KEN­NETH SOUTAR MUR­PHY

The Globe and Mail (Prairie Edition) - - BIRTH AND DEATH NOTICES -

Ken Mur­phy passed away at the Elis­a­beth Bruyère Hospi­tal in Ot­tawa on Septem­ber 27, 2018, at age 88. He is sur­vived by his wife, Weida (Wil­lows); his daugh­ters, An­drea and her part­ner Ian Reid of Ot­tawa; Ju­lia and her son Alexan­der of New West­min­ster, BC; and Kathy and her part­ner Vinod Pa­tel of Toronto; his sis­ter, Mae Bod­ley of Win­nipeg; and his many nieces and neph­ews. He was pre­de­ceased by his Scot­tish im­mi­grant par­ents, Robert S. Mur­phy and An­nie (Laird), as well as by his older brother, Roy. Born in 1930 in Win­nipeg, Ken at­tended Daniel McIn­tyre Col­le­giate and then United Col­lege (now part of the Uni­ver­sity of Win­nipeg) (B.A. 1951). He stud­ied cello with Peg­gie Samp­son and at the Pe­abody Con­ser­va­tory in Bal­ti­more. He started his ca­reer in jour­nal­ism in 1951 at the Win­nipeg Free Press as a law courts re­porter and mu­sic ed­i­tor. Fol­low­ing this, he was the ed­i­tor of the prairie edi­tion of the CBC Times. Ken and Weida mar­ried in 1955. Ken was a cel­list in the Win­nipeg Sym­phony and CBC Win­nipeg or­ches­tras. He also per­formed in cham­ber mu­sic en­sem­bles at the Uni­ver­sity of Man­i­toba. Ken re­counted that be­ing both a jour­nal­ist and a mu­si­cian meant that “some­times af­ter a con­cert, I would go to the po­lice desk, still wear­ing my tuxedo.” In 1960 Ken, Weida, and baby An­drea moved to Mon­treal, where Ken worked as a writer, pub­li­cist, and ra­dio pro­ducer for English-lan­guage CBC. Ju­lia was born in Mon­treal in 1961 and Kathy in 1964. Ken was pre­sented with an ex­tra­or­di­nary op­por­tu­nity in 1967: a po­si­tion in pub­lic re­la­tions at the Na­tional Arts Cen­tre in Ot­tawa, still un­der con­struc­tion at the time. He went on to con­trib­ute to the creation of the NAC Orches­tra and be­came its man­ager, and later Mu­sic Ad­min­is­tra­tor of the NAC. The orches­tra quickly gained an in­ter­na­tional rep­u­ta­tion and toured North Amer­ica, Europe, and the Soviet Union. De­spite the chal­lenges of co­or­di­nat­ing travel for an orches­tra, Ken was fas­ci­nated by Europe. Later in life, fur­ther travel in Europe (es­pe­cially Paris) with fam­ily and friends was one of Ken’s great joys. A sec­ond ex­tra­or­di­nary op­por­tu­nity came in 1979 when Ken be­came as­sis­tant direc­tor of the mu­sic pro­gram at Banff Cen­tre for the Arts. He be­lieved deeply in the po­ten­tial of young artists and worked tire­lessly to sup­port them in his var­i­ous roles at Banff Cen­tre. He bril­liantly con­ceived of and ran the Banff In­ter­na­tional String Quar­tet Com­pe­ti­tion, which quickly be­came rec­og­nized as among the finest events of its kind in the world. The 13th BISQC will be held next Au­gust. In the words of a col­league, “his com­bi­na­tion of vi­sion and tenac­ity helped launch the ca­reers of many while also build­ing an im­por­tant fan base of com­mit­ted clas­si­cal mu­sic lovers.” Be­fore his re­tire­ment in 1996 Ken and Weida built a home in Can­more, Al­berta. They be­came ac­tive mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and en­joyed the beauty of the Rock­ies with friends and fam­ily, in­clud­ing Ken’s beloved grand­son Alexan­der, born in Cal­gary in 1999. In 2014 they re­turned to Ot­tawa. His fam­ily will re­mem­ber Ken for his many and eclec­tic en­thu­si­asms, his great ap­pre­ci­a­tion and en­cy­clo­pe­dic knowl­edge of lan­guage, po­etry, and mu­sic, and his love for all of us. We would like to thank Dr. So­hil Rang­wala, the staff of Bruyère Hospi­tal, and the health care staff who pro­vided such won­der­ful sup­port to Ken at home. A fam­ily memo­rial was held in Gatineau Park on Oc­to­ber 3. Con­do­lences may be left at https://first­memo­ri­al­fairview.com/

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