Eli Kassner

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Eli Kassner
Eli kassner.gif
Background information
Born(1924-05-27)May 27, 1924
Vienna, Austria
Died23 August 2018(2018-08-23) (aged 94)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Occupation(s)Teacher, musician

Eli Kassner, CM (May 27, 1924 – August 23, 2018)[1] was a Canadian classical guitar teacher and musician.

Eli Kassner studied guitar in Vienna and Israel before moving to Canada in 1951. He also studied in the United States, Israel, and in Spain, under the great virtuoso classical guitarist, Andrés Segovia. He performed until 1967.

In 1956, he founded the Guitar Society of Toronto.[2] He was its president from 1960 to 1966 and artistic director from 1970 to 2008. In 1967, he established the Eli Kassner Guitar Academy.

He established the guitar program at the University of Toronto and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (RCMT) in 1959 and started the University of Toronto Guitar Ensemble in 1978.

In the 1970s, Kassner became interested in microphotography[citation needed], and worked as a composer and performer for the CBC Television series The Lively Arts and The Nature of Things.

Eli Kassner was awarded an honorary doctorate from Carleton University and was also inducted into the Guitar Foundation of America's Hall of Fame. In 2009, the Guitar Society of Toronto, honored Eli Kassner with a lifetime 'Artistic Director Emeritus' appointment.

In 2016, he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada.[3]

Notable students[edit]


  • Smith, Harold. 'Eli Kassner: a biography,' Guitar Canada, vol 2, Spring 1989
  • Levy, Harold. 'The road to respect,' ibid
  • Blackadar, Bruce. 'Ovation for a guitar master,' Toronto Star, 20 May 1989


  1. ^ "globeandmail.com: ELI KASSNER On August 23". v1.theglobeandmail.com. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  2. ^ History of the Guitar Society of Toronto Archived 5 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "June 30, 2016 announcements". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 30 June 2016.

External links[edit]