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Tuning in to create music

March 8, 2013

Tuning in to create music
Elaine Adair, BMus'73, MA'78, has supported a student award and a master class at Western Music.

Elaine Adair, BMus’73, MA’78, credits her time at Western for deepening her love of music.

“I had some of the most inspiring times of my life at Western,” says the musicologist turned lawyer and now Supreme Court of British Columbia judge. “I hope to give music students the opportunity to experience the same.”

That desire led Adair to support a master class for music performance and piano technician students at the Tune In to Western V Piano Conference hosted by the Don Wright Faculty of Music. During the master class, Ulrich Gerhartz of Steinway London, a world-renowned authority who understands the piano inside and out, worked with John Perry, a musician and teacher, to demonstrate what happens to make music on stage.

“I was impressed by Ulrich’s skills in analyzing the personality of the piano, listening to the needs of each musician and bringing the two together in perfect harmony,” says Adair. “By supporting this master class, that’s exactly what I wanted students to see – a world-class technician working with musicians to prepare an instrument for a concert.”

Adair is no stranger to supporting Western. She has created the Philip Downs Scholarship in Music History to honour her mentor at Western.

“As a student, I learned so much from Philip, whose passion for classical music was infectious,” she says.

This article appeared in the Winter 2013 edition of Impact Western
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