Lyell Gustin

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Lyell Gustin
Lyell Adams Raphael Gustin

(1895-05-31)May 31, 1895
DiedFebruary 7, 1988(1988-02-07) (aged 92)
OccupationPianist, music instructor

Lyell Gustin SOM was a pianist, teacher and adjudicator active in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan from 1920 to the mid-1980s.

Early life[edit]

Gustin was born on May 31, 1895 in Fitch Bay, Quebec. He was educated there and at Stanstead College, where in 1912 he graduated with the highest marks in Canada for music diploma examinations. That same year he moved with his family to Saskatoon, where he studied for four years with Blanche St. John-Baker, a pupil of Leopold Godowsky. During the next four years, he studied with Jeannette Durno (a Canadian-born pupil of Theodor Leschetizky) in Chicago, and with Madeley Richardson in New York City and London.[1]

Teaching career[edit]

Back problems prevented Gustin from becoming a concert pianist, so he became a piano instructor. Returning to Saskatoon in 1920, he established the Lyell Gustin Piano Studios, operated out of his house that was built the same year.[2] Gustin House was designated a municipal heritage property in 1989.[3]

Gustin served as an examiner for the Western Board of Music (now Conservatory Canada) and Toronto Conservatory and as a festival adjudicator. He was an executive member of the Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers' Association and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association.[2] In 1942 he was an originator of the Young Artist Competition, a concert tour to provide experience for young musicians, sponsored by the CFMTA.[4] Gustin was a lecturer at the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan. He also served as president of the CFMTA (1941-1946) and chaired the music committee (1952-1964) of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.[1]

Gustin held monthly recitals where his music students were exposed to other forms of art, such as painting and literature.[3][5] These were often done in partnership with his friend, painter Ernest Lindner.[6]

Gustin was the subject of two documentaries: A Man and his Music by CFQC television in 1975, and in 1976 by CBC Radio.[7]

Notable students[edit]


Gustin received several honours during his life, including:[7]


  1. ^ a b Mills, Isabelle M. (2007-09-23). "Lyell Gustin". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  2. ^ a b "About Lyell Gustin". Gustin House. Gustin/Trounce Heritage Committee Inc. Retrieved 2018-05-22.
  3. ^ a b "The Trounce House and The Gustin House". Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
  4. ^ "The CFMTA Young Artist Competition". Saskatchewan Registered Music Teachers' Association. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  5. ^ Keillor, Elaine (2008). Music in Canada: Capturing Landscape and Diversity. p. 207. ISBN 9780773533912.
  6. ^ "Music and Painting: the Unity of the Arts in the Lyell Gustin Piano Studios". Art Placement. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  7. ^ a b Mills, Isabelle M. (2006). "Gustin, Lyell (1895–1988)". Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Center, University of Regina. Archived from the original on 2017-06-15. Retrieved 2016-01-11.
  8. ^ "Honorary Degrees". University Archives & Special Collections. University of Saskatchewan Library. Retrieved 2016-01-14.
  9. ^ "Previous Recipients". Saskatchewan Order of Merit. Retrieved 2016-01-14.

Further reading[edit]

  • Brandhagen, W.L. 'One man conservatory,' PfAC, vol 4, Spring-Summer 1962
  • Leeper, Muriel. 'A challenging life of cultivating the prairies,' Music, Mar-Apr 1980 - The Gustin Influence (Saskatoon 1982)

External links[edit]