The Yonge Street Arcade where in January 1899 in the private music studio of Mary Hewitt Smart the Women's Musical Club of Toronto was founded.
Mary Henderson Flett Dickson was the first and longest-serving president of the WMCT. She held office in split terms - 1899 to 1904; then 1914 to 1918.
Anna Farini, 1907- 08 President of the WMCT, was an impressive pianist, composer and essayist. She was an elegant, cultured woman who, unlike most executive members of the WMCT who were married to influential, monied men, Madame Farini was married to a tightrope walker.
Celebrated British pianist Dame Myra Hess on her first North American tour played in a 1923 WMCT Silver Anniversary Concert at the Assembly Hall of the King Edward Hotel.
The WMCT brought the acclaimed Hungarian violinist Joseph Szigeti to Toronto for his Canadian debut. “Szigeti has an art that appeals to the more fastidious audiences, to those with a taste for classical purity of style and aloof musicianship,” claimed a review of the 1926 concert.
Boris Hambourg was a Russian cellist who made his career in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Becoming a Canadian citizen in 1910 and settling in Toronto, he became the Director of the Hambourg Conservatory of Music and a member of the Hambourg String Quartet.
Claire Dux was a Polish soprano who performed in the 1929-30 season. She studied in Berlin, made her début at the Berlin Royal Opera, and became famous throughout Europe and the United States. Her voice was a lyric soprano of remarkable purity with a firm technique and exquisite pianissimo.
The French mezzo soprano Madeleine Grey was heard for the first time in Canada in a 1931 WMCT recital of folk songs and modern French music. Maurice Ravel wrote, “She is one of the most remarkable interpreters: an attractive voice, fairly powerful, and very clear. And, very notably, perfect diction. Thanks to her, people have heard Shéhérazade as something other than a symphonic poem..”
Poldi Mildner was an Austrian pianist with a light and lively technique who performed in 1934.
Angna Enters was an American writer, painter and dancer who, after studying with the Japanese mime artist Michio in the 1920's, developed her own form of dance-mime. She gave three performances of her Episodes for jammed audiences at Hart House Theatre. She had rave reviews and the Telegram called her the supreme artist and “everything she does is beyond praise." She performed in this special WMCT event on April 9 and 10, 1930.
Harry Adaskin and his wife Frances Marr Adaskin were a very successful musical duo. Their 1933 WMCT violin and piano concert occasioned glowing reviews.
Opening the thirty- sixth season in October 1933, Uday Shankar and his Company of Hindu Dancers and Musicians filled the stage with over 100 performers.
The Vienna Boy’s Choir, twenty boys from the age of 8 to 18, performed to a full house on 22 November 1934.
The group shown is the Moscow Cathedral Choir who performed on October 28, 1935. This nineteen member choir was made up of men and women, all Russian emigres based in Paris. It was an afternoon of Russian choral music, folk songs, and opera excerpts.
Of the 1936 WMCT concert at the Hart House Theatre, Lawrence Mason of The Globe and Mail wrote that Segovia’s music “was an unforgettable glimpse into a world of courtly grace, fragile loveliness, and subtle refinement far removed from the rush and turmoil, the loud assertiveness, and violence of today.” Andres Segovia performed on February 6, 1936.
It was to a packed house that Marion Anderson gave her Toronto debut recital under the auspices of the WMCT. She sang mostly German Lieder but ended the afternoon with spirituals specifically arranged for her. Marion Anderson performed on March 6, 1936.
Canadian Mary Morrison sang the part of Eurdice in the 1937 WMCT opera production of Orfeo ed Euridice in the Eaton Auditorium.
The Ten-Piano Ensemble conducted by WMCT member Mona Bates gave a 1941 open concert in aid of the Red Cross British Bomb Victim's Fund.
Canadian baritone Russell Braun has excelled on the international stages in concert, opera, and recital. In 1989 he was the winner of a WMCT scholarship at the University of Toronto.
Manitoba-born violinist James Ehnes, considered one of the most dynamic performers of our time, was a WMCT Career Development winner in 1992.
Karina Gauvin, one of Canada's most sought after sopranos, has a voice of outstanding clarity and freshness. She was a 1994 WMCT Career Development Award winner.
Canadian pianist Sonia Chan was chosen as the award winner of the WMCT Career Development Award in 2003. Her award winning recital in 2005 included the première of a new work by Chan Ka Nin, commissioned by the WMCT for the occasion.
Shannon Mercer, a busy Canadian soprano, was the winner of the 2006 WMCT Career Development Award.
In 2009 Canadian pianist Darrett Zusko was proclaimed winner of the WMCT triennial Career Development Award.