Eric Wild (conductor)
Eric Lees Wild
Photograph of conductor Eric Lees Wild taken in 1985
Eric Lees Wild
11 February 1910
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
|Died||29 April 1989 (aged 79)|
Osprey, Florida, United states
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Spouse(s)||Anna Linnea Hartz|
|Associated acts||BBC Symphony Orchestra|
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
CBC Winnipeg Orchestra
Royal Winnipeg Ballet
Eric Lees Wild (11 February 1910 – 29 April 1989) was a Canadian conductor, trumpeter, arranger, and composer. He was the youngest child of Isaac Ashton Wild (1871–1963) and Sarah Ann Wild (née Brooks) (1874–1971) who emigrated from Lancashire, England in 1901.
Life and career
Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Wild studied conducting and arranging at the University of Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Music in 1932. From 1933–36 he worked as an arranger for the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission in Toronto where he frequently collaborated with conductor Geoffrey Waddington. He toured to London as a member of Billy Bissett's Canadian Band in 1936–38. During that time, he also served as principal trumpeter and arranger for the BBC Symphony Orchestra 1936–39, and appeared with his own band on BBC Television.
Wild returned to Toronto in the autumn of 1939 to assume a conducting position with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He left that post in 1942 to become music director of the revue Meet the Navy where he remained through 1945. He then returned to CBC Toronto to conduct for the programs like the Wayne and Shuster Show and The Alan Young Show. From 1965–78 he was music director of the CBC Television program Hymn Sing which featured a choir that occasionally performed arrangements and original music by Wild.
From 1947–74 Wild was principal conductor of the CBC Winnipeg Orchestra with whom he conducted premieres of several works by Canadian composers. He notably recorded Calixa Lavallée's comic opera The Widow with the orchestra in 1967. He also served as the music director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet from 1955–62. He died in Osprey, Florida at the age of 79.