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Eldon Rathburn: Biography

Eldon Rathburn
1916 - 2008
Region: Ontario

Eldon Rathburn

ELDON RATHBURN was born at Queenstown, New Brunswick on April 21, 1916. He received his Licentiate of Music at McGill University, Montréal in 1937 and the following year won the Canadian Performing Rights Society Scholarship Competition. From 1938-39 he studied composition at the Toronto Conservatory of Music with Healey Willan. In 1944 he became a staff composer with the National Film Board(NFB). Before retiring from the NFB in 1976, Rathburn had written scores for over 100 films including Canon, Short and Suite, The Railrodder, City of Gold, Universe, Morning on the Lievre, Drylanders and Labyrinthe, the multi-screen extravanganza for which a special theatre was built at the Montréal Expo 67'. Other films that Rathburn has composed for include: Circus World (Imax), Skyward (Imax), Transition (3D Imax film Expo '86), Who Has Seen The Wind?, Canada's Sweetheart(CBC TV-NFB), Final Chapter (CBC TV-NFB) and the MacKenzie King Chronicles (CBC TV-NFB).

Eldon Rathburn was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada on April 14, 1999. In addition, Eldon Rathburn took part in many projects including IMAX films, the Momentum, Expo’ 92, Seville, The First Emperor, Beavers, The Last Buffalo, NFB films and The Creative Process, The Journey.

Rathburn is presently engaged in freelance composition and in researching the subject music and railroads.


CAPAC, Canadian League of Composers


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