VAN ALLEN, Alexander Cornelius "Neil", age 85, passed away July 15, 2014 at Northwood Centre, in Halifax, NS. Born in Belleville, Ontario, he was the son of the late Karl and Marguerite (Coulter) van Allen.
Neil, L(Mus)Dal, LGSM, FGSM, a concert pianist and Professor of Music, moved from Belleville to Halifax in 1939 when his father was appointed Principal of the School for the Deaf. Neil received his musical education in Halifax, Toronto, and then, with the aid of scholarships from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust and the Halifax Rotary Club, he studied in London and Paris. He settled in London, England, and taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at Hornsey Art College. In 1962 he received the Silver Medal of London's "Worshipful Company of Musicians" and the Harriet Cohen Commonwealth Medal. He gave numerous recitals, including at Wigmore Hall, and performed with orchestras in England and Canada, and recorded frequently with BBC and CBC. He was awarded the prestigious Fellowship of the Guildhall School of Music in 1971. In 1977, he moved back to Canada as Professor of Music (piano) at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1992, he and Lorna retired to Nova Scotia, refocusing on his lifelong interest in airplanes, sketching, painting, and model making. He was an accomplished cook with a wonderful sense of humour and loved family gatherings, spending his summers at his and Lorna's cottage on the North Shore. He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by all who knew him.
He is survived by his wife, Lorna (Roome) van Allen, his sons Cory (Kate) van Allen; Howard (Betsy) van Allen; daughter Karel (Weldon Oxner) van Allen; brother Richard (Karen Lynch) van Allen; grandchildren Rachel, Lexie, Gillian, Christine, Karl, Elizabeth, and Genevieve; great-grandchildren Spencer and Savannah; and nephew Timothy, and niece Samantha.
Cremation has already taken place and a family gathering will be arranged at a later date. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the staff of Northwood - 8C; your care and attention was invaluable. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Northwood Foundation. Online condolences may be sent to www.mattatallfuneralhome.com.