Back in 1971, Franz Kraemer became the music director of the Toronto Arts Foundation and started programming music concerts at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. This was the start of what would eventually become Music Toronto as we know it today.
Kraemer was born in Vienna in 1914. He studied composition with Berg and orchestration with Scherchen. He moved to Canada in 1940, escaping persecution in Austria during the war, and then spent 3 years in internment camps here. He eventually continued his studies in Canada and, in 1947, became a Canadian citizen.
In 1946, Kraemer joined CBC. Initially he was in Montreal working as one of their producers. 1952 found him moving to Toronto as an executive producer on the English network of CBC TV. He produced many operas on TV in the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Documentaries of music greats like Igor Stravinsky followed as well. He stayed with the CBC until 1970.
After working with the Toronto Arts Foundation, he continued in the music field by working with the Canada Council, becoming the head of the music section from 1979 to 1985. He officially retired in 1986 and then became a director of the Sylva Gelber Foundation. He served as an advisor and consultant for several other music associations in his retirement until his passing in 1999.