Steven Wilkes, Vancouver Symphony Assistant Principal violist remembers Victoria Megalos.
Vicky came to Vancouver, via Montreal, at the start of the 1970-71 Vancouver Symphony season. We were stand partners in the viola section for several years. After finishing her orchestra career, she collaborated with former VSO violist Bill Gordon in establishing a home teaching studio based on the methodology of Winnipeg’s John Waterhouse (pupil of Emil Sauret) and Gregori Garbovitsky of Vancouver (pupil of Leopold Auer).
During a rehearsal in Vicky’s first VSO season, the guest conductor, destructive and tyrannical, flew into a rage insulting and screaming at all the sections. In between his seemingly tireless outbursts, he demanded the stage manager build the podium to a higher level. This was done by adding a riser to the original, however, it was not affixed in any manner. The tirade (now augmented with fidgeting and choreography) continued. So did the separation of the two podiums. The conductor gave one final jump and landed at the very edge of the top podium, which collapsed and spilled him into the first desk of strings, who in turn scattered to different ends of the rehearsal hall, followed by the back stands. Chairs, music stands and sheet music became a puddle of fine art, finely revenged. Vicky observed all this quietly, then turned to me and said: “That was about little people falling from high places.”
MEGALOS, Victoria Helena Passed away peacefully in Vancouver, B.C. on December 5, 2016 at the age 87 years. She will be lovingly remembered by her son Joe; daughter Linda; grandson Wesley; sister Martha and nephew Richard.