During his 1977-8 sabbatical he was one of the concertmasters in the Toulouse (France) Orchestre du Capitole, and in 1979 he settled in that city as the orchestra's regular concertmaster. He also directed Musicamerata of Toulouse.

Following his return to Canada, in 1989 Sieb was appointed professor of violin at the University of Ottawa and pedagogical adviser to the Orchestre des jeunes du Québec. In 1990 he was invested as a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et Lettres of France. He retired from the university in 2001, and then taught violin, viola and chamber music at the Conservatoire de musique de Gatineau, in Quebec. Sieb was also the inventor of a violin chin rest pad and a violin mute.

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