IN MEMORIAM | Orval Ries, Former Conductor Of East York Symphony Orchestra, Has Died at Age 86

L-R (clockwise): the late conductor Orval Rieu (Photo courtesy of the family); Oboe (Photo: Mic JohnsonLP/CC by 2.0 Deed); the York Symphony Orchestra today, with conductor Denis Mastromonaco (Photo courtesy of YSO)
L-R (clockwise): Orval Rieu (Picture courtesy of the Ries household); Oboe (Picture: Mic JohnsonLP/CC by 2.0 Deed); the York Symphony Orchestra at present, with conductor Denis Mastromonaco (Picture courtesy of YSO)

Conductor and musician Orval Ries, previously of Toronto, handed away on March 30, 2024. Ries was an oboist, vocalist, and instructor, and conductor.

After his retirement, Ries relocated to Ridgetown in Western Ontario.

Orval Ries, a life in music

Orval Ries was born in Toronto, and commenced his musical research as a vocalist. He made the swap to the oboe, and was the recipient of the Girls’s Musical Membership of Toronto Mary Osler Boyd Award for 1958/59. He graduated from the College of Toronto with a Bachelor’s diploma, and carried out as a soloist and orchestral musician.

In 1959, straight after commencement, he went on to show winds and percussion at North Toronto Collegiate Institute, from which he’d graduated just some years prior. He led the senior and junior bands to Kiwanis Competition wins, and the varsity orchestra to different provincial wins throughout his tenure. In 1961, he left his instructing place for Europe, the place he studied and carried out in London and Paris.

On his return to Canada, he settled in Toronto, and commenced to discover conducting on the College of Toronto, in addition to persevering with to carry out and educate. As a vocalist, he carried out with the Canadian Opera Firm and the Competition Singers of Canada.

Orval Ries served as resident conductor of the East York Symphony for a number of years in the course of the Seventies. The East York Symphony Orchestra was first established because the Bennington Heights Group Orchestra in 1953. The title change to the East York Group Orchestra took place in 1965, the East York Symphony Orchestra in 1967.

Alongside along with his personal performing and instructing profession, Orval was an enthusiastic collector of symphonic recordings.

Might he relaxation in peace.

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