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Adaskin, Murray

toronto composer teacher music

Adaskin, Murray, Canadian composer and teacher; b. Toronto, March 28, 1906. He studied violin in Toronto with his brother Harry Adaskin and with Luigi von Kunits, in N.Y. with Kathleen Parlow, and in Paris with Marcel Chailley. Returning to Toronto, he was a violinist in the Sym. Orch. there (1923–36). He then pursued training in composition with Weinzweig (1944–48), with Milhaud at the Aspen (Colo.) Music School (summers, 1949–50; 1953), and with Charles Jones in Calif. (1949–51). In 1952 he became head of the music dept. at the Univ. of Saskatchewan, where he also was composer-in-residence from 1966 until his retirement in 1972. From 1957 to 1960 he was conductor of the Saskatoon Sym. Orch. In 1973 he settled in Victoria, where he continued to be active as a teacher and composer. In 1931 he married (Mary) Frances James. In 1981 he was made a member of the Order of Canada. Adaskin’s output followed along neo-Classical lines with occasional infusions of folk elements; in some of his works, he utilized serial techniques. He composed the operas Grant, Warden of the Plains (1966; Winnipeg, July 18, 1967) and The Travelling Musicians (1983).

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