E. Ruth Moir
Originally from Winnipeg, Ruth Moir earned her B. Mus degree at the University of Manitoba, where she studied with Alma Brock-Smith and coached with Leonard Isaacs. After graduation she was the recipient of grants from both the Canada Council and Manitoba Arts Council for 3 years of postgraduate studies in the UK with BBC recording artist Joan Davies. Ms. Davies had been performing the standard literature of the piano on her Canadian tours, and had been a student of Egon Petri, the composer Medtner and Chopin’s last student. However she was also a specialist in early performance practice appearing regularly at the Hazelmere Festival and at the Colt Collection of early pianos. Ruth and her husband Ronald soon found themselves performing on 18th century pianos as well.
Upon returning to Canada she and her husband settled in Toronto, and they began concertizing as the Moir Fortepiano Duo—a duet team on their early fortepiano identical to the one owned by Mozart. Their first cd is available from CD Baby, and also as individual track downloads. They soon discovered they were the only such team in North America and have appeared in concert throughout Ontario and Manitoba. Tours in the USA have taken them throughout the New England area, south to Augusta Georgia and west to California.
Proving successful in the specialized area of their performing, the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations invited them to conduct lecture recitals on “Performance Practices of the Classical Era”, and master classes for other teachers in many centers across Ontario as well as at their area conventions. .In addition to performing, they established a very successful private piano studio in the Beach district of Toronto and later in White Rock, BC
Ever ready for more challenges Ruth and her husband decided to return to University for graduate degrees. They were awarded a full tuition scholarship to the College of Fine Arts at one of the top Ivy League colleges, Boston University, where they graduated with M. Mus degrees with a double major in Fortepiano and Harpsichord performance. She coached with major recording artists Igor Kipnis and Mark Kroll and Ruth was nominated to the Pi Kappa Lambda honors society, a society that honors graduate students voted “most likely to contribute significantly in the area of teaching”.
Further studies, towards the DMA degree, again with full tuition scholarships, were undertaken at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where they were also on the piano faculty of the Cleveland Music School Settlement.
On their return to Canada in 1994, they settled in Ocean Park area of South Surrey. The piano studio in Ocean Park is very active with students at senior performance levels. Recent honors won by students include “gold” awards in local festivals, “first class honors” and marks with “distinction” for piano exams with marks in the high 90’s at grades 9 and 10 levels. More recently students have won the CIBC Youth Piano Competition and Ruth was therefore awarded the title of “Teacher of the Year” .Another student was a finalist in the Korean Youth Music Competition. Very recently a 10 year old was a semi-finalist in the World Piano Competition 2004 held in the USA. The same student was a finalist in the 2005 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition in Palm Springs, California, and has subsequently been accepted as a scholarship student in the Pre-College division of Juilliard. A second student will now also embark on her second year at the Pre-College program (Juilliard).
The Moir Piano Studio encourages the most dedicated advanced level students to enter Canada’s most advanced piano competition. The Canadian Music Competition, which is national with first and second eliminations taking place in every province, finals in Quebec. Two students from the studio have reached the finals, and a third was declared the National Winner for her age group.