A Series of Essays by Erik's Daughters

Introduction ~ by Fiona Chisholm

Picture of Fiona, Morag and Sheila
Fiona (left) and Morag being interviewed about their
father by sister Sheila at Fine Music Radio in Cape Town

Impulsive.... Impossible.... A human dynamo.... People talked about the Scottish-born composer Erik Chisholm in terms of strong adjectives for he invoked strong feelings. Love him, quarrel with him, detest him, but if you lived in South Africa’s beautiful city of Cape Town in the 1950s and mid-1960s, you were aware of this dynamic musician, composer, conductor, lecturer, writer and champion alike of new composers and down-trodden animals.

He used to introduce his three daughters to his academic friends at the University of Cape Town saying: "This is Morag, the eldest who is brilliant doctor. Sheila is a wonderful dancer... but Fiona my youngest, doesn’t know what to do...."

All of us have our stories to tell about life with our dad, which ended in his death after a heart attack at his home in Cape Town on June 8, 1965 at the age of 61.

In 2014/15 the three Chisholm sisters will be recalling that it is exactly 50 years ago that the light went out on an extraordinary character and father.