We can thank Greta Kraus for the strength of the classical music community in Toronto today.
Arriving to Toronto in 1939, Greta Kraus went on to form the Toronto Baroque Ensemble and the Aitken-Kraus Duo with flutist Robert Aitken. She taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music from 1943-69 and at the Faculty of Music from 1963 until near her death in March 1998. Known as an outstanding and influential performer, teacher and accompanist, she also coached singers ranging from Teresa Stratas to Russell Braun.
“At 3:00 p.m. on 8 May 1998, a congregation of approximately three hundred individuals assembled in Walter Hall at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto, to pay tribute to one of Canada’s preeminent musicians and teachers, the harpsichordist and pianist Greta Kraus (b. Vienna, 3 August 1907; d. Toronto, 30 March 1998). It was a wonderful event, both sad but at the same time exhilarating as a celebration of her rich life. There were tapes of Greta playing and speaking, tributes by former students and colleagues, and live performances by some of those whom she had coached. The outpouring of love and respect for this special person was enormous, one of those extraordinary events those of us fortunate enough to attend will remember for a long time.”