Healey Willan

'English by birth ... Canadian by adoption ... Irish by extraction and  Scotch by absorption.'

Organist and composer Healey Willan was born at Balham in London, UK, on 12 October 1880, and emigrated to Canada in 1913 to work in Toronto as head of the music theory department at the Canadian Conservatory of Music.

As president (in 1923) of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, he mischievously set the club's constitution to music.

He wrote much music for use in church services at St Mary Magdalene's church in Toronto, and wrote an anthem, O Lord, Our Governour, for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953.

Willan died in Toronto on 16 February 1968.


A selection of articles about Healey Willan

Ensemble. Superb and Imaginative Playing - Roderic Dunnett marks Thomas Trotter's forty years as Birmingham City Organist by reviewing a special anniversary recital and investigating the artist's large output on the Regent Records label

CD Spotlight. A Splendid Performance - Rachel Mahon plays Canadian organ music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. 'A hugely enjoyable album, well worth hearing ...'

Ensemble. Beautifully Reverent - Carols from Phoenix Chorale, reviewed by Maria Nockin

Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett

Robustness and Transparency - Francis Jackson plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler

An Invigorating Performance - Paul Hale provides a fitting end to Derby Cathedral's summer organ series, and Mike Wheeler was there

Record Box. A Rewarding Experience - Music from The Phoenix Chorale impresses Patric Standford