Peak At 65? Why Not 85?

To continue the topic from last week about looking ahead (and looking forward) to the later stages of life, I got an insightful e-mail from a friend and colleague of mine in Victoria. She wrote in to tell me about Canadian composer Murray Adaskin (1906-2002), who produced a great quantity of work late in his career. So I did a bit of research. It turns out that Adaskin wrote over 50% of his music after he retired from his post in the Music department at the University of Saskatchewan. According to this catalogue of his work , courtesy of the Canadian Music Centre, he wrote 62 out of 131 of his pieces after 1988. If the Kiwanis festival had an 82-and-up category for composers, he’d surely have won first place…

Adaskin’s music was the focus of his professional life, and he worked in many musical roles through the years, including as a violinist and chamber musician at the Banff Springs Hotel, composer-in-residence, and department of music Chair. I can only imagine the depth of knowledge that comes from a lifetime of performing, arranging, writing, and probably grading music theory papers, but it’s clear that Adaskin maintained his musical energy well into his later life, converting it into a wealth of music for the future.

Thanks to Marnie for pointing out this great Canadian example of perseverance as a composer!

By the way, I love hearing from you guys, so send me an email or write a comment below if you’d like to connect.

And in case you missed it a few weeks ago, I’d invite you to listen to some Christmas music I recorded at the piano. Feel free to share it with friends and family!

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