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Michael Phillip Parker

Michael Phillip Parker

Passed in: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Passed on: April 8th, 2017

Aged 69, of Middle Sackville, N.S., died of pancreatic cancer at the Victoria General Hospital on April 8, 2017. Michael was born Feb. 13, 1948 in Toronto and studied violin and viola at the Royal Conservatory of Music, in Banff and at Michigan State University. From 1972-1976 he was a founding member, performer and Executive Secretary with the contemporary music group Array (now Arraymusic) in Toronto. He graduated in 1972 with a MA in Classical Studies (Greek and Latin) from the University of Toronto, and completed a Ph.D. in Roman Studies from McMaster University in 1991.

In 1976, he moved to Newfoundland where he served as Principal Violist with the Newfoundland Symphony from 1976-77. In 1977 he joined the faculty of what became Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, in Corner Brook, where he was Professor of Classics and Historical Studies. He also taught courses in Music Appreciation and presented many musical events . In 2007, Michael retired from MUN and relocated to Halifax, teaching classics part-time at St. Mary's and Dalhousie, and the Seniors' College of Nova Scotia (SCANS), where his classes were popular. For many years, he shared his love of opera, in both Corner Brook (Grenfell) and Halifax (Dalhousie), through "Sunday Night at the Opera," a series of lively lectures with screenings of opera productions from his collection.

Michael's music has been performed throughout Canada, and in Amsterdam, London, Paris, Cairo, France and the United States, by such organizations as Victoria International Festival, Holland Festival, Toronto Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Minneapolis Symphony and Newfoundland Symphony. He won prizes in national and provincial competitions. Several of his works have been recorded on disc. A recording of his chamber music for clarinet, LYRE (1997), was nominated for an East Coast Music Award for Best Classical Album.

From 2012, he collaborated with composer Bob Bauer and pianist Barbara Pritchard on Musikon, a series devoted to new Canadian music. Musikon produced 10 concerts in conjunction with art installations at the Saint Mary's University Art Gallery.

In Newfoundland, Michael organized fundraisers to benefit AIDS victims. He enjoyed travel, especially to ancient Greek and Roman sites, motorcycling in his younger years, and figure skating. With help from Jan Grebneff, friend, fellow skating fan, and guardian angel during his last weeks in hospital, he was able to enjoy watching Canadian women make history at the 2017 World Skating Championships.

Predeceased by his parents, May and Fred Parker; survived by brother, Paul (Louise), Toronto; nephew, Robert; cat Morris, and a large circle of friends. Thank you to the Victoria General Palliative Care staff for care received at home and in hospital in Unit 7A. Celebrations of Michael's life will take place at a later date in Halifax, Corner Brook and Toronto. Condolences may be left at dartmouthfuneralhome.ca.

 
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