Malcolm Tait | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Malcolm Tait

Years of residency: 1967-1968

Portrait of Malcolm Tait


Malcolm is a cellist and teacher, was born in Vancouver on Jan 21, 1931. He studied cello in Vancouver with Mildred Johnston (1936-44) and Dezsö Mahalek (1944-8) and began playing professionally at 17. After further study in 1953 with Pierre Fournier in Paris, he returned to Canada and served as principal cello of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra between 1954-7 and as a member of the de Rimanoczy Quartet (known 1956-7 as the CBC Quartet) between 1955-7. He was principal cello of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1957-67) and the Stratford Festival orchestra (1960-9) and has performed with several orchestras across Canada. He taught 1960-6 at the RCMT and in 1967 was the first cellist appointed as artist-in-residence to a Canadian University, the University of New Brunswick. Malcolm was on the faculty at Brandon University 1968-84, after which he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Western Ontario.

Malcolm Tait (right) playing with two other resident musicians (Joseph and Arlene Pach) in Memorial Hall, 1968. Courtesy of UNB Archives, UA RG 340, 7261a

Malcolm performed with the Brandon University Trio, as solo recitalist, and, on occasion, as a member of the Cassenti Players for that group's 1974-5 national tour. During the 1980's he played with the Festival Trio of Canada, the University of Alberta String Quartet, and the Hart Piano Quartet (of which he was a founding member in 1985), He has given many solo recitals and master classes both in Canada and also in the USA, Europe, China and Japan. Malcolm is both an examiner and an adjudicator, and also performs regularly with the University of Western Ontario Orchestra and Quartet. Many of his pupils perform in orchestras throughout Canada.

Residency at UNB

Malcolm was the resident musician at UNB for a year during 1967-68. He was the first resident cellist ever appointed at a Canadian university. Before coming to UNB, he was the principal cello of Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 10 year. During his one year of residency, he and the other two resident musicians - Joseph and Arlene Nimmons Pach - had given recitals as a piano trio as well as work shops. They also worked together on organizing the 3rd Annual UNB Summer Chamber Music Festival.

Listen to Malcolm Tait

Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor, Op.49.
Performed with Joseph and Arlene Nimmons Pach at Memorial Hall, 1968

Information presented above mainly based on Malcolm's page on The Canadian Encyclopedia and collections from UNB Archives. Recording provided by Laurie Pach, daughter of Joseph and Arlene Nimmons Pach.
Last Updated: June 20, 2018 by Yiyang Shi