Harry Adaskin

Harry Adaskin

Canadian composer and memoirist

Adaskin, a world-renowned musician and scholar. Born in Latvia and brought to Toronto at an early age, Adaskin founded the Hart House String Quartet in 1923, the first Canadian Quartet to attain an international reputation. The early biographical account comprises the first volume of memoirs (A Fiddler's World, November House, 1977). The second begins with the musician's decision to resign from the quartet in 1938 and to pursue a freelance career as a musician, broadcaster, and scholar. In 1946 he founded and became head of the music department at UBC and remained there as an academic until his retirement in 1973. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1974 and his wife, who is also a musician, was honoured in 1976.

Volume two relates Adaskin's remembrances in the same belaboured style as the earlier title. Once again there is personal philosophizing and a variety of quotations from other writers. Seventeen chapters are used to organize events such as encounters with Frank Lloyd Wright, Aaron Copland, and Stravinsky. Also included are black-and-white photographs and newspaper clippings.

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