Nyo Canada was saddened to learn of the passing of one of its founding members EZRA SCHABAS, C.M., O.Ont. who was deeply involved in the formation of The National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 1960 and was its first manager.
A distinguished clarinettist and an innovative and dedicated teacher, he trained and nurtured young musicians at the Royal Conservatory of Music, of which he was the Principal from 1978 to 1983, and at the Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto, where he headed the performance and opera department from 1968 to 1978.
In addition to his work as a performer and a pedagogue, Ezra was a prolific author, writing the book There’s Music In These Walls: A History of the Royal Conservatory of Music, as well as two major biographies including Sir Ernest MacMillan: The Importance of Being Canadian (University of Toronto Press, 1994), which won him the 1995 City of Toronto Book Award.
Ezra was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 1996 and the Order of Canada in 2000. In 2002, he was named as an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Conservatory of Music and in 2012, he received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Ezra Schabas has asked that donations in his memory be made to The Royal Conservatory of Music.