Eric Wild | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Eric Wild

Eric (Lees) Wild. Conductor, arranger, composer, b Sault Ste Marie, Ont, 11 Feb 1910, d Osprey, Fla, 29 Apr 1989; ALCM 1925, B MUS (Michigan) 1932.

Wild, Eric

Eric (Lees) Wild. Conductor, arranger, composer, b Sault Ste Marie, Ont, 11 Feb 1910, d Osprey, Fla, 29 Apr 1989; ALCM 1925, B MUS (Michigan) 1932. After early training in Sault Ste Marie and studies in conducting and arranging 1928-32 at the University of Michigan, Wild was an arranger 1933-6 for Geoffrey Waddington and others at the CRBC in Toronto, then went to London with Billy Bissett's dance band and was principal trumpet and arranger 1936-9 for the BBC TV orchestra. Returning to Toronto he worked 1939-42 as a CBC conductor, then served 1942-5 as musical director of Meet the Navy. He rejoined CBC Toronto as conductor for the Wayne and Shuster show, the Alan Young show, and others. In 1947 he was appointed conductor of the newly formed CBC Winnipeg Orchestra, a post he held until 1974. He was also music director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet 1955-62 and of CBC TV's 'Hymn Sing' 1965-77. Under his direction the Hymn Sing Chorus, a 16-voice mixed choir, recorded Eric Wild's Chorus as Featured on Hymn Sing (1973? Wat CSPS 632), How Great Thou Art (1974? Wat CSPS 827), Come Along and Sing Praises (1975, Wat CSPS 883), Hymn Sing (RCA PCS-1128), He's a Big God (1977, Wat WR 11), Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory (1979, Wat WR 21), and Sing A New Song (1985, CBC Musica Viva MV 1009). Wild contributed to many areas of broadcast music, as a conductor, an expert arranger, and a composer of many short works for orchestra, choir, and solo voice. His publishers included Waterloo, Berandol, and Harmuse. He conducted premieres of several Canadian works with the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra and the recording of Lavallée's The Widow. Though known for his work in the light orchestral repertoire, Wild also led memorable performances of large-scale works. In 1970, after a performance of Schumann's Symphony No. 4, Glenn Gould wrote to compliment Wild on 'the most remarkably coherent and beautifully integrated reading of that troublesome work'.

See also discography for CBC Winnipeg Orchestra.

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