By Ivars Taurins
"Neil Crory?” the general populous may ask “… who was he?”
To those of us who had the good fortune to work with him, he was the master weaver who helped create the rich cultural fabric of Canada and the CBC.
Neil was the nurturing supporter of Canadian artists and ensembles across Canada through countless broadcasts and recordings on the CBC, raising the public’s consciousness about this country’s talent - all done with soft-spoken, unassuming, yet fervent determination.
He was Tafelmusik’s CBC producer for 25 years, and without him I doubt that Tafelmusik would be where it is today - he helped put us, and so many other Canadian classical musicians, on the cultural map. His keen musical knowledge inspired many special projects and recordings.
His obituary in The Globe and Mail quotes Handel’s oratorio Alexander Balus - an achingly beautiful aria sung by Cleopatra at the end the work:
"Convey me to some peaceful shore,
Where no tumultuous billows roar,
Where life, though joyless, still is calm,
And sweet content is sorrow's balm.
There, free from pomp and care to wait,
Forgetting and forgot, the will of fate.”
Handel’s sublime music is a most fitting tribute to Neil, and all that he loved about music, though, contrary to the text, he and his life’s work and passion will never be forgotten by us.