Solway's early violin studies were with his father who had been a musician in Russia, and then with Harry Adaskin and Luigi von Kunits at the Canadian Academy of Music. He also studied with Henri Czaplinski and Géza de Kresz at the Hambourg Conservatory beginning in 1921. Solway went to Belgium 1926-8 on the advice of de Kresz, and studied with Eugène Ysaÿe in Brussels, making his concert debut there in 1928.
Watch Maurice Solway acting as well as playing violin. From YouTube.
Solway played (1923-6) in the New Symphony Orchestra (later the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, TSO), and the TSO 1933-52. In 1947 he founded the Solway String Quartet with Jacob Groob, Nathan Green(berg), and Marcus Adeney, and they gave their first concert in March 1948. Other personnel in the ensemble through the years included Murray Adaskin, Robert Warburton, Charles Dobias, Berul Sugerman, Ivan Romanoff and Joseph Pach. The quartet gave public and CBC concerts until 1968 and toured provincially in small towns, sponsored by the Ontario Board of Education. Its programs included standard repertoire, arrangements of familiar tunes, and works by Jean Coulthard, James Gayfer, Sir Ernest MacMillan, John Weinzweig, Louis Applebaum, Howard Cable, Leo Smith, and Healey Willan. In 1952 they presented the first "Pops" concert at Hart House to encourage non classical music lovers to attend concerts.
In 1948, the quartet premiered Coulthard's Quartet # 1, and in 1955 gave the first complete broadcast performance of MacMIllan's C minor string quartet. With Andrés Segovia, the Solway String Quartet gave the Canadian premiere of the Caststelnuovo-Tedesco guitar quintet.
Solway also played in jazz groups.
Actor, Author, Composer, Teacher
As a composer, Solway has produced some 100 works, mainly for solo violin or violin and piano, often based on folk themes from countries he had visited, several of them published. He contributed original music to the film The Violin, including Reminiscence and Warum for violin and piano published by Boosey and Hawkes. He appeared as an actor in this film which received a 1975 Academy Award nomination.
Solway's writings include Recollections of a violinist (1984), and "Ysaÿe - gentle giant of the violin," in Music, Jun 1980. Solway also taught violin, and lectured about music.
Colville, Isabelle Inglis. "The Common Round: The Solway String Quartet", Newmarket Era and Express, 6 Mar 1952
"Violoinist makes film debut as composer actor/un violinist faits ses débuts à l'écran," The Canadian Composer, CAPAC Vol 77, Feb 1973
Kaptainis, Arthur. "Grateful Solway's memories pay homage to Eugene Ysaÿe," Toronto Globe and Mail, 23 Oct 1981
Elliot, Robin. "The String Quartet in Canada", PHD thesis, University of Toronto 1990
Koch, Eric. The Brothers Hambourg (Toronto 1997)
Author Susan Spier
Links to Other Sites
A career profile of Maurice Solway, distinguished violinist, music teacher, composer, author, and actor. From the Archeion website.