Harrison [née Riley], Susie [Susan] Frances [King, G(ilbert) R.]
- Elaine Keillor
[King, G(ilbert) R.]
(b Toronto, February 24, 1859; d Toronto, May 5, 1935). Canadian composer and writer. Trained at private schools in Toronto and Montreal, Harrison used the pseudonym ‘Medusa’ for her writings which began to appear in 1875. Later she frequently used the name ‘Seranus’ for both music and literary publications as well as ‘Gilbert King’ or ‘G.R. King’ for songs and piano music. In 1883 she wrote the words and arranged the music of the Address of Welcome to Lord Lansdowne. Her opera Pipandor was completed in 1884 but has not been performed. This work, the first opera written by a Canadian woman, incorporates French-Canadian folktunes, a genre on which the composer frequently lectured. In addition to her work as a composer Harrison edited the first anthology of Canadian English, French and Amerindian verse (The Canadian Birthday Book, Toronto, 1887). Her own prose and poetry were published by ...