August Kaarna (1906 - 2002)

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Birthplace: Rõngu
Death: Died in Vancouver, British Columbia, Kanada
Managed by: Iida Tõnisson
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About August Kaarna

  • Vana kalendri järgi sündinud 26. septembril 1906. aastal.
  • Vancouveri Eesti Seltsi "Läänekaare Postipoiss", Suvi 1994, nr. 158, lk.35 : http://www.vesbc.com/documents/lp158.pdf
  • VANCOUVER SUN, August 7, 2002: KAARNA _ August, born on October 9, 1906 in Estonia, passed away peacefully on July 30, 2002 in Mount St. Joseph's Hospital. He is survived by his nephew, Aimar Malkov and grand-nephew Andres in Novosibirsk. He will be sadly missed by his many friends in Canada, Estonia, Sweden and the USA. August was a longtime and avid supporter of the Vancouver Symphony, the Opera and Chamber Choir but due to his illness he could not take part in concerts for the last few years. Music was his life. Funeral service on Friday, August 9, 2002 at 11:00 am in St. Peter's Estonian Lutheran Church, 6520 Oak Street, Vancouver. Cremation. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Peter's Estonian Lutheran Church or to the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Personal Alternative Funeral Services 604-662-7700
  • See artikkel on trükitud: http://www.eesti.ca/a-tribute-life-and-death-performance/article2158 ja Vancouveri Eesti Seltsi "Läänekaare Postipoiss" ajakirjas (koos fotoga), Sügis 2002, nr. 190, lk. 16 : http://www.vesbc.com/documents/lp190.pdf

A tribute: Life and death performance 20 Aug 2002 E. Vabasalu

In a most unusual way, I met Mr. August Kaarna. Sitting in St. Peter’s Estonian Church, waiting for a funeral service to begin at 11:00 a.m., I was there accompanying my husband who was rehearsing to sing in the men’s choir. It was 10:15 a.m. and I was debating whether it would be disrespectful to read a magazine. As I was contemplating, quietly, without a creak, an elegant oak casket appeared by my elbow. Later the funeral attendants rolled the casket to the front of the Church and opened it for viewing. Abandoning the notion of a magazine, I observed the detailed work in the lining of the coffin, ivory satin draped and folded into an intricate pattern. Somewhat startled, I realized that I was alone in a small church with a corpse about whom I knew nothing. His hands were folded holding a small bible as I reflected on the lifeless form pondering the whereabouts of the life force that once inhabited, what was now, cold remains. Suddenly, the initial uneasiness was replaced with a serene envelope of peace. A few musicians arrived. Slowly the little church began to fill up. The service began with Adagio from “Clarinet Concerto” played most wonderfully by Wes Foster, Clarinet and Linda Lee Thomas, Piano, the Estonian Men’s Choir, and a violin piece by Johannes Rebane, ending with a heart-rending “Meditation” from “Thais” played by Karen Foster, Violin, and accompanied by Linda Lee Thomas. The euphony spoke volumes about Mr. Kaarna. Who was this man who drew professional musicians to play with such feeling so exquisitely at his funeral? In the Vancouver Sun, April 1994, Kaarna, is described aptly by Dennis Boyd as “that rarest, that richest asset that a city can have, a genuine patron of the arts, a supporter of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra ever since he arrived in Vancouver 40 years ago.” Kaarna, born October 9, 1906 in Rõngu, Estonian, died July 30, 2002 in Vancouver, had a grand passion for the performing arts, symphony, ballet and opera, seeing many operas 20 to 30 times; one day in 1966 he attended six musical concerts. Possibly he holds a world record for the number of musical events ever attended. He was known to follow his own copy of the score and was especially partial to the violin, an instrument he played himself. Well known in the music industry worldwide, he was on friendly terms with the ushers, and musicians of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, all of whom esteemed his friendly presence. At the funeral reception, a musician recalled that when Mr. Kaarna was at a performance two things could be guaranteed. The first was that he would invariably come backstage and tell the musicians that the evening’s performance was the finest they had ever played, and the second was that he would give them a standing ovation. As his name-plated seat was front row centre left, and he was a tall man, the entire audience would usually follow his enthusiastic lead. At the very least, it would be a standing ovation of one. When August Kaarna was badly injured after being hit by a car in 1993, an usher created a fitting card to their most devoted patron which showed him poised in front of his seat receiving a standing ovation from the concert audience, ushers and members of the orchestra, all euphoric. Mr. Kaarna, it was a pleasure to have met you.

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August Kaarna's Timeline

1906
October 9, 1906
Rõngu
2002
July 30, 2002
Age 95
Vancouver, British Columbia, Kanada