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Memorable Manitobans: Burton Lowell Kurth (1890-?)

Vocal teacher.

Born and educated at Buffalo, New York, 1890, son of Charles L. Kurth and Emma Hahn, he came to Winnipeg in1909 to teach music. He established the St. Cecilia’s Ladies’ Choir in 1921, was president of the Music Teachers Association in 1924, conducted the Selkirk Choral Union, and was organist at a number of Winnipeg churches, including Broadway Baptist Church. His studio was in the Birks Building. Kurth moved to Vancouver in 1927. He wrote and published many books of songs, including Little Songs for Young People (1943) and Sensitive Singing (1973), advising young singers on the use of the voice.

In 1917, he married Olive Vesta Quast, with whom he had a son. Mrs. Kurth was one of Winnipeg’s best known contralto vocalists. She studied in New York and Chicago. She sang with American Opera Company in Chicago, and became a popular member of musical circles in Winnipeg and soloist at Broadway Baptist Church.


Pioneers and Prominent People of Manitoba, Winnipeg: Canadian Publicity Company, 1925.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Page revised: 17 October 2008

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