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Helmut Max Kallmann

b. Aug. 7, 1922, Berlin, Germany d. Feb 12, 2012, Ottawa


BA 1949 Music (Toronto)


1950-1962 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Toronto Music Library
1962-1970 Supervisor, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Toronto Music Library
1970-1987 Chief, Music Division, National Library of Canada


Kallmann, Helmut. (1950) “Canadian music as a field for research” in Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto Monthly Bulletin, March p 2.

Kallmann, Helmut ed. (1952, 1972) Catalogue of Canadian composers, edited by Helmut Kallmann. Revised and enlarged edition [Toronto] Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Also published in 1972 by Scholarly Press.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1956) “Music in Canada and the Canadian Music Council,” Canadian Library Association Bulletin vol. 12, no. 5, pp 178-80.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1956, 1957) “A century of musical periodicals in Canada” in the Canadian Music Journal, vol 1 (Autumn 1956) and (Winter 1957). pp 37-43, pp 25-30.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1958) “From the archives” in Canadian Music Journal, vol 2, no 4, Summer. pp 45-52.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1958) “Kanada” in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart(MGG). Band 7 Jensen-Kyrie. Kassel, Barenreiter-Verlag. pp 499-507.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1958) “The Percy Scholes Collection: nucleus for a National Music Library” in the Canadian Music Journal, 2, Spring. pp 43-45.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1959) “From the archives: organs and organ players in Canada” in Canadian Music Journal, vol 3, no 3, Spring. pp 41-47.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1960, 1969, 1987) A history of music in Canada 1534-1914. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Published as Canadian University Paperbacks 90 in 1969. Reprinted with list of amendments by University of Toronto Press in 1987.

Kallmann, Helmut. ed. (1964) Directory of degree graduates. Toronto, University of Toronto, Music Alumni Association.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1965, 1966) Canadian-built 19th century musical instruments: a checklist. Toronto, Music Library, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Second revised edition published by the Edmonton Public Library.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1965, 1966) “Music in Canada” in CBC Times, 15-21 May. pp 11-13; abridged reprint published as “Themes in Canadian history” in the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto Monthly Bulletin, Winter.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1966) “First fifteen years of Canadian League of Composers = La Ligue canadien des compositeurs: Quinze ans d'activité” in Le Compositeur canadien = Canadian Composer, 7, March = mars. pp 18-19.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1967) “Composition in Canada: 1867-1967” in the Toronto Telegram, special advertising section, 28 January.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1967) “Music in Canada, 1867, a long glance backward = Musique au Canada en 1867, un long regard vers le passé in Musicanada, 3, July-August. pp 5-6.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1969) “Historical background” in Aspects of music in Canada, edited by Arnold Walter. Toronto : University of Toronto Press. pp 26-61.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1969, 1970, 1971) “Music” in Canadian Annual Review 1968, Canadian Annual Review 1969, Canadian Annual Review 1970, edited by John T. Saywell. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. pp 464-478, pp 445-459, pp 552-564.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1971, 1978) “Beethoven and Canada: a miscellany” in the Canada Music Book = Les Cahiers canadiens de la musique, 2, Spring-Summer. pp 107-117. Later reprinted with minor revisions in the German-Canadian Yearbook = Deutschkanadisches Jahrbuch, vol 4. Toronto, Historical Society of Mecklenburg Upper Canada. pp 286-294.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1975) “Canadian musical publishing” in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada / Cahiers de la Société bibliographique du Canada. Toronto, Bibliographical Society of Canada. pp 40-48.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1976) “A national music collection = Une Collection musicale très accessible” in Musicanada, 30, November. pp 7, 12.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1979) “Le Fonds Claude Champagne à la Bibliothèque nationale du Canada” dans Compositeurs au Québec Claude Champagne. Montréal, Centre de musique canadienne au Québec, 1979. pp 34-35.

Kallmann, Helmut. ed. (1981, 1992, 2001) Encyclopedia of music in Canada, edited by Helmut Kallmann, Gilles Potvin, and Kenneth Winters. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. 2nd Edition 1992.

Kallmann, Helmut. éd . (1983, 1993, 2001) Encyclopédie de la musique au Canada, éditée par Helmut Kallmann, Gilles Potvin, et Kenneth Winters. Montréal, Fides. 2e édition.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1985) “The Canadian League of Composers in the 1950s: the heroic years” in Studies in Music from the University of Western Ontario, vol 9. London, University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Music, Department of Music History. pp 37-54.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1985) “Music history” in the Canadian Encyclopedia. Edmonton, Hurtig Publishers.pp 1183-1187. Second edition published 1988. pp 1415-1419. Also available on line at http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/music-history. Accessed February 23, 2012.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1985) “Music in Upper Canada” in The Shaping of Ontario: from exploration to Confederation. Belleville, Mika Publishing Company. pp 220-227.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1986) “Canada and the music of the Grand Siècle” in Musical Canada, 58, December.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1987) “The music collection of the National Library of Canada” in Fontes Artis Musicae, vol 34, no 4, October-December. pp 174-184

Kallmann, Helmut (1987) “Musique, histoire de la” dans l'Encyclopédie du Canada, tome 2. Montréal, Stanké. pp 1298-1302.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1988) Glenn Gould 1988 : exhibition held in Ottawa from April 14, 1988 to September 15, 1988 = exposition tenue à Ottawa du14 avril 1988 au 15 septembre 1988. Ottawa: National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada.

Kallmann, Helmut ed. (1990) Music for orchestra I = Musique pour orchestre I. Ottawa, Canadian Musical Heritage Society = Société pour le patrimoine musical canadien.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1994) “The making of a one-country encyclopedia” in Fontes Artis Musicae, vol 41, no 1, January-March. pp 3-19.

Kallmann, Helmut. ed. (1996-2004) Ex-Internees Newsletter, September 1996 - February 2004. 10 issues.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1997) “Historical background” in Music in Canada: a collection of essays / La Musique au Canada, volume 1, edited by Guido Bimberg. Kanada-Studien Band 25. Bochum, Universitatsverlag Dr. N. Brockmeyer, 1997; revised from Aspects of Music in Canada. Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1969.

Kallmann, Helmut. (1997) “Mapping Canada's music: a life's task” in Music in Canada: a collection of essays / La Musique au Canada, volume 1, edited by Guido Bimberg. Kanada-Studien Band 25. Bochum, Universitätsverlag Dr. N. Brockmeyer. pp 11-34.

Kallmann, Helmut. ed. (1998) Piano music lll: marches and dances = Musique pour piano lll: marches et danses. Ottawa, Canadian Musical Heritage Society = Société pour le patrimoine musical canadien.

Kallmann, Helmut. (2001) “The Matter of Identity” in Outlook, published in the July-August 2001.

Musical Canada : Words and Music Honouring Helmut Kallmann edited by John Beckwith and Frederick A. Hall and published in 1988 by the University of Toronto Press contains a complete list of Dr. Kallmann's publications from 1949 to 1987 (see “Writing” pp 315-324). He wrote many articles, reviews and record jacket notes that have not been included above. These appeared in publications such as the Canadian Encyclopedia, Canadian Association of Music Libraries Newsletter, Canadian Composer, Canadian Music Journal, Canadian Library Journal, Canadian Literature, Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Dictionary of Contemporary Music, Directory of Music Research Libraries, Encyclopedia Canadiana, Encyclopedia of Music in Canada,Harvard Dictionary of Music, Musicanada, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG), National Library News, The New Grove Dictionary, The New Grove,Dictionary of American Music and the University of Toronto Quarterly.


Bibliographical Society of Canada / Société bibliographique du Canada
Canadian Music Library Association (CMLA) later the Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (CAML), Co-founder, Chairman 1957-1958, 1967-1968, honorary member
Canadian Musical Heritage Society / Société pour le patrimoine musical canadien, Co-founder
Canadian League of Composers, Honorary historian
Canadian Music Council, Director 1970-71, vice-president 1971-76
International Association of Music Libraries, Canadian delegate to IAML from 1959 to 1971


“Born in Berlin in 1922, he was sent to England on the Kindertransport in 1939, but interned there and sent to Canada as an “enemy alien” when war broke out. He spent three years in a Canadian internment camp (1940-1943) and his entire family in Germany perished in the Holocaust.

He became a naturalized Canadian citizen in 1946 and began his studies at the University of Toronto. He soon recognized the scarcity of sources for the study of Canadian music and began to gather information which resulted in two pivotal publications. While at the CBC Toronto Music Library (1950-1970) he expanded and deepened its Catalogue of Canadian Composers (1952) and went on to publish A History of Music in Canada 1534-1914(1960) which remains even today a much-quoted basic reference. During this time he co-founded the Canadian Music Library Association in 1956 (now the Canadian Association of Music Libraries) and initiated collaboration with IAML. In fact, he began to contribute to RISM even before the association was founded, and became the Canadian delegate to IAML from 1959 to 1971. In 1970 he was appointed Chief of the newly-formed Music Division at the National Library of Canada, with responsibility for building a comprehensive research collection of musical Canadiana within a broadly-based international support collection, and where I had the good fortune to work under his direction until his retirement in 1987.

This is not the time nor the place to list all his accomplishments and subsequent honours, but I will just mention two lasting monuments, The Canadian Musical Heritage(25 vols.) and the Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (1981) / l'Encyclopédie de la musique au Canada (1983) which he co-edited with Kenneth Winters and Gilles Potvin. You may read his own article therein for more details on his life and works.” Posted by Maria Calderisi to CANMUS listserv February 12, 2012.


In an interview published in the National Library News(vol 20, no 2, February 1988) after his retirement, Dr. Kallmann was asked about some of the more notable items in the collection, a collection that was built largely under his direction to become Canada's largest library of Canadian music. He responded “Let's start with our sound recordings, which are not used nearly enough. Perhaps people think they are only for scholars. We do not encourage recreational listening but if someone, for example, remembers a Canada radio singer from the 1940s or a certain Canadian composer, we can check what we have and arrange an appointment. In addition, we have a special collection of 600 sound recordings of speeches by statesmen, monarchs and famous actors dating from roughly 1910 to 1950 which was donated by Dr André and Pearl Ross. There are also the valuable information files of Percy Scholes, the British lexicographer, who compiled the Oxford Companion to Music. They contain newspaper clippings, magazine articles, program notes and letters on several thousand musical subjects covering over forty years. We also have some very early Canadian music, a book of Catholic liturgical music published in 1800. We have between two-thirds and three-quarters of the music and music books (church music, song collections and instruction books) known to be published before Confederation. But our oldest objects, in fact, the oldest objects in the National Library, are two Chinese bells dating from the Han period (206 B.C. ““ AD.8). Our biggest single object is the Glenn Gould piano. He had six or seven but this is the one he fell in love with and which he used for more of his sound recordings than any other. We also have his famous low chair. I could mention many rare editions going back to the sixteenth century, or the complete works of many composers, a Beethoven manuscript written for a German-Canadian musician or the papers of several hundred Canadian musicians and musical societies. Among these are such distinguished names as Sir Ernest MacMillan, Claude Champagne and Arnold Walter, all deceased, and Istvan Anhalt, Murray Schafer and John Weinzweig among the living. The music materials range from manuscripts and correspondence to paintings, watercolours, inscribed batons, medals, trophies and one death mask.”


Member, Order of Canada 1986
Doctor of Laws University of Toronto 1971
Carleton University appointed him honorary adjunct professor 1975
Canadian Music Council Medal 1977
Association of Canadian Studies Award of Merit 1998
Canadian Association of Music Libraries named its distinguished service award for Dr. Kallmann in 2000
Canadian Music Council / Canadian League of Composers Friends of Canadian Music Award 2006


Adams, James. “Spirited from Nazi Germany as a teen, he became Canada's doctor of music” in the Globe and Mail, February 25, 2012. p S10.
Elliott, Robin. “Canadian music” in Queen's Quarterly, vol 96, Spring 1989.
Helmut Kallmann” in the Canadian Encyclopedia. Accessed February 24, 2012.
Helmut Kallmann” in the Lexikon verfolgter Musiker und Musikerinnennat Accessed March 12, 2012.
Keer, Dawn L. Helmut Kallmann [microform]: an account of his contribution to music librarianship and scholarship in Canada. Canadian theses = Thèses canadiennes. Thesis (M.L.I.S.)–University of Alberta, 1991. Ottawa : National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, 1992.
Keer, Dawn L. “Helmut Kallmann: pioneer Canadian music historian/librarian” in Readings in Canadian Library History 2 edited by Peter F. McNally. Ottawa, Canadian Library Association, 1996. pp 365-388.
“Music at the National Library; Dr. Kallmann reminisces about the Music Division” in National Library News, vol 20, no 2, February 1988. pp 1-5.
Musical Canada: Words and Music Honouring Helmut Kallmann edited by John Beckwith and Frederick A. Hall. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1988.
Page, Shelley. “Canada's first great music historian: Refugee from Nazi oppression spent time in internment camps” in Ottawa Citizen, March 4, 2012 p B5.
ELA biography compiled by Paul McCormick.

biographies/helmut-max-kallmann.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/29 01:01