CANADIAN ARTS IMPRESARIO WALTER HOMBURGER HAS DIED AT AGE 95

As managing director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 25 years, Homburger fostered the careers of acclaimed artists including Glenn Gould.

Walter Homburger receives the Performing Arts Award at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on April 30, 2010. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

TORONTO — Canada’s arts community is mourning the death of impresario Walter Homburger.

An obituary on the Mount Pleasant Funeral Centre’s website says Homburger died Thursday at Sunnybrook Veteran’s Centre in Toronto.

He was 95.

As managing director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 25 years, Homburger fostered the careers of acclaimed artists including Glenn Gould.

He also presented esteemed international artists, including Louis Armstrong, and took the company on tours to such far-flung locales as China in 1978.

In a tribute to Homburger on its website, the TSO describes him as “one of the most revered artistic administrators in Canadian musical history.”

“Walter represented a rare mix in one man: He was a brilliant impresario, a strategic leader, and a kind inspiration to all who knew him,” TSO chief executive officer Matthew Loden said in a statement.

“This is a huge loss for the TSO family and for all those fortunate enough to have worked with him, but we are comforted in knowing Walter’s legacy survives in our collective memories and in the music we make every day.”

Homburger was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1984 and received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for lifetime artistic achievement in 2010.

The National Arts Centre in Ottawa tweeted Monday that its flag is at half-mast in honour of Homburger, who “was a driving force in the development of orchestras and classical music in Canada.”

Homburger’s obituary says a private cremation will take place and a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

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