Canadian organist, director and composer Patrick Wedd has died at the age of 71. Much of Wedd’s musical career was focused around the Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal, where he spent more than 20 years as music director. In this role, Wedd established a programme which incorporated music from the Renaissance right up until the present day. Aside from his work in Montreal, Wedd’s endeavours encompassed many areas of the Canadian music scene; these included regular appearances as host and commentator on Canada’s CBC Radio. Wedd was also a key contributor to a new hymnbook, which, in 1988, became the Anglican Church’s official hymnal in Canada.
Born in Simcoe, Ontario, Wedd started his career as an organist and choir conductor at the age of 12. He went on to study at the University of Toronto and, upon graduating, became musical director at Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral. Moving his services over to Montreal, Wedd became artistic director of the Tudor Singers, who were regarded as the city’s leading choral ensemble.
Wedd’s recordings include ‘Strike up the Band!’, a series of showpieces performed on the Grand Wurlitzer organ of Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre, as well as concertos of Poulenc and Jongen with the Calgary Symphony Orchestra. In 2005 he released an album of solo organ works by fellow Canadian composer Healey Willan for Naxos.
Wedd often worked with young musicians, both as artistic director of the Montreal Boys’ Choir and, for three years, as leader of the choral programme at the musical faculty of the University of Montreal.