Mourning the loss of former Music dean Hugh McLean
Hugh McLean, Dean of Western's Faculty of Music from 1973-1980, passed away on July 30, 2017. Hugh McLean’s goal was to enrich the Faculty from a creative and scholarly position, which was partially enabled via his reputation as a performer. A world class organist, Mr. McLean was the first Canadian to receive an organ scholarship to King’s College, Cambridge, and subsequently experienced an international performing career. His position as a CBC recitalist facilitated broadcasts involving other faculty members, and in the performance world provided opportunities for members of the Faculty. One notable involvement of the Faculty was the premiere of R. Murray Schafer's Apocalypsis at Centennial Hall (November 1980).
McLean sought ways to enhance the Music Faculty’s library, one of which was supporting the acquisition of the special collection of rare opera manuscripts and editions (1600-1750) assembled by British antiquarian Richard Macnutt. This, with acquisitions of other collections and purchases, elevated the Music Library’s reputation to a level that our chief competitor at a later auction was the Bibliothèque nationale in Paris. Our library continues to be recognized as one of the richer music libraries in North America.
In addition to serving as Dean, he taught organ, harpsichord and music history until retiring in 1995.