On June 7, Toronto’s Beth Tikvah Synagogue will host a special concert to honor the tenth Yahrzeit of Canadian composer Srul Irving Glick. Toronto’s Holy Blossom Temple already did the same on April 22, five days after his actual passing a decade ago.
Son of a cantor, Glick (1934-2002) grew up to be a composer of persuasive melodic charm under the guidance of teachers who included the French Jewish composer Darius Milhaud. Some of Glick’s works sound Gallic, such as his Debussy-influenced “Piano Concerto” and a “Sonata for Flute and Piano” which ranks in suavity beside the flute sonata by Milhaud’s friend Francis Poulenc. Glick’s “Suite hébraïque No. 6” is heartfelt without excess sentimentality. Such sensitively measured authenticity is doubtless what drew such distinguished visiting musicians as Pierre Boulez, Yo-Yo Ma and Hermann Scherchen to Glick’s Toronto home years ago.
Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, a fellow Torontan, took an even more sustained interest in Glick’s compositions, as did the Canadian tenor Jon Vickers, who recorded Glick’s songs. So why is Glick less than a household name outside Canada?