The Artistic Director is the most senior artistic staff of a ballet company and is responsible for developing and promoting the vision and focus of a company. Throughout the National Ballet’s 60 year history there have been a number of memorable and enigmatic Artistic Directors that have continued to carry out Celia Franca’s vision for the company and have continued to earn The National Ballet of Canada an international reputation for excellence.
|1951 - 1973 ||Celia Franca |
|1973 - 1974 ||Celia Franca & David Haber |
|1974 - 1975 ||David Haber |
|1975 - 1976 ||Celia Franca |
|1976 - 1983 ||Alexander Grant |
|1983 - 1986 ||Erik Bruhn |
|1986 - 1989 ||Valerie Wilder & Lynn Wallis |
|1989 - 1996 ||Reid Anderson |
|1996 - 2005 ||James Kudelka |
|2005 - ||Karen Kain |
The Executive Director holds the highest administrative position in The National Ballet of Canada and is responsible for managing a network of departments ranging from Finance to Education. While the Artistic Director of the company is concerned with producing the highest quality productions possible, the Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the operations of the company, ensuring that it can support the artistic excellence that has come to be expected. Throughout the National Ballet’s 60 year history our administrative leaders have seen the company through artistic triumphs and administrative growth both at home and abroad.
|1951||Stewart James, Company Manager|
|1951 - 1955||Walter Homburger, General Manager|
|1955 - 1964 ||Carman Guild, General Manager|
|1964 - 1966 ||Anthony Lawless, General Manager|
|1966 - 1967 ||John H. Wilson, General Manager|
|1967 - 1973 ||Wallace A. Russell, General Manager|
|1973 - 1979 ||Gerry Eldred, Administrator|
|1979 - 1996 ||Robert Johnston, Administrative Director|
|1996 - 2002 ||Valerie Wilder, Executive Director|
|2002 -||Kevin Garland, Executive Director |
The Music Director oversees the musicianship of each National Ballet of Canada Orchestra performer and the artistry of the orchestra as a whole. In addition to leading music rehearsals, the Music Director is the Principal Conductor of the orchestra. During performances, the Music Director is not only responsible for guiding the orchestra, he must also watch the dancers to ensure that the orchestra and the performers on stage are equally paced. Throughout The National Ballet of Canada’s 60 years history there have been only four Music Directors, each of whom has striven for musical perfection.
| ||George Crum was The National Ballet of
Canada’s first and longest serving Music Director and Conductor working with
the company from 1951 until his retirement in 1984.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Crum began
studying piano and organ at Trinity College School in Port Hope at the age of
12. He made his performance debut in Toronto at the Arts and Letters Club at the
age of 16 and soon became a regular recitalist on CBC Radio. He also studied
orchestration and developed an interest in the opera and lieder repertoire. At
the age of 22, he made his professional debut as an opera conductor for the
Royal Conservatory Opera, which later became the Canadian Opera Company.
1951, he met Celia Franca who invited him to become conductor for the newly
formed National Ballet of Canada.
Throughout his time with the National
Ballet, Crum provided orchestrations and arrangements for numerous works in the
company's repertoire including Pas de
Deux Romantique (1959/60), Princess
Aurora (1960/61), One in Five
(1961/62), Pas de Six from Laurencia
(1962/63), La Sylphide (1964/65), Melodie (1966/67), Giselle (1969/70), Les
Sylphides (1973/74) and Offenbach in
the Underworld (1975/76). He retired from the National Ballet in 1984, but
continued to arrange orchestrations for dance and appear as a guest conductor
on many occasions.
A multitalented artist, Crum brought
strength, growth and laughter inside the National Ballet. His leadership of the
company’s orchestra received consistent praise from audience and critics alike.
He was a pioneer of the arts in Canada, and along with Founder Celia Franca he
forged a fledgling ballet company into the great institution it is today. The
National Ballet named Crum ‘Music Director Emeritus’ in tribute of his years of
service and his many accomplishments.
Begins studying piano and organ studies with Edmund Cohu,
organist and choirmaster at Trinity College School in Port Hope.
Makes his conducting debut in Toronto at the Arts and
Joins the Royal Conservatory of Toronto Opera Department
as Coach and Assistant to its director, Nicholas Goldschmidt.
Makes professional conducting debut as an opera conductor
conducting Faust for the Royal
Accepts position as The National Ballet of Canada’s first
Music Director. Conducts the company‘s first performance at the Eaton
Auditorium in Toronto on November 12.
Conducts the company’s CBC television debut, Gala Performance and the Pas de Trois
from Swan Lake. Goes on to conduct
all of the National Ballet’s televised productions until his retirement,
including the Emmy award-winning Cinderella
and The Sleeping Beauty.
Conducts The National Ballet of Canada Orchestra at the
opening of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Returns to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa to conduct
the North American premiere of Rudolf Nureyev’s spectacular production of The Sleeping Beauty.
Retires from The National Ballet of Canada and is named ‘Music
Returns to the National Ballet to conduct veteran
Principal Dancer Veronica Tennant’s farewell performance in Romeo and Juliet.
Ermanno Florio was The National Ballet of Canada’s Conductor
and Music Administrator from 1985 to 1989, and Resident Guest Conductor from
1989 to 1990.
Born in Carapelle, Italy in 1954, Ermanno Florio
began his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He went on to
studio violin at the University of Toronto. After graduating Florio enrolled in
the Conductors' Workshop organized by the Ontario Arts Council and studied with
celebrated conductors Andrew Davis and Franco Ferrara. He made his conducting
debut in 1977 and shortly after served as the first Apprentice Conductor ever appointed
by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
|In 1980, Florio took on the role of Toronto Symphony Youth
Orchestra Conductor and then in 1983 assumed the position of Conductor and
Music Director of the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, a position he held until 1994.
Florio joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1985 as
Conductor and Music Administrator. In this new role, Florio oversaw the
planning of the music department more heavily in addition to conducting
performances during the company’s regular season, sharing these duties with
Associate Conductor John Goss and various guest conductors. He continued to be
a popular guest conductor himself and maintained concert appearances and
broadcast performances with many other orchestras including the Calgary
Philharmonic, the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Teatro alla Scalla
Orchestra in Milan.
Throughout his tenure with the National Ballet, Florio
distinguished himself as a conductor and director of balletic repertoire. His
orchestral direction was praised for its lush sound and his leadership of the
Music Department supported many contemporary additions to the National Ballet’s
In 1992, Florio became Music Director of Houston Ballet.
From 1998 to 2001, he also served as Music Director of American Ballet Theatre
in New York, and from 2004 to 2013 as Music Director of Dutch National Ballet
Florio is currently the Music Director of the Houston Ballet
and Principal Guest Conductor of Dutch National Ballet.
Becomes a student at the Toronto Royal Conservatory of
Graduates from the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto
with a degree in violin performance. Shortly after, takes a Conductors’
Workshop where he begins to study under Andrew Davis and makes his conducting
Appointed first Apprentice Conductor with the Toronto
Symphony Orchestra and later makes his Toronto Symphony Orchestra debut.
Becomes Music Director and Conductor for the Niagara Symphony
Becomes Music Director and Conductor of The National
Ballet of Canada.
Conducts the National Ballet’s filmed production of Onegin for CBC television. Also later
conducts filmed productions of Alice,
La Ronde, and The Merry Widow.
Named the Music Director of Houston Ballet.
The American Ballet Theatre appoints him as Music Director.
The Dutch National Ballet names him as Music Director.
Becomes Principal Guest Conductor of Dutch National Ballet.