EZRA SCHABAS C.M., O.Ont. April 24, 1924 - October 12, 2020 Born in New York City on April 24, 1924, son of Hyman Schabas and Minnie Anker, Ezra Schabas passed away peacefully in Toronto on October 12, 2020. He leaves his beloved wife, Ann (née Fairley), whom he married in 1949, five children, William (Penelope), Richard (Patti), Margaret, Michael (Veronica) and Paul (Alison), twelve grandchildren, and eleven great-grandchildren. He studied at the Juilliard School of Music before serving in the United States Army in France and Germany during World War 2, as a member of an Air Force Band. He then completed a Master's degree at Columbia University. Following an academic appointment at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, in 1952 he made Toronto his home. 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. He was deeply involved in founding the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 1960 and was its first manager. He was a prolific author, writing biographies of important musicians and histories of the Royal Conservatory and the Canadian Opera Company. He received the City of Toronto book award for his biography of Sir Ernest MacMillan. An enthusiastic hiker and tennis player, he also served as president of the Arts and Letters Club of which he was an active member for many years. Donations may be made in his memory to the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Oct. 14 to Oct. 18, 2020.