Torrington, Frederick Herbert



Organist and violinist, well-known in the United States and Canada; born at Dudley, Worcestershire, England. His education as an organist was obtained while he was apprenticed to James Fitzgerald at Kidderminster, who also taught him piano and harmony. In 1853 he became choirmaster and organist at St. Anne's Bewdley. From 1856 to 1868 he was organist of Great St. James' Church in Montreal, Canada, where he gave organ recitals and was also well known as a violin soloist. In 1868 he gave a concert on the great organ in Music Hall, Boston, and the following year, with a specially chosen orchestra, represented Canada at the Boston Peace Jubilee. He was appointed organist at King's Chapel, Boston, and during the time he held this position was solo organist at Music Hall and also solo organist at Henry Ward Beecher's Church in Brooklyn, besides playing first violin at the Handel and Haydn and Harvard Symphony concerts. He was teacher of piano in New England Conservatory of Music and conductor of about six choral societies. In 1873 he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he has since been choirmaster and organist at the Metropolitan Church and conductor of the Toronto Philharmonic Society. He arranged the first local musical festival in 1886 when four concerts were given. The works performed were Handel's Israel in Egypt, and Gounod's Mors et Vita. This festival was so successful that it resulted in the organization of the Torrington Orchestra, an excellent concert organization. Two years after this festival he founded the Toronto College of Music. He has written services, choruses, hymn-tunes and organmusic.