John Adaskin. Conductor, radio producer, administrator, cellist, b Toronto 4 Jun 1908, d there 4 Mar 1964; Fellow, Royal Society of Arts 1961. The younger brother of Harry and Murray Adaskin
, he studied 1924-9 at the Hambourg Conservatory
with George Bruce and Boris Hambourg
(cello) and 1930-3 at the TCM
with Leo Smith
(cello and theory) and Luigi von Kunits
(conducting). He played cello 1926-35 in broadcasting orchestras and 1926-38 in the TSO
and was a producer 1934-43 for the CRBC and its successor, the CBC. As head of John Adaskin Productions 1943-61 he continued to produce CBC programs, including the popular series "Singing Stars of Tomorrow"
and "Opportunity Knocks"
. He also conducted the orchestra for the latter. On behalf of the CBC he commissioned Britten's The Young Apollo
(1939) and Willan's Transit through Fire
(1942) as well as over 101 short compositions by 67 Canadians (1950-57) for "Opportunity Knocks". For a brief period ca 1950 he organized and taught courses in radio and TV production at Toronto's Ryerson Polytechnical Institute. In 1961 he succeeded Jean-Marie Beaudet
as executive secretary of the Canadian Music Centre
, an office he held until his sudden death. A tireless promoter of Canadian music, he developed the centre's library, edited the magazine Music across Canada
in 1963, and commissioned several composers to write works for school use. The John Adaskin Project
continues his work in promoting Canadian educational composition. He was married to Naomi Granatstein
Adaskin, John. "Radio production in relation to symphony broadcasting," CRMA, vol 1, Apr 1942
- "MacMillan as conductor," Music Across Canada, Jul-Aug 1963
Links to Other Sites
This interview with musician John Adaskin focuses on the classical music community in Canada. From the Canadian Music Centre.
The Adaskin Family
See a brief profile of one of Canada’s most esteemed musical families. From cabbagetownpeople.ca.