Chisholm, Erik, Scottish composer and conductor; b. Glasgow, Jan. 4, 1904; d. Rondebosch, South Africa, June 7, 1965. He first studied music in Glasgow; then in London and in Edinburgh with Tovey (composition) and Puishnov (piano). He received his Mus.Bac. in 1931, and his Mus.Doc. in 1934 from the Univ. of Edinburgh. He was conductor of the Glasgow Grand Opera Soc. from 1930 to 1939. In 1940 he joined the Carl Rosa Opera Co. as conductor, and in 1945 he founded the Singapore Sym. Orch. In 1946 he was appointed prof. of music and director of the South African Coll. of Music at Cape Town Univ.; also conducted operas in South Africa. His book, The Operas of Leos Janáček, was publ, posth. (N.Y., 1971). Chisholm’s style of composition was marked by considerable complexity; elements of oriental scale formations are notable.
DRAMATIC: Opera : The Feast of Samhain (1941); The Inland Woman (Cape Town, Oct. 21, 1953); Dark Sonnet, after O’Neill (Cape Town, Oct. 20, 1952); Simoon, after Strindberg (1953); Dark Sonnet and Simoon were later combined with a 3rd short opera, Black Roses, with a libretto by the composer, to form a trilogy entitled Murder in 3 Keys (N.Y., July 6, 1954). b a 1 1 e t :The Pied Piper of Hamelin (1937); The Forsaken Mermaid (1940); The Earth Shapers (1941); The Hoodie (1947). orch.:Straloch Suite (1933); 2 syms. (1938, 1939); Piobaireachd Concerto for Piano and Orch. (1940); Pictures from Dante (1948); Hindustani Concerto for Piano and Orch. (Cape Town, Nov. 22, 1949); Violin Concerto (Cape Town, March 18, 1952); Concerto for Orchestra (Cape Town, March 29, 1952). chamber: Double Trio for Clarinet, Bassoon, Trumpet, Violin, Cello, and Double Bass; piano pieces. vocal:The Adventures ofBabar for Narrator and Orch. (1940); choral works; songs.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire