University Archives & Special Collections, A-4099. (Patrick Hayes)

Murray Adaskin

Murray Adaskin composes at his piano in 1957.

He was head of the Music Department at the University of Saskatchewan from 1952 until 1966 and then Composer-In-Residence from 1966 until 1973. The second appointment was a first among Canadian universities.

Born in Toronto in 1906, he began playing the violin at age 10. He studied in New York and Paris including periods of composition study with John Weinzweig, Charles Jones and Darius Milhaud.

A violinist with the Toronto Symphony for 10 years, Adaskin also served as director of music for the CPR hotels. Adaskin, along with his first wife soprano Frances James Adaskin, were active in Saskatoon music circles.  Their legacy can be seen to this day.

Among his many honours were Saskatoon's Citizen of the Year for 1970, a 1980 appointment to the Order of Canada and a D.Mus. from the University of Saskatchewan in 1984.

He retired to Victoria in 1973. He composed his final work in 2000, and died in 2002.  

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