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In Memoriam: Melvin Berman (1929-2008)
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In Memoriam: Melvin Berman (1929 – 2008)

The University of Toronto Faculty of Music mourns the passing of longtime faculty Melvin Berman.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1929, Melvin Berman studied oboe with Clement Lenom and Harold Gomberg. He served as principal oboe with the CJRT Orchestra (Toronto Philharmonic), the MSO, the orchestras of the NFB and the CBC, several US orchestras, and, beginning in 1975, the COC. A founder of the Baroque Trio of Montreal and the Pro Arte Woodwind Quintet, Berman became a member of the Toronto Woodwind Quintet in 1971. He was a woodwind teacher at the University of Hartford in 1950, the CMM 1956-70, McGill University 1956-64, and a faculty member of the NYO 1969-79. In 1971 he began teaching at the University of Toronto, and in 1988 he was made head of woodwinds.

Berman composed a Quintet for Brass (1962, Berandol 1974). His films, The Oboe Reed and The Oboe (both University of Toronto Media Centre), were completed in 1972 and 1981 respectively. Berman's own Octagon Publications has issued his editions of octets by W.F.E. Bach and Josef Triebensee, as well as his arrangement for winds of A. Marcello's Concerto for Oboe. Melvin Berman has transcribed music by Bach and Mozart for wind ensemble.


Biography: William Schabas, Patricia Wardrop, Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.
The Canadian Encyclopedia.