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Music Archives at the National Library of Canada

ADASKIN, MURRAY, 1906-2002
MUS 24


Murray Adaskin fonds.  - 1927-1997.  - 7 m of textual records.  - ca.  350 photographs.  - 3 slides .  - 1 negative.  - 223 audio tape reels.  - 14 audio tape cassettes.  - 2 drawings. 

Biographical sketch
Born in Toronto, Murray Adaskin began his career in his home town as a violinist with the New Symphony Orchestra, later the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1923-36) and the Royal York Hotel trio (1938-52).  From 1952 to 1966 he was head of music at the University of Saskatchewan.  In 1966 he was named composer-in-residence at the same university; this was the first position of its type ever created at a Canadian university.  He began composing in the mid-1940s, and his work now includes more than 100 titles, including Serenade Concertante, Algonquin Symphony, Adagio for cello and orchestra, and the opera Grant, Warden of the Plains.  On his retirement in 1972, Adaskin settled in Victoria, British Columbia with his wife, soprano Frances James, since deceased.  A tireless promoter of Canadian music, Adaskin is a charter member of the Canadian League of Composers. 

Scope and content
The fonds contains records pertaining to the life and musical career of Murray Adaskin:  autograph music manuscripts; biographical records; personal and professional correspondence; invitations; royalties; files consisting of correspondence, clippings and programmes pertaining to such persons, organizations and events as the following:  Catherine Lewis, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Golden Jubilee Music Festival, Hyman Goodman, Gordon Adaskin, Island Chamber Players, John Francis Leddy, Peter and Catharine Whyte Foundation, Darius Milhaud, Robert Soëtens, Six Exhibition Concerts and the Victoria International Festival; concert programmes; press clippings; three scrapbooks (one from Banff) consisting of correspondence, clippings and programmes; photographs of Murray Adaskin, members of his family, musicians, and other Canadian and foreign artists; collection of 42 manuscript compositions by Bernard Naylor; sound recordings of works by Murray Adaskin performed by musical ensembles and artists such as Frances James, Taka Kling, Arthur Polson, Boyd McDonald, Pacific Wind Quintet and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  Recordings also include works by various composers and interviews. 

Immediate source of acquisition:  acquired from Murray Adaskin, in several accessions, between 1972 and 1997. 

Restrictions:  a portion of the correspondence may not be consulted without the donor's written permission. 

Finding aids:  numerical list for records acquired from 1972 to 1986; provisional description for records acquired since 1987. 

Associated material:  Murray Adaskin fonds (SC138) at the University of Victoria Archives and Special Collections.

Accruals:  further accessions expected. 



Proactive Disclosure