Harry Colin Slim

University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA
Musicologist; Educator
Humanities and Arts
Performing Arts


H. Colin Slim was a Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of California, Irvine. Slim was known for his work on early music, including an important large cache of 16th-century keyboard music that he discovered in Castell'Arquato in Italy and an important manuscript of madrigals and motets in the Newberry Library in Chicago. The latter was an anthology presented by Florentine ambassadors to King Henry VIII to help enlist his support in their cause. Slim's important contextual study that set out the mix of politics and music that produced the anthology won the Kinkeldy Award in 1973 for the best musicological book of the past year from the American Musicological Society. Later, Slim turned to cultural questions by studying musical inscriptions in Italian and Flemish paintings of the 16th century-a model for musical iconographers. In 1952, Slim conducted two Vancouver premiers of Stravinsky's work: the Concerto for Two Pianos and Les Noces (Cantata in Four Scenes). Later that year, Stravinsky travelled to Vancouver to perform with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Slim had the opportunity to spend time with the renowned composer. Slim met Stravinsky one more time; in Los Angeles in 1966, when he took part in two choral pieces directed by Stravinsky. From those meetings, Slim began publishing on the composer and developing a collection of manuscripts, including letters, musical scores, postcards, programs, private photographs, manuscripts, and musical quotations, which he donated to the University of British Columbia in 1999. In 1988-1991 he served as President of the American Musicological Society. Slim received an honorary Doctor of Music degree from McGill University in Canada in 1993.

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