Lynnwood Farnam (1885-1930), considered one of the greatest organists of his time, grew up in Dunham, Quebec, Canada. At age fifteen he won a scholarship to study piano at the Royal College of Music in London, switching to organ in his second year. After completing his study in London Farnam returned to Canada where he served as church organist first for St. James Methodist Church (1904-1905) and then St. James the Apostle Anglican Church (1905-1908), both in Montreal. From 1908-1913 Farnam acted as Director of Music at Christ Church Cathedral, also teaching at the McGill Conservatorium for one year in 1913. In addition to teaching, Farnam also built his reputation as a performing artist with frequent organ recitals in Montreal.
In 1913 Farnam moved to the United States to serve as organist for Emmanuel Church in Boston, later moving to New York in 1918 to accept a position at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church. The following year however, Farnam left New York after volunteering in the Canadian Army. He served in England, performing mainly musical and clerical duties. Once back in New York he stayed at Fifth Avenue for just one year before accepting a position at the Church of the Holy Communion in 1920, a position he held until his death in 1930.
In 1927 Farnam was appointed as head of the new organ department at the Curtis Institute of Music for the 1928/1929 school year, coming down to Philadelphia one day a week. However, just two years later, on November 23, 1930, Farnam died of liver cancer after a brief six-week illness.