For more than 50 years the clarinetist Stanley
McCartney has delighted and moved audiences with his unique,
luminous serene sonority, dazzling virtuosity and musical sensitivity.
He was born in Vancouver on March 15, 1930, and first studied clarinet in Vancouver with Bernard Temoin. He continued his studies in New York in 1953 with Daniel Bonade and later in Cleveland with Robert Marcellus. As the principal clarinet of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra McCartney played under conductors Karel Ancerl, Andrew Davis, Igor Stravinsky, Erich Leinsdorf, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Sanderling and Zubin Mehta. He was also a guest with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell who invited McCartney to perform in the Cleveland orchestra recording of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloé. He was also the principal clarinet of the Canadian Opera from 1985 to 2010.
McCartney was a regular participant at the leading Canadian Stratford chamber music festivals for 10 years and appeared with Glenn Gould, Oscar Shumsky and Leonard Rose. He also performed frequently with renowned ensembles including the Orford, Aeolian, Purcell, Brunswick and St. Lawrence string quartets.
From 1960 to 1978 he was a member of the Toronto Woodwind Quintet.
For many years He taught at the University of Toronto and at the Banff School of Fine Arts.
Described by The New York Times as an "absolutely
first-rate group", the legendary Orford String Quartet,
a jewel in the history of Canadian classical music, is regarded
as "one of Canada's national treasures", and one of
the finest international string quartets of all time.
Since its inception in 1965, the Orford String Quartet was noted for its probing interpretations. The Quartet regularly performed in the main concert series of the world's major musical capitals to consistent public and critical acclaim, touring annually in Western and Eastern Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America and Australia.
The Orford String Quartet adopted its name from the Orford Arts Centre of Jennesses Musicales at Mount Orford in Québec, where the founding members Andrew Dawes, Kenneth Perkins, Terence Helmer and Marcel St-Cyr met in 1965. In 1968, they were named Quartet in Residence at the University of Toronto.
Throughout the world, the Orford's performances were acclaimed for theie perfect, seamless ensemble and passionate intensity in a broad repertoire of over 150 works ranging from the classical to contemporary composers.