Maureen Forrester (1930-2010)

1995 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Classical Music)

With her magnificent contralto voice and her extraordinary intelligence in the reading of music, Maureen Forrester has presented her "holy art" to millions of appreciative listeners all over the world.

Her glorious interpretations of lieder have brought the most intricate works to the great stages of the world with the finest orchestras led by the greatest conductors. At the same time she has given her music to small towns and cities all over Canada, singing to rapt audiences with the accompaniment of a single piano. Unstinting in her enthusiasm and generosity, she has championed Canadian composers, premiering many new works and rarely failing to include a Canadian piece on her programme wherever she appeared. Her encouragement, with its strong practical edge and good humour, is a constant inspiration to young performers. Maureen Forrester is a passionate promoter of Canadian artists and cultural organizations.

She has served on the Board of Trustees of the National Arts Centre, as National President of Les Jeunesses musicales du Canada and as Chairman of the Canada Council. Companion of the Order of Canada and a member of the Juno Hall of Fame, she has received many awards including the 1995 Royal Bank Award and over thirty honorary doctorates from Canadian universities.