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Remembering Ezra Schabas (1924-2020)

Remembering Ezra Schabas (1924-2020)

Published on October 14, 2020

The Royal Conservatory of Music community mourns the loss of Canadian musician Ezra Schabas

There's Music in These Walls book cover

A distinguished clarinetist and an innovative teacher, he trained and nurtured young musicians at The Royal Conservatory of Music, where he served as Principal from 1978 to 1983, as well as at the University of Toronto as head of the performance and opera department. Ezra was also deeply involved in founding the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 1960 and was its first manager. 

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.