Samuel David Hersenhoren (1908-1982)

Samuel David Hersenhoren

Year Born: 1908

Year Died: 1982


Hersenhoren, Samuel David (1908-1982)

Sammy Hersenhoren was born in Toronto on July 2nd 1908. After studying violin from a very early age, he made his debut at Massey Hall in 1919 at the age of 11. He made his radio debut on CKNC Toronto in 1925; from 1925 to 1927 he played with the New Symphony Orchestra, and then from 1927 to 1944 with the Toronto Symphony. He was also founder (and conductor 1932-40) of the New World Chamber Orchestra.

 In 1933 he began conducting orchestras for such shows as Lullaby Lagoon, Fugitive Melodies and Dancing Strings for the CRBC (forerunner of the CBC), and during the Second World War he conducted  shows such as Comrades in Arms, Carry On Canada and a series of Victory Loan shows,that starred such luminaries as Raymond Massey, Beatrice Lillie, Ronald Colman and Charles Boyer.

 After the war,  Sammy conducted the Johnny Home Show which was produced to explain rehabilitation credits to returning veterans. It was a CBC follow-up to a war-time show starring Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster called This is the Army, which morphed into a stage show for the troops. Following Johnny Home, Samuel Hersenhoren for many years conducted the orchestras for Wayne and Shuster’s radio shows and then for their TV shows which started in 1954.

In the early 50s, Sam was conductor for a series of syndicated transcribed radio programs which featured poetry readings by J. Frank Willis, produced by All-Canada Radio Facilities and distributed in the USA by the NBC radio recording division.

From 1952-54 he was music director of CBC-TV’s first variety show, The Big Revue.

In the early 1960s, Samuel Hersenhoren played in the CBC Symphony Orchestra, founded by Geoffrey Waddington. In later years he played as a freelance violinist, as well as conducting the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra.

Samuel Hersenhoren died in Toronto on August 18th 1982.

Sources include: Encyclopedia of Music in Canada

Written by Jerry Fairbridge – April, 2003