Brian died peacefully at home surrounded by family. Survived by ballerina, muse and wife (since 1964) Annette (av Paul), and son Wyatt. Born in Montreal, Quebec, son of the late Ian and Mabel (Lee) Macdonald. Predeceased by his brother Ian, and his first wife Olivia (Wyatt) 1959. Internationally respected, award-winning director and choreographer for stage and television, of musical theatre, opera and ballet. Among the first recipients of the Order of Canada (1967), elevated to Companion (2002); Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (2008), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012) and more. Brian was a child actor on CBC Radio and choreographer/dancer in the early days of CBC TV. While studying for a B.A. in English at McGill University, he took ballet classes with noted teachers Gerald Crevier and Elizabeth Leese, and worked as music critic for the Montreal Herald (1947-49). In 1951 Brian became a founding member of the National Ballet of Canada. He founded the Montreal Theatre Ballet and directed the legendary McGill satirical review, My Fur Lady. Brian’s association in the 1950s and 1960s with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet as resident choreographer established both his and the company’s international reputation. Brian was artistic director of The Royal Swedish Ballet (1964-67), Harkness Ballet in New York (1967-68), Israel’s Batsheva Dance Company (1971-72), and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montral (1974-77). As a proud Canadian Brian was fiercely committed to collaborating with Canadian artists; composers Harry Freedman, R. Murray Schafer, and Gilles Vigneault, and visual artists and designers such as Franois Barbeau, Ted Bieler and Walter Redinger. His Rose Latulippe, for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in 1966 was the first truly Canadian full-length ballet, and the first to be telecast in colour. Some of his best known ballets are Time out of Mind, Aimez-vous Bach?, The Shining People of Leonard Cohen, and Tam ti Delam. Requiem 9/11, was a personal artistic response to the destruction of the twin towers in New York. Set to Verdi’s Requiem it premiered at the National Arts Centre in 2002 to mark the event’s first anniversary. Of his 19 productions for the Stratford Festival, his Gilbert and Sullivan collaborations with designer Susan Benson enjoyed particular success and the 1982 Mikado toured in Canada, the US and to London, garnered two Tony nominations in New York. In 2012 The City of Stratford and the Stratford Festival honoured Brian with a Bronze Star which is now placed in the sidewalk in front of the Avon Theatre. Brian was closely associated with dance at the Banff Centre in Alberta for more than 45 years as a choreographer, teacher and mentor, and ultimately as director. His book, Dancing in Thin Air: Looking Back on Sixty Years of Dance at the Banff Centre was published in 2007. His passion for music, brought him also to direct opera. His 1979 production of Cendrillon for the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, with Frederica von Stade and Maureen Forester, stands out as does his critically acclaimed Madama Butterfly presented this October, for the sixth time, by the Canadian Opera Company. Though ailing from cancer, Brian again returned to direct the revival. His last public appearance was for the opening-night curtain calls. Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 2 p.m. at Central United Church, 194 Avondale Ave, Stratford with a reception to follow. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations in Brian’s memory can be made to PAL Stratford through the funeral home. 519.271.7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com
Funeral Service
Saturday, December 6th at 2:00 p.m.
Central United Church
194 Avondale Avenue
Stratford, Ontario

Memorial Donations
PAL Stratford

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