Gary Corrin was appointed Principal Librarian of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in January 1992 after having held similar positions with the Phoenix (Arizona) Symphony, San Jose (California) Symphony, Denver Symphony, National Symphony (Washington DC), and the New World (Miami) Symphony. He retired in February 2022.
Gary began playing clarinet in the fourth-grade band and had absolutely no interest in pursuing music as a career until he played in his first orchestra for a summer musical production of My Fair Lady. He subsequently declared a Clarinet Major at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Gary credited his clarinet teachers, James Kanter, Dominick Fera, and Rosario Mazzeo, with infusing their musical, moral, and philosophical guidance in him.
While at Santa Barbara he met Martin Silver, Head Music Librarian, who was instrumental in launching Gary’s librarian career. Gary’s inherent attention to detail and passion for perfection were evident in everything he did in the library. Few things ever went wrong, and if they did, a solution was never far away; the sign of a real pro. Colleagues observed that that is why he was such a good librarian. It’s all in the details.
Gary’s dedication and knowledge were second-to-none. To become the librarian for TSO,
Gary had to take a rigorous test which encompassed all aspects of music and librarian information. As TSO’s librarian, he dealt with various top administrators and conductors regarding all music performed. The music for the orchestra was meticulously prepared in advance and ready to play each week.
Orchestra members remember him assisting them in a friendly and personable manner and helping them with personal music issues. Preparations for tours and special event concerts were done excellently as well. Each year Gary attended MOLA, the special music librarian’s conference, and served as its president.
In addition to his TSO library duties, Gary played clarinet in Toronto’s annual New Year’s “Bravissimo” and “Salute to Vienna” concerts for which he also served as Chief Librarian and Programming Facilitator. For many summers, Gary coordinated librarian duties for the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming. During his years with TSO, he traveled to Europe, Scandinavia, Florida, Carnegie Hall, Israel, Germany, Austria, Finland, Iceland, as well as many cities in Canada.
Besides music, his passions included fully restoring a 1935 Ford, collecting and riding bicycles, and renovating his 1915 brick home in the High Park area of Toronto. He rode his bicycle throughout Europe and the UK, meeting people along the way who became lifelong friends.
He had bicycles stashed in several states, waiting for him when he visited the area. The meticulous renovation of his home reflects his insistence on doing a job accurately and well. He enlisted family, friends, and eventually his wife, Ingrid, in sanding the plaster walls to perfection. Gary loved entertaining friends with dinner and “porch parties” and was a mean BBQ master.
Gary met the love of his life, Ingrid Martin, at a rehearsal for the “Bravissimo” New Year’s concert. Ingrid was a member of the Canadian Opera chorus which was performing with the orchestra. They married in 2017 in a beautiful oceanside ceremony near Peggy’s Cove in
Nova Scotia. Gary and Ingrid enjoyed traveling when schedules allowed, often returning to the West Coast to see relatives and longtime friends.
Gary was extremely generous with his time and resources. For example, he shared his home for months with a Japanese woman who was studying to become a music librarian. The day after he retired, he flew to Washington state to be a long-term substitute helping a librarian friend at the Seattle Symphony.
His siblings remember our happy and supportive childhood but most of all, Gary’s tenacious energy in following his career dreams, capitalizing on his personal strengths, networking with worldwide friends and colleagues, and demonstrating excellence in his craft. His family grieves our loss in that he was taken much too soon.