He showed early an exceptional musical bent, in his attempts to imitate the sounds of the street barrel organ on the piano, in his composition of songs and the score of a children's opera, and especially in his organ playing. He began organ study at eight with Arthur Blakeley (b Leeds, d USA after 1937), who was organist-choirmaster 1897-1911 at Sherbourne St Methodist Church. Shortly thereafter MacMillan performed in public, and at 10 he appeared in the Festival of the Lilies at Massey Hall. A photograph from that event shows a confident-looking boy, wearing a starched collar and flowing tie, seated at the organ. 'I admit I found it thrilling to play to so many people,' he recalled years later.
While his father, Alexander, fulfilled an engagement 1905-8 in his native Edinburgh the younger MacMillan continued organ study there with the noted blind organist Alfred Hollins, occasionally playing services in his teacher's stead. He also received permission to enrol in music classes at the University of Edinburgh under Friedrich Niecks, W.B. Ross, and others and studied privately with Ross in preparation for his first diploma. In later life MacMillan regarded Edinburgh with a special fondness, and his speech occasionally took on a noticeable burr, sometimes on purpose, sometimes evidently not.
The return to Toronto, nevertheless, was a return home for MacMillan. (For the last 40 years of his life he lived in central Toronto, two miles from Massey Hall and a block from the public school he had attended.) At 15 he took his first appointment, as organist at Knox Presbyterian Church. Church records indicate that the appointment was considered exceptional. An improved instrument was in process of installation, and the annual stipend was increased. The young musician responded with strong leadership and aimed for high standards, not only in his playing but also in ancillary activities such as reading to the church youth group a paper on 'The Life and Works of Mendelssohn.'
He retained the post at Knox for two years, then spent a year in Edinburgh and London completing the work towards the FRCO and the extramural B MUS from Oxford University, both awarded in 1911 before his 18th birthday. Back in Toronto he studied modern history 1911-14 at the University of Toronto and served as organist-choirmaster at St Paul's Presbyterian Church in Hamilton, commuting each weekend from Toronto for rehearsals and services. Though not a music major (there was then no resident degree program in music at the university), he quickly related his musical and organizational experience to undergraduate life, playing the organ for convocations and other university functions, helping to form a musical club, and contributing to The University Hymn Book (Toronto 1912).
In later years MacMillan said he felt his musical education, which had emphasized mastering the organ before the piano, had been incorrect. The remark typified his frequent belittling of his own largely self-made achievements. Perhaps out of such self-critical feeling, he went to Paris in 1914 and began to study piano privately with Thérèse Chaigneau. A visitor at the Bayreuth Wagner Festival that summer (and thus in German territory at the outbreak of World War I), he was detained at Nuremberg for several months. During this period of uncertainty he composed almost the entire first version of his String Quartet in C Minor. He then became a prisoner of war at Ruhleben, a converted race-track near Berlin, for the remaining war years. (In the circumstances, and considering the excellent record of his three undergraduate years, Toronto in 1915 conferred on him a BA in absentia.) At Ruhleben he learned German and the basics of such crafts as bookbinding, and formed lasting friendships with, among others, the English composers Benjamin Dale and Quentin Maclean. MacMillan led the small camp orchestra in concerts and accompaniments for camp musicals (such standards as The Mikado and such originals as Don't Laugh), gaining what he later felt to be valuable technical experience as a conductor (a capacity in which, characteristically, he had no formal training). He also concentrated diligently on composition and, through the Prisoners-of-War Education Committee, submitted a setting of Swinburne's ode England as part of the requirements for his D MUS from Oxford University.
Returning to Canada early in 1919, MacMillan embarked on a lecture-recital tour of the west, his program usually consisting of a short organ recital and a talk on his experiences as a prisoner. Later that year he became organist-choirmaster at Timothy Eaton Memorial Church, Toronto (a position he was to hold until 1925), and 31 Dec 1919 he married Laura Elsie Keith. In 1920 he began teaching organ and piano at the Canadian Academy of Music. On the amalgamation of the academy with the TCM MacMillan retained his post, and in 1926 succeeded A.S. Vogt as principal. In 1927 he succeeded Vogt again, this time at the University of Toronto as dean of the Faculty of Music - virtually a titular position then, but one which was to assume greater importance during his lengthy tenure. As a TCM examiner and a festival adjudicator he made annual trips covering every region of Canada, thus giving personal stimulation to musical life in many small centres and directly encouraging more than a generation of Canadian students. Soon after his appointment to the conservatory, MacMillan formed the Conservatory Opera Company and 1928-30 led its performances of Hansel and Gretel, Hugh the Drover, and Dido and Aeneas. He also conducted an Opera Guild of Toronto performance of Lohengrin at Massey Hall 28 Feb 1939. In the 1930s he undertook the preparation of texts on sight-reading and ear-training, often collaborating with Boris Berlin. However, apart from some private teaching in the 1920s and some lecturing, such as the summer courses he gave on The Well-tempered Clavier in the 1940s (which developed no pupils but many disciples), MacMillan was an educator, an administrator, and a developer of systems and policies rather than a teacher. Thus, though innumerable young Canadians heard him lecture or met him as an examiner or in other ways felt his influence, that influence tended to be on groups rather than on individuals. There were some actual pupils, however, including the organists Charles Peaker and Frederick Silvester.
In 1922 at Sherbourne St United Church G.D. Atkinson led the first complete Toronto performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion. The following year MacMillan amalgamated his TCM choir and those of Richard Tattersall and Healey Willan (both of whom assisted in the preparation) and conducted the same work in the first of 30 annual performances under his baton (with the Toronto Conservatory Choir in the period 1933-42, and after that with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir).
MacMillan continued to compose new music and arrange old as required. Reviewing Folk Songs of French Canada by Edward Sapir and Marius Barbeau, he noted two melodies that especially attracted him, 'Notre Seigneur en pauvre' and 'À Saint-Malo.' At the request of J.M. Gibbon, he arranged these as Two Sketches for Strings for performance by the Hart House String Quartet at the 1927 Folksong and Handicraft Festival (CPR Festivals) in Quebec City. Thus originated his most frequently played work. An attractive sequel, Six Bergerettes du bas Canada for voices and small ensemble, was presented at the 1928 CPR Festival. MacMillan had met the ethnologist Marius Barbeau at the first festival, and with characteristic energy he set off with him that summer (1927) to hear, record, and notate music of the native peoples in the Nass River area of northern British Columbia. MacMillan's 70-odd transcriptions were published in The Tsimshian, Their Arts and Music (by V. Garfield, P. Wingert, and M. Barbeau, New York 1951). He also arranged some of the songs for concert use, as did Leo Smith following his example. In 1929 he completed the anthology A Book of Songs (published in Canada as A Canadian Song Book), widely used in Canadian schools in the 1930s and 1940s.
In 1924, at the invitation of Luigi von Kunits, MacMillan had conducted the TSO in his Overture, and in 1931, aware of the illness that was to take his life shortly afterwards, von Kunits suggested that MacMillan succeed him as conductor of the TSO. The nomination was accepted by the TSO's board in view of the leadership qualities MacMillan had displayed in so many spheres. Yet MacMillan never actually had led a professional orchestra, and his knowledge of orchestral literature, though extensive, had not been gained on the podium. Nevertheless his eagerness, energy, and enormous talent caught the orchestra at an appropriate moment of early growth. In his youth he had sensed this direction for his career, writing from Ruhleben, 'I can't play for nuts and I've never written anything worthwhile but I can conduct,' and in fact MacMillan fulfilled much of his own musical potential in this appointment.
In 1935 MacMillan was knighted by King George V for 'services to music in Canada.' The practice of granting Canadian titles had been discontinued in 1919, but was revived by the government of R.B. Bennett. The list for 1935 (the final year of such honours and the last of King George V's reign) included two figures in the arts, Charles G.D. Roberts in literature and MacMillan in music. The investiture was received from the governor general, Lord Bessborough, who was known to favour the award. A knighthood for a 42-year-old Canadian in the 20th century was regarded by some as anachronistic, and MacMillan's acceptance met with a certain amount of criticism. His own view, expressed in a candid chapter ('The knight has a thousand sighs') of his memoirs (manuscript), was that he had been obliged to accept, out of respect for the Canadian musical groups he had worked with and represented.
In 1936 a Vancouver music teacher, Marjorie Agnew, founded a series of appreciation groups for young people in British Columbia towns. Known as the Sir Ernest MacMillan Fine Arts Clubs, their aims foreshadowed those of the JMC (YMC) movement, with which MacMillan was associated closely later.
By the late 1930s MacMillan also gained fame as a conductor in the USA, appearing in such prominent series as the Hollywood Bowl concerts and with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, as well as with the NBC Symphony Orchestra and on the 'Ford Sunday Evening Hour.' In this period also MacMillan was engaged several times by the BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 1938 he sought a conducting position elsewhere but was persuaded to stay in Toronto. He actually tendered his resignation in 1939, withdrawing it only with the entry of Canada into World War II. That the TSO did not disband during the war period, as its forerunner did in World War I, was a tribute to its stability under MacMillan's leadership. Correspondence shows, however, that for many years he had refunded part of his annual conducting stipend to assist the TSO's solvency. Repeated efforts (in which MacMillan participated) to obtain a civic arts grant finally were rewarded in 1942.
In 1942 MacMillan was honoured by, but (owing to his Canadian obligations) did not accept, an invitation to succeed Donald Francis Tovey (d 1940) in the Reid Chair of Music at the University of Edinburgh. He resigned the principalship of the TCM but continued as dean of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto until 1952. Also in 1942 he succeeded Herbert A. Fricker as conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. With its well-established traditions and wide reputation the choir was in a more mature phase at his appointment than the TSO had been a decade earlier. Moreover, some participants and observers felt that choral conducting was the musical task which brought out MacMillan's gifts most fully. His annual presentations of the St Matthew Passion and Messiah had a robust grandeur reminiscent of the English choral style, with touches of dramatic fervour that were his own.
In early 1945 MacMillan filled conducting engagements in Australia and in 1946 he was invited to conduct concerts in Rio de Janeiro. Largely at his initiative the Canadian Music Council was established in 1946. MacMillan became chairman in 1947. He also served 1947-69 as president of CAPAC, one of his first projects being the organization of a special TSO concert of Canadian music. Though himself unproductive as a composer in later years, MacMillan showed by this venture and by conducting more premieres of Canadian music than anyone else in his time - as well as in talks and articles - his recognition of the central role of creative artists in a country's culture. Though resistant by taste and training to avant-garde trends, he was more liberal than might be supposed in his choice of repertoire.
Combining his improvisational fluency and his natural buoyancy and sense of fun, MacMillan made in the 1940s orchestral arrangements, medleys, and parodies for TSO performances on such occasions as the popular 'Christmas Box' benefit concerts. His interest in the piano had returned and, with Kathleen Parlow and Zara Nelsova (as the Canadian Trio, 1941-3), he participated in recitals, CBC broadcasts, and a performance (10 Nov 1942) of the Beethoven Triple Concerto with the TSO. He also performed the standard Lieder with Emmy Heim and Ernesto Vinci. In 1950 came a peak of his performing life, a week-long festival to celebrate the Bach bicentenary. MacMillan led the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in the St Matthew Passion, the Magnificat, and the Mass in B Minor and gave a lecture-recital devoted to Book 3 of the Clavierübung, which he performed in full from memory. It was a special act of devotion to music by the master he had loved above all others since boyhood.
The early 1950s brought the second and third controversies in which MacMillan became embroiled. The first, in 1936, had occurred when MacMillan, under instructions from the board, sought Healey Willan's resignation as vice-principal of the TCM for economic reasons, only to create a new position of 'executive assistant,' filled by Norman Wilks. The second, the 'Symphony Six' affair (1951-2), saw MacMillan stand aloof from the firing by the TSO board of six orchestra members who were unacceptable to US immigration authorities then sensitive to the McCarthy 'witch-hunts' rather than jeopardize the orchestra's first invitations to perform in the USA. The third followed the reorganization in 1952 of music teaching at the University of Toronto. MacMillan had sat for two years on the planning committee which, after its deliberations, recommended a full-time deanship, a position MacMillan could not accept. It was not offered, however, to the candidate he preferred, Ettore Mazzoleni, then the RCMT principal. Indeed, the reorganization went ahead with no decanal appointment, an action MacMillan said he regarded as quite unwise. The resulting clash between him and the University of Toronto administration made such headlines as the Globe and Mail's front-page 'Mac retires, Mazz resigns, as discord rocks the Royal Conservatory' (28 Apr 1952). Troubled and overworked, MacMillan took a previously planned extended leave in the fall of 1952, travelling in England, Scotland, and continental Europe.
On his return to Canada he embarked vigorously on new projects, recording Messiah and the St Matthew Passion with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, members of the TSO, and leading Canadian soloists for Beaver Records and editing an anthology of essays, Music in Canada. He resigned as conductor of the TSO at the end of his 25th season (1955-6). Although in effect an early retirement, he acknowledged it to be in both his own and the orchestra's best interests. Tribute was paid publicly to the great strides the TSO had made under his command. The orchestra had lengthened its season, increased its annual number of concerts about five-fold, attracted renowned instrumentalists to its ranks, branched out into recording and broadcasting, and altogether solidified its claim to status among major North American orchestras. It had introduced Canadian audiences to a new repertoire (sometimes over objections from board members and subscribers, with whom MacMillan had to deal diplomatically), including works by Bartók, Copland, Roy Harris, Holst, Nielsen, Sibelius, Walton, and others. MacMillan returned as guest conductor on a few occasions and also accepted engagements with the newly formed CBC Symphony Orchestra and other Canadian orchestras. In 1957 he relinquished the conductorship of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir. He immediately assumed another conducting role, with the various radio orchestras involved in the CBC Talent Festival. This took him again on regular travels throughout Canada and, as in the 1930s, gave him a direct and personal medium through which to encourage younger musicians. As a result of declining health and a serious eye operation he stopped this gruelling work in 1963 but appeared frequently in the mid-1960s as a commentator on CBC radio musical programs. His long radio experience had included a few seasons (1950-5) as a 'classical disc jockey' for CKEY, Toronto, and, of course, regular CBC network appearances with the TSO and Toronto Mendelssohn Choir.
In these later years, MacMillan became recognized as Canada's musical elder statesman. In addition to his role as a founder of the CMCouncil he served 1957-63 as a member of the first Canada Council, his advice being especially valued not only because of the strength of his experience and personality, but because he was one of the few active professional artists among the appointees. MacMillan also participated in the formation of the Canadian Music Centre and the JMC, and he was president of the former 1959-70 (succeeding Arnold Walter) and of the latter 1961-3. The experience and wisdom and the sheer energy he devoted to these various activities were recognized by new honours.
In the new home of the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music (the Edward Johnson Building, occupied 1962, opened officially 1964) the MacMillan Theatre was named after him. In 1963 the University of Toronto at its summer school inaugurated the MacMillan Lectures (later the CAPAC-MacMillan Lectures), and in 1964 MacMillan himself delivered the three public talks in this annual series, choosing as his topic 'The Canadian musical public.' He received the Canada Council Medal in 1964. On his 70th and 75th birthdays there were public tributes, special publications, and revivals of his works. His large-scale choral pieces England and the Te Deum were performed during this period, his String Quartet was recorded by the Amadeus Quartet, and his arrangements, such as the masterfully sonorous choral setting of the Canadian ballad 'Blanche comme la neige,' became widely known to a new generation of listeners. Also at this time he completed a major portion (14 chapters) of his memoirs, dealing with his career until the late 1940s. In 1970 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. He suffered a stroke in 1971, and his death followed a second stroke in 1973. In 1973 he was posthumously awarded the Canadian Music Council Medal, and the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and CAPAC established scholarships in his memory. A memorial tribute was held in Convocation Hall, University of Toronto, the high point of which was the singing by Lois Marshall (accompanied by an ensemble of TS players) of an aria from the St Matthew Passion.
MacMillan's papers and memorabilia are in the Music Division, National Library of Canada. His family founded the Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation in 1984. A Government of Canada plaque at Massey Hall, dedicated in 1989, commemorates 'a familiar figure to adults and school children alike,' who worked 'to promote music and musicians at all levels.' MacMillan's status as an associate composer is maintained at the CMCentre.
See also Keith Macmillan (his son).
Orchestra, Orchestra and Choir, Band
Overture 'Cinderella'. 1915. Med orch. Ms
Overture 'Don't Laugh'. 1915. Med orch. Ms
Overture. 1924. CMH vol 8. CBC SM-5068 (TS, Davis conductor)
Two Sketches for Strings 'based on French-Canadian Airs'. 1927. Str orch (string quartet). OUP 1928. CBC IS Canadian Album No. 2 (TSO)/RCI 238/CBC EXPO-15(Hart House O)/2-Col M2S-756/Col MS-6962/CBS 32-11-0038/(TSO, Ozawa conductor)/Centrediscs CMC-2887 (Vancouver Symphony Orchestra)/('À Saint-Malo') Dom S-3172/Dom LPS-21024/Citadel CT-6011 (Toronto Philharmonia O, Feldbrill conductor)/('À Saint-Malo') CTL S-5030 (Hart House Orchestra)/(string quartet) Victor 24004 (Hart House Str Quar)/RCI 236/DG 139-900 (Amadeus Quar)/(À Saint-Malo) Fanfare DFL-7008 (Orford String Quartet)
Overture 'Scotch Broth'. 1933. Med orch. Ms
God Save the King. Arr ca 1934. Full orch (SATB, orch or piano). FH 1957. (SATB, piano) 1960. Les Smith LSP-6302 (Ontario Dept of Education Music Summer School Choir)/(SATB, orch) 1976. Audat WRC-204 (Ontario Ministry of Education Summer School Choir and Orchestra)
A Song of Deliverance (Old 124th, Scottish Psalter 1650). Arr 1944. SATB, orch (organ). OUP 1945
Christmas Carols. Arr 1945. Full orch. Ms
Fantasy on Scottish Melodies. 1946. Full orch. Ms
Fanfare for a Festival. 1959. Brass, percussion. Ms
Fanfare for a Centennial. 1967. Brass, percussion. Ms
String Quartet in C Minor. 1914 (rev 1921). Ms. RCI 236/DG 139-900 (Amadeus Quar)
4 Fugues for string quartet. 1917. Ms
Two Carols. 1925. Sop, string trio. FH 1927
Six Bergerettes du bas Canada (traditional, transl Mrs H. Ross). Arr 1928. Sop, alto, tenor, 4 instr. OUP 1935. CBC SM-204 (Vancouver Chamb Group, Streatfeild conductor)
Three French Canadian Sea Songs (traditional). Arr 1930. Med voice, string quartet (orch). Ms
There Was an Old Woman (traditional nursery rhyme). 1946. Mezzo, string. Ms
In dulci jubilo. 1917. Org. Ms
Gavotte. Nd. Pf. FH 1931(?)
Cortège académique. 1953. Org. Novello 1957. Marquis ERA-109 (A. Davis)
D'où viens-tu bergère? Arr, no date. Pf 4 hands. GVT 1958
Choir and Voice
Magnificat in B flat. 1908. SATB, organ. Ms
Sleepy Time Songs No. 1. 1910. V, piano. Ms
Sleepy Time Songs No. 2. 1911. V, piano. Ms
'Du bist wie eine Blume' (H. Heine). 1913. V, piano. Ms
'O Mistress Mine' (Shakespeare). 1917. V, piano. Ms
Three Songs for High Baritone from 'The Countess Cathleen' (Yeats). 1917. V, piano. Ms
Songs from Sappho (B. Carman). 1920. V, piano. Ms
'I Heard a Voice from Heaven' (text from burial service). Ca 1925. SSAA. Ms
'Padded Footsteps' (A. Bourinot). 1925, V, piano. Ms
'That Holy Thing' (George McDonald). 1925. V, piano. Ms
'Recessional' (Kipling). 1928. SATB (voice), piano. Ms
'Sonnet' (E.B. Browning). 1928. V, piano. FH 1928
Three Indian Songs of the West Coast. 1928. V, piano. FH 1928. Centrediscs CMC-2185 (Vickers)
'Last Prayer' (C. Rossetti). 1929. V, piano. Boston 1929
'O Canada' (A. Routhier, transl J.W. Garvin). Arr, no date. SATB, orch (string orch or band or piano). WR 1930
'Hail to Toronto' (C.V. Pilcher). Ca 1934. SATB. GVT 1934
'The King Shall Rejoice in Thy Strength' (Bible, Yattendon Hymnal). Ca 1935. SATB, organ. FH 1935
Northland Songs, vol 2 (J.M. Gibbon). Arr 1938. V, piano. GVT 1938
Canada Calls/Debout Canadiens! (A. Plouffe). Nd. V, piano. GVT 1942
'Land of the Maple Leaf' (C.V. Pilcher). Ca 1943. SATB, piano. GVT 1943
Ballads of British Columbia (J.M. Gibbon). Arr 1947. V, piano. GVT 1947
4 arrs for TTBB: 'Au Cabaret/At the Inn,' 'Blanche comme la neige/White as Cometh the Snowflake,' 'C'est la belle Françoise/The Fair Françoise,' 'Dans tous les cantons/In All the Country Round'. All 1928. All Boston 1928. 'Blanche comme la neige' rev for SATB 1958, GVT 1968. RCI 339/CBC SM-105/RCA LSC 3154 (Tor Mendelssohn Choir)/CBC SM-19 (Festival Singers)/1979. 2-Audat WRC6-696 (University of Alberta Concert Choir)/SNE 502 (Ens Vocal Katimavik)
Also several sacred and secular vocal and instrumental works dating from 1904 (including an early opera, Snow White, 1907; others, including over 60 arrs of French-Canadian and Canadian Indian songs
Recording information for his compositions given in Selected Compositions, above; for recordings as performer, see also Discographies for Emmy Heim; Lois Marshall; Toronto Mendelssohn Choir; Toronto Symphony
- and Berlin, Boris. The Modern Piano Student (Oakville 1931)
On the Preparation of Ear Tests (Oakville 1938)
- and Willan, Healey. Graded Sight-reading Exercises for Piano, 2 vols (Oakville 1939)
- and Berlin, Boris. Twenty-One Lessons in Ear-Training (Oakville 1939)
- ed. A Canadian Song Book (Dent 1929, 1938, rev edn 1948; published in Britain as A Book of Songs, Dent 1929)
- ed. Music in Canada (Toronto 1955)
'Potted music,' Canadian Forum, vol 2, Jan 1922
'Tendencies in modern British music,' ibid, vol 3, Jul, Sep 1923
'Our musical public,' ibid, vol 4, Jul 1924
'A few aphorisms,' CQR, vol 7, Feb 1925
Review of Folk Songs of French Canada by Barbeau and Sapir, Canadian Forum, vol 6, Dec 1925
'The university and music,' University of Toronto Q, Mar 1926
'Music at the educational conference,' CQR, vol 8, Spring 1926
'The Folk Song Festival at Quebec... some impressions,' CQR, vol 9, Summer 1927
'The musical amateur,' Toronto Globe (special musical edition), 15 Sep 1927
'Some notes on Schubert,' The School, vol 16, Oct 1927
'The musical season in Toronto' Canadian Forum, vol 8, May 1928
'Hymns and hymn singing,' Diapason, 1 Oct 1929
'Choral and church music,' CQR, vol 9, Winter 1929
'Impressions of the Lausanne conference,' CQR, vol 14, Autumn 1931
'Organ accompaniments in church services,' CQR, vol 13, Winter, Spring 1931
'Musical relations between Canada and the U.S.A.,' Proceedings of the Music Teachers' National Association (1931)
'Those music exams!' Chatelaine, Nov 1933
'Three notable British composers,' CQR, vol 16, Aug 1934
'Problems of music in Canada,' Yearbook of the Arts in Canada, ed B. Brooker, vol 2 (Toronto 1936)
'Music in Canada,' RCO Calendar 1936-7
'Canadian musical life,' Canadian Geographical J, vol 19, Dec 1939
'The future of music in America,' Musical Facts (USA), Jan 1941
'Hitler and Wagnerism,' Queen's Q, vol 48, Summer 1941
'Musical composition in Canada,' Culture, vol 5, June 1942
'Music in wartime,' Music Bulletin, Oxford University Press no. 10, 15 Oct 1942
'We need music,' Chatelaine, Dec 1942
'Orchestral and choral music in Canada,' Proceedings of the Music Teachers' National Association (1946)
'Musical composition in Canada,' TSO News, vol 3, Apr 1947
'The outlook for Canadian music,' International Musician, Oct 1948
'Music in Canada,' Royal Commission Studies (Ottawa 1951)
'Music and the summer: why not Canadian festivals?' Saturday Night Magazine, 4 Oct 1952
'Festival report - Edinburgh's varied offerings,' Saturday Night Magazine, 18 Oct 1952
'After Edinburgh - home thoughts from abroad,' Saturday Night Magazine, 25 Oct 1952
'Musical composition in Canada,' NY Herald Tribune, Sep 1953
'Emmy Heim,' ConsB, Nov 1954
'Some problems of the Canadian composer,' Dalhousie R, vol 36, Spring 1956
'In music - progress?' Mount Allison Record, vol 39, Fall 1956
'The Canadian Music Council,' CMJ, vol 1, Autumn 1956
'Music in Canadian universities,' CMJ, vol 2, Spring 1958
'The organ was my first love,' CMJ, vol 3, Spring 1959
'What shall we do with a hundred million?' Crescendo, vol 2, Apr 1959
'The music is alive,' Saturday R, 24 Oct 1959
Review of Watkins Shaw's edn of Messiah, CMJ, vol 4, Winter 1960
'Healey Willan as I have known him,' American Organist, Aug 1960
'Elie Spivak as I knew him,' TSO News, Sep 1960
'Canada's voice - the Canadian Music Centre,' PfAC, vol 1, Mar 1961
'What is good music?' NY Herald Tribune Sunday Forum, 21 May 1961
'Marius Barbeau - his work,' Canadian Author & Bookman, vol 38, Winter 1962
'Rowland Pack,' TSO News, Jan 1964
'Canada,' La Musica, ed Gatti (Turin 1966)
'Healey Willan,' Diapason, Feb 1968
'Ettore Mazzoleni (1905-1968),' RCM Bulletin, Fall 1968
'Reminiscences of Marius Barbeau,' Mcan, 18, Apr 1969
'Music: concert performance,' Encyclopedia Canadiana
Also reviews published in Canadian Forum, University of Toronto Q, CMJ, and Canadian Author & Bookman
Author John Beckwith
'A new choral writer,' MT, 1 Sep 1920
Hamilton, H.C. 'Ernest Campbell MacMillan,' MCan, Oct 1928
Barbeau, Marius. 'The Thunder Bird of the mountains,' University of Toronto Q, vol 2, Oct 1932
Hollins, Alfred. A Blind Musician Looks Back: An Autobiography (Edinburgh, London 1936)
MacKelcan, F.R. 'Sir Ernest MacMillan,' Queen's Q, vol 43, Winter 1936-7
McStay, A. 'Prodigy's progress,' Maclean's, Oct 1940
Muir, Mary. 'Music - Sir Ernest MacMillan resigns Conservatory principalship,' University of Toronto Monthly, Oct 1942
'Sir Ernest and "Maple Leaf",' Saturday Night Magazine, 11 Jul 1950
Hannon, Leslie. 'The elegant enigma of Sir Ernest,' Mayfair, Feb 1953
'MacMillan, Sir Ernest Campbell,' Current Biography, vol 16, Mar 1955
McCready, Louise. Famous Musicians (Toronto 1957)
'A tribute to Sir Ernest MacMillan,' Music Across Canada (special issue), vol 1, Jul-Aug 1963
Ridout, G. 'Sir Ernest MacMillan: an appraisal,' CME, vol 6, Nov-Dec 1964
Ketchum, J.D. Ruhleben (Toronto 1965)
Winters, Kenneth. 'Sir Ernest at seventy-five,' Toronto Telegram, 10 Aug 1968
'A tribute to Sir Ernest MacMillan,' CBC Times, 23-9 Nov 1968
Kraglund, J. 'Sir Ernest's 75th: special musical celebration,' CanComp, 35, Dec 1968
Bryant, Giles. 'In practically every facet of the most spiritual of the arts we would be weaker in opportunity, tradition and environment, but for this man,' AGO and RCCO Music, vol 3, Feb 1969
'Sir Ernest MacMillan,' CanComp, 45, Dec 1969
'Sir Ernest MacMillan, 1893-1973,' CanComp (special issue), 82, Jul 1973
Beckwith, John. 'Sir Ernest MacMillan (1893-1973),' AGO and RCCO Music, Aug 1973
MacMillan, Keith. 'Unforgettable Sir Ernest MacMillan,' Reader's Digest, Feb 1978/'Mon chef d'orchestre préféré,' Sélection du Reader's Digest, Jun 1979
Smith, Whitney. 'Reassessing Sir Ernest MacMillan,' CanComp, 181, May 1983
MacMillan, Keith. 'Parallel tracks: Ernest MacMillan in the 1930s and 1940s,' Canadian Music in the 1930s and 1940s, ed Beverley Cavanagh, CanMus Handbooks 2 [Kingston, Ont 1987]
Schabas, Ezra. Sir Ernest MacMillan: The Importance of Being Canadian, 2nd ed (Toronto 1996)
Beckwith, John. 'Sir Ernest MacMillan,' Contemporary Canadian Composers
MacMillan Keith. 'Ernest MacMillan: the Ruhleben years,' Musical Canada
Links to Other Sites
Sir Ernest MacMillan
Library and Archives Canada online exhibit honouring Sir Ernest MacMillan. Includes his biography, audio clips, and song scores.
Sir Ernest MacMillan
A brief profile of Sir Ernest MacMillan from the Library and Archives Canada website.
Sir Ernest MacMillan recalls being a POW
In this CBC Radio interview, conductor Sir Ernest MacMillan recalls how he endured a lengthy stay in German internment camps during World War II.
MacMillan on Music: Essays on Music
See excerpts from a collection of essays and lectures that "ranges over the gamut of MacMillan's life and interests." From Google Books.