Clive Titmuss came to Canada from London, England and grew up in Calgary, where he first studied the guitar at the Calgary Conservatory. During his time in high school, he became interested in music written before 1750, and particularly in the music of Bach. He went to the University of Calgary as a music history and guitar student. He later studied the lute and related subjects in California, England and finally at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland, a student of Eugen Mueller-Dombois and Hopkinson Smith, two of the most influential musicians in reviving the technique and music of the lute. Titmuss spent two years at the Schola with grants from the Canada Council and Alberta Culture.
He helped to found both the Calgary Classical Guitar Society, and the Calgary Early Music Society, both still in operation. As the solo lutenist for the Renaissance Singers under Anthony Petti, he played the challenging works of Elizabethan master lute composers–Dowland, Byrd and others–to audiences of well over 600 in more than twenty performances. Later, while living in White Rock, he co-founded and became Artistic Director and Programmer for the White Rock Festival of Strings, which sponsored public concerts during the summer for more than a decade.
Based on those experiences, he co-founded the non-profit society of friends of the Early Music Studio in Surrey, B.C. in 1987, and has performed in hundreds of recitals of lute and early guitar music. After returning from Europe and seeing the instrument collection in Paris and Nuremburg, he began to study lutherie, and to date has constructed about 150 lutes, early guitars, baroque guitars, vihuelas and theorboes. He frequently performs using instruments he has built, and actively researches and performs from the attendant manuscript and printed sources for these instruments. Much of his research and edited transcriptions are available to the public through the internet. He has delivered lecture recitals on lute and guitar iconography of the 17th and 18th Centuries and what it reveals about the music, in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Cranbrook, Nelson and at the Victoria Conservatory.
Beginning with his first recording, an anthology of instruments in his collection, in 1987, he has produced four notable collections of solo instrumental music: an album of lute music from Germany in the 1740’s, Twilight of the Lute, including works by Weiss and Bach played on three lutes; a collection of suites by 17th century Silesian lutenist Esias Reusner, and a compendium of music for the 16th century early guitar/lute hybrid from Spain, entitled The Vihuela Collection. These albums are in high rotation on internet radio, streaming all over the world. Constancy Rewarded, is a highly successful collection of music recorded with Susan Adams, surveys music from the 18th and 19th Centuries for lute and harpsichord, guitar and early piano. That recording includes an example of his skill as a composer in a piece called Tombeau for Glenn Gould, continuing in the tradition of lute pieces written in lamentation of the death of prominent musical figures. This piece won wide acclaim, airplay and comment on CBC Radio 1 and 2.
In addition to his work as a performer, editor and luthier, he maintains a teaching practice that is extended in time and space through the internet. He is a much-read columnist on the Classical Guitar Canada Online e-magazine, where he has produced extensively documented and illustrated articles dealing with the misconceptions about Bach’s lute music and the importance of the vihuela and the baroque guitar. This repertoire is widely studied in the classical guitar community worldwide. He is in contact with numerous correspondents, spreading his deep knowledge about early plucked instruments and their music. The sharing of his work and insight, rendered as a service to the musical community without charge, has made him an international figure in the early music community worldwide.
Since moving to Kelowna in 2001 he has masterminded, publicized and executed a continual slate of early music concerts aimed at the long-term cultivation of the audience. Beginning with concerts devoted to French composers of the court of the Bourbons and Music From Vienna and Paris in the late 18th century, first at St. Andrews in the Mission, then moving to seven major productions at the Kelowna Art Gallery. Among those: concerts of music for Six course guitar, entitled Fandango; a survey of music for keyboard and lute by William Byrd with guest artist Alan Rinehart, entitled A Little Byrd Told Me; and a very successful tour of BC and an Art Gallery concert of music for two early guitars and vihuelas, again with Alan, entitled The Two- Man Guitar Festival.
Most recently there have been four memorable, well-attended events at Bottega Farm Inn in Kelowna. The programs are carefully selected to appeal to the widest possible audience, and from a relatively small group, interest in the forms and style of music has grown almost to the point of filling the hall, beginning with a production entitled Music from the Royal Courts of Europe, playing music by the Couperins, Bach and Weiss. The recent Bach’s Birthday, Lute for Christmas and Mozart in the Afternoon performances have evolved in format compared to the traditional concert. They include fund-raising, exhibition of visual arts, and the participation of volunteers, sometimes in period costume, who make the event social, as well and musical. The intent is to engage the audience by speaking about the interpretive process, and by writing exemplary programme notes and press releases, to increase public awareness of music and the musician’s role in society, both then and now. There are plans to augment the performances with even more social components and the addition of more guest artists, as the growing interest in early music spreads through the city—and using the power of new media—to students and music-lovers in the entire Okanagan Valley.
In my opinion: Clive Titmuss writes about his recent experiences as an artist in the Okanagan city of Kelowna:
One great challenge which is being undertaken by the Society of Friends of Early Music in Kelowna, formed by Titmuss and Adams to sponsor their work, is cracking the problem of funding. After receiving a substantial award from the committees of the City of Kelowna and the Central Okanagan Foundation amounting to $5,800, we have experience problems with getting a longer term commitment from the city. We have been refused funding for two years now, and expecting a third shortly for the 2015 season. The feeling among the directors is that the city thinks that the Society is too small to warrant support, and that it is reluctant to continue after its initial positive response. The Central Okanagan Foundation, which has been generous in its support, considers arts groups eligible for support for two years, after that there is a five-year hiatus, but they have announced plans for three-year funding with a competitive application, committee approval system. We are effective communicators and performers, have be punctilious in our finances and the affairs of the Society, but we have not yet been able to achieve a sufficient level of credibility among the people who make the decisions.
At the annual general meeting of the Society, the question of City of Kelowna support was discussed, and the minutes record:
“Important to note that the Society made money from the two concerts held in the year; that [the] artists continue to subsidize the arts especially in the absence of a City of Kelowna grant. That grant was briefly discussed; it was felt by attendees that the Society continues to be “penalized” for being small, even though audiences grow steadily from year to year; and because the art form lacks some of the popular appeal of art forms more apparent in electronic media.”
Municipal Support for the Arts: What do I get to read if I search “per capita support for the arts in kelowna”: Among other interesting reads:
The Globe and Mail, January, 2012:
A study of municipal investment in culture in five major Canadian cities indicates that Toronto, our largest metropolis, is faltering in efforts to increase per capita funding while the others – Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary – demonstrate a more robust commitment to the arts.
Prepared by Hamilton-based Hill Strategies Research in association with the five municipalities, the report, released this week, compares data gathered between 2006 and 2009. Toronto’s civic government spent $19 per person on culture in 2009, a 12 per cent increase from 2006, whereas Montreal’s tally was $55, up 34 per cent from 2006, and Calgary’s $42, a 55 per cent increase.
Indeed, per capita-wise, Toronto ranked last in 2008 and 2009 among the five cities surveyed and third, behind Montreal and Vancouver, in 2006 and 2007.
October 26, 2001
The Okanagan Cultural Corridor Project
c/o Okanagan University College, Room A271
3333 College Way, Kelowna, B.C. V1V 1V7
“As for civic financial support for the arts, apart from the City’s line-item appropriation for the Kelowna Art Gallery, grant monies disbursed through the City’s arms-length funding agency, the Kelowna Arts Foundation, equaled $75,000, or less money than the City expended on the janitorial contract at Memorial Arena. In truth, the arts in Kelowna were not really considered to be a public good. One senior councillor summed up his position on the arts succinctly: “government should not be involved in funding people’s hobbies”
So, to project Kelowna’s cultural tourism potential, we first compared Stats Can’s national tourism data with local data collected by the Kelowna Visitors and Convention Bureau. In so doing, we found that Kelowna was fully 16 percent beneath the national average for the percentage of trips in Canada which include cultural activity. The national average for the percentage of trips by Canadians, by Americans, and by international visitors which include cultural activity – visiting a museum or art gallery, attending an arts event, attending a festival or a fair, visiting an historic site or other heritage attraction – is 19 percent. In Kelowna, we were at three percent. I wouldn’t have expected it to be otherwise. Kelowna had never developed and marketed its cultural attractions. But if the city were to do so, and if it were simply to achieve the national average for the percentage of trips which include cultural activity, then, based on visitation and spending data compiled by the Visitors and Convention Bureau, Kelowna would enjoy another 270,000 tourists annually, and another $40 million in annual tourist spending.”
Vital Sign: Community Foundation Report 2013 a report commissioned by the Central Okanagan Foundation
<<$21.61 PER CAPITA In 2013, the total annual direct investment for Arts, Culture and Heritage by the City of Kelowna was $2,535,538 (not including library funding or capital budget expenses). equals $21.62 per capita, an increase from 2011 per capita spending of $18.>>
Capital News: A new report by Bernard Momer, associate professor of geography at UBC Okanagan, has found that Kelowna residents value and support cultural opportunities in the city.
The report, entitled Our City, Ourselves, provides valuable insight into Kelowna’s cultural status by using cultural indicators to measure progress and change.
“Our research looked at a variety of cultural indicators such as infrastructure, spending habits and the variety of cultural activities in Kelowna,” said Momer.
“We found that 64 per cent of residents believe that arts and cultural pursuits are important to the quality of life in Kelowna and, on average, Kelowna residents spend more than the provincial average on cultural pursuits.”
According to the study, Kelowna citizens spend $1,066 per year on culture activities. The study also notes that the City of Kelowna provides more than $18 per capita annually to stimulate cultural pursuits and activities in the area.
Kelowna is among the first B.C. communities to undertake a full assessment of the cultural landscape.
“We’re pleased to have this level of research available to us, as it will allow us to track progress on the cultural development goals we set for ourselves, now and in the future,” said City of Kelowna cultural services manager Sandra Kochan.
“It’s encouraging to see the community’s response to culture and the levels of support for the idea of culture as one of the dimensions of community quality of life.”
To view a copy of the report, click or copy and paste the following URL: