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Alfred Strombergs

Alfred Strombergs. Conductor, opera coach, pianist, teacher, b Liepaja, Latvia, 19 Feb 1922, naturalized Canadian 1954, d Toronto 22 Feb 2006; ARCT 1958, ARCCO 1960. Alfred Strombergs studied piano, conducting, and composition 1940-3 at the Latvian State Conservatory, Riga, and was a ballet conductor and opera coach (1943) and conductor (1944) in Latvia. After four years in Germany he moved to Canada in 1948. He taught piano at the Halifax Conservatory (Maritime Conservatory of Music), founded and was the conductor 1949-55 of the Halifax Symphonette (later Halifax Symphony Orchestra), was the conductor and music director of the Nova Scotia Opera, and conducted the orchestra for the Halifax Ballet Guild. After studies in conducting with Leonard Bernstein and Lukas Foss at Tanglewood in 1953, he studied composition with Godfrey Ridout at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Strombergs served 1957-68 as conductor of the Stratford Festival Theatre Orchestra, 1957-71 as a coach with the Canadian Opera Company, and 1960-71 as head coach of the Royal Conservatory Opera School (University of Toronto Opera Division). He was appointed vocal coach and opera conductor at the University of Alberta in 1971 and head of the voice and opera department there in 1972. He was music director 1972-3 of the opera division at the Banff School of Fine Arts and chorusmaster 1973-4 for the Edmonton Opera. Strombergs wrote and lectured about Canadian art song of the 18th and 19th centuries, and conducted orchestral music by Talivaldis Kenins in the US and Toronto, including the premieres of Kenins' fifth and seventh symphonies. Strombergs retired from the University of Alberta in 1987 and moved to Toronto.

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