Canada's contemporary music community is mourning the loss of composer, performer and broadcaster Larry Lake, who died on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in Toronto. He was 70 years old.


Larry Lake: Israfel

Anthology of Canadian Music

Radio Canada International (RCI ACM 37)

An accomplished musician with three degrees to his name, Lake abandoned doctoral studies in composition and musicology at the University of Toronto in 1972 to join the CBC as a music producer. He served as executive producer of MusicScopeThemes and Variations and Music Alive, but is probably best remembered for the three decades he spent with CBC Radio 2's Two New Hours, serving first as music consultant (from 1977) and later as host, from 1995 until 2007.

"Larry believed in the creative power of Canadian composers and musicians," says former CBC producer David Jaeger, a longtime colleague, collaborator and friend. "The fact that he was himself a gifted composer and musician, an incredibly articulate speaker and writer and a natural teacher made him particularly effective as an advocate for new music on air. His interviews with composers illuminated the thinking behind new compositions and helped listeners of all types to discover the purpose of all this new music."

"Larry also felt that it was necessary to put a human face on these new creations, and he worked hard to introduce radio listeners to all the people that were involved in bringing the art of contemporary music to life, especially as it was practised in Canada," continues Jaeger. "He allowed CBC Radio 2 listeners to discover the next generation of great Canadian composers as they emerged. He encouraged countless young, mid-career and even senior composers to realize their creative dreams. His life and work showed them it was possible."

Editor's note: Larry Lake was host of Two New Hours from 1995 to 2007, not 1985 to 2007 as previously published. We regret the error.

posted by Scott Tresham on Sep 19, 2013