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Philip George, Ph.D. Downs

January 5, 2014

DOWNS, Philip George, Ph.D.

March 5, 1928 – January 5, 2014


Born in Leeds, England, passed away peacefully at The Village of Glendale Crossing in London, ON, Sunday, January 5th, 2014. Predeceased by his first wife Marianne (née Bell) and three sisters; Kathleen, Barbara and Mary. He is survived by his beloved wife of 40 years Anne (née Leggatt); sister, Dorothy Eastwood of Leeds UK; three children; Robin Downs of Vancouver, Dorothy Downs (Tom Sobut), Margaret Corscadden (Scott) and, his five grandchildren; Matthew, Sam, Nathan, Charlotte and Philip, all of London, ON. A Professor Emeritus of the Don Wright Faculty of Music, Western University, Philip was an insightful and inspirational teacher of music history. He was an internationally known and published scholar in his field. He loved spending evenings playing piano and violin with his string quartet. His free time was spent riding and caring for his horse Little George, and in Gregory Creek, where he spent many hours moving rocks to redirect its flow. Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 12th, from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the WESTVIEW FUNERAL CHAPEL, 709 Wonderland Road North, London, where the memorial service will be conducted on Monday, January 13th, at 1:00 p.m., reception to follow. Memorial donations can be made to the Philip Downs Scholarship in Music History, Western University, or a charity of your choice. 

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My sincere condolences on Phillip Downs' passing. What a wonderful person to have inspired so many through his love of music and creativity. His daughter Dorothy speaks of him often and always with such love and admiration. It is clear that he will be greatly missed. I would like to extend my sympathies to the family and to wish you all peace and strength during this difficult time. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, Colleen

~ Colleen McGeough-Ibsen

Dorothy. We are very saddened to hear about the loss of Phillip and would like to express our sincere condolences to you and your family. Our hearts goes out to you during this difficult time. Cesar

~ Cesar Candela

Anne, I will remember Philip for his infectious smile and his zest for life. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.

~ Edna Allcorn

We were lucky to know Phillip, albeit only as a neighbour. Always interested and interesting, he easily became a supportive friend. We're sorry his last days were so difficult and we wish Anne and his family all the best in the coming days.

~ Ron & Sandy Posno

Anne, Dorothy and Margaret: Please accept my condolences on the loss of your true gentleman and scholar.

~ Don Blay

My profound sympathy to all the members of Dr. Downs' family. He was such an inspiration to me and to all the staff in the Music Library when I was there. It is no wonder that the Faculty of Music acquired such a fine reputation in Canada. He was a great teacher, scholar, and, even more importantly, a wonderful person. May he enjoy eternal happiness.

~ Sister Louise Smith

Please accept our sympathies on Philip's passing. We will remember him with fondness. He was always so welcoming to us and made us feel like family. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this very difficult time. If there is anything that you need we are always here for you.

~ Eleanor and Mike Paget

Please accept my condolences on the passing of Dr. Downs. I was fortunate to be in his second-year music history class at Western in the late 1980s, and I vividly remember Dr. Downs as an engaging and inspiring lecturer. His enthusiasm and personal encouragement toward me played a role in shaping my own teaching career in Toronto at the RCM and York University. I am thankful to have known him, and I am deeply sorry for your loss.

~ Jamie Stager

Almost twenty years ago, my appreciation for the genius of Mozart increased substantially on account of a course led by Philip Downs. In the past few months, as it happens, I have been rediscovering the beauty of Mozart's piano music and reflecting on some of the stylistic and formal features that were first brought to my attention in that course. I offer my sincere condolences to Anne and to all who mourn Philip's passing.

~ Elizabeth Sander

I am the chief translator of Professor Philip G. Downs's excellent book Classical Music: Haydn, Mozart & Beethoven(from English to Chinese), the bad news makes me very sad. I think Professor Downs was a sagacious and learned scholar. May he rest in peace!

~ Dr. Sun Hongjie(from China)

(Donated to Philip Downs Scholarship in Music History, Western University)

~ Colleen McGeough-Ibsen

(Donated to Philip Downs Scholarship in Music History, Western University)

~ Eleanor Paget

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Philip Downs Scholarship in Music History, Western University

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