Canadian violinist, conductor, teacher and pioneer in music education, Tom Rolston, was recently presented with The Orpheus Award, Music Alberta’s highest award, at the Alberta Music Conference. At a dinner held in his honour several guests thanked Tom publicly for his work at the University of Alberta, the Edmonton Symphony, the Society for Talent Education and the Banff Centre for the Arts.
SAA Board Chair Joanne Melvin thanked Tom on behalf of the SAA for his pioneering work in bringing Suzuki education to Canada nearly forty years ago. As a result of his efforts a number of Suzuki programs were started throughout western Canada with teachers he had brought from Japan; many of those programs are thriving today and teaching a new generation of Suzuki students. Tom also served a term as a member of SAA’s Honourary Board.
Tom and his wife Isobel are retired and living in Banff. Their daughter Shauna, who began her studies in Edmonton’s then fledgling Suzuki program, is a cellist and concert artist.