Philanthropist Roger D. Moore, aged 79, has died.
A familiar figure in Toronto’s performing arts community, Moore was a modest and soft-spoken man, with a sly sense of humour. With style to burn, he was often seen riding his bike wearing a suit and tie to concerts in support of local chamber music and indie opera productions.
Born in Redlands, California on November 16, 1939, he became a computer scientist by trade — later going on to cofound I. P. Sharp Associates (IPSA) — a Canadian computer time-sharing, consulting and services firm which was acquired in 1987 by the Reuters Group.
Prior to his role at IPSA, he worked at Stanford University in the mid-60s on ALGOL 60, a program designed to translate algebra into machine language. Moore was also involved in the development of IPSANET, a private packet switching data network.
After retiring from IPSA in early 1989, he turned his focus on Toronto’s arts community, with a particular interest in new music and opera.
As a Philanthropist, Moore provided financial support to organizations large and small, such as Tapestry Opera, The Music Gallery, and Off Centre Music Salon, and the Canadian Opera Company.
At the University of Toronto Faculty of Music, he founded the Roger D. Moore Distinguished Visitor in Composition. International visitors have included Steve Reich, Krzysztof Penderecki, Maria Schneider, Gabriel Prokofiev, Salvatore Sciarrino, and Nicole Lizée, and most recently, Toshio Hosokawa.
In recognition of his contributions to the arts in Toronto, Moore was honoured with the Roy Thomson Hall Award of Recognition (2002), University of Toronto Arbor Award (2009), and an Opera Canada Ruby (2010).
In the wake of the news, many of his friends and benefactors have expressed their heartfelt messages.
Before his death, Moore had been working on an extensive research project cataloging the cast members from Canadian Opera Company productions between 1950 to 2000. The resource can be accessed online here.
Moore passed away Thursday, March 21, 2019. He was 79 years old.
There will be a visitation service held on Thursday, March 28.