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Marshall, Lois (1924–1997)

Marshall, Lois (1924–1997)

One of Canada's leading sopranos in the 1950s and 1960s who continued to perform with major international orchestras throughout the 1970s . Born Lois Catherine Marshall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on January 29, 1924; died in Toronto on February 19, 1997; married Weldon Kilburn (her voice coach), in 1968.

Won the top award in "Singing Stars of Tomorrow" and the Eaton Graduating Scholarship (1950); won the coveted Naumburg Award and made her New York debut at Town Hall (1952); debuted with the London Philharmonic (1956); toured the USSR (1958).

Lois Marshall was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 1924. In 1932, at age 12, she began studying with Weldon Kilburn; she married him in 1968. In 1947, Sir Ernest MacMillan auditioned her for the soprano solos in Bach's St. Matthew's Passion. Having been sent home with the score, Marshall returned four days later with the music completely learned. "My child, you have the engagement," said an impressed Sir Ernest. Marshall won many prizes, including the Eaton Graduating Scholarship and the Naumburg Award. Arturo Toscanini chose her to appear with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's Missa solemnis on March 28, 1953, and Marshall was featured in a subsequent recording. Engagements followed in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York. In 1957, she appeared at the Royal Festival Hall. The following year, she made the first of several world tours which included visits to Australia and New Zealand. Primarily a concert artist, she appeared with every major North American orchestra. In 1965, the University of Toronto awarded her an honorable LL.D., and in 1966 the University of Saskatchewan followed suit. One of Canada's most beloved singers of the 1950s and 1960s, Marshall made many recordings which document her artistry.

John Haag, Athens, Georgia

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