Harry Adaskin

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Harry Adaskin
Birth name Harijs Adaskins
Born (1901-10-06)6 October 1901
Riga, Latvia
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died 7 April 1994(1994-04-07) (aged 92)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation(s) academic, radio broadcaster
Instruments violin

Harry Adaskin, OC (Latvian: Harijs Adaskins; 6 October 1901 – 7 April 1994) was a Canadian violinist, academic, and radio broadcaster.[1]


Born to a Jewish family in Riga, in the Governorate of Livonia of the Russian Empire (present-day Latvia), he emigrated with his family to Toronto.[2] At the age of twelve, he started at the Toronto Conservatory of Music, and at the age of 16 became a member of Frank Welsman's Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He later studied at the Hamburger Konservatorium with Henri Czaplinski. In 1923, he formed the Hart House String Quartet and played second violin.

He was the host of several CBC Radio programs, including Musically Speaking and Tuesday Night.[3]

From 1946 to 1958, he was the head of the new Department of Music at the University of British Columbia and taught there until his retirement in 1973. In 1977, he wrote the first part of his autobiography, A Fiddler's World – Memoirs to 1938 and in 1982, he wrote his the second part to his autobiography, A Fiddler's Choice – Memoirs from 1938 Til 1980.

He is the brother of Murray Adaskin. In 1926, he married Frances Adaskin.

It was announced 18 December 1974 that he was awarded the Order of Canada.[4] On 16 April 1975, Adaskin was invested as an Officer of the Order of Canada.[1]

Adaskin died 7 April 1994 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[2]


  1. ^ a b The Right Honourable Jules Léger. "Harry Adaskin, O.C., LL.D.". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Joanne Dorenfeld, Betty Nygaard King. "Adaskin, Harry Biography". Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "UBC Archives: Harry Adaskin". Archived from the original on 22 December 2005. Retrieved 12 February 2006. 
  4. ^ The Right Honourable Jules Léger (21 December 1974). "Canada Gazette Part I, Vol. 108, No. 51" (PDF). Governor General of Canada. Government House. p. 1 (4693 in the Canada Gazette). Retrieved 5 February 2011. 

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