Eugene Kash | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Eugene Kash

Eugene 'Jack' (Leon) Kash,. Violinist, conductor, teacher, b Toronto 1 May 1912, d there 6 Mar 2004.

Kash, Eugene 'Jack'

Eugene 'Jack' (Leon) Kash,. Violinist, conductor, teacher, b Toronto 1 May 1912, d there 6 Mar 2004. He studied violin 1918-28 with Luigi von Kunits, 1928-31 at the Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia) with Arthur Meieff and 1931-5 in Czechoslovakia with Otakar Ševčík and at the Vienna Academy of Music with Bronislaw Huberman. He was a member of the Neues Wiener Konzertorchester under Scherchen, Klemperer, and Monteux and attended master classes 1935 with William Primrose in London. Kash studied 1940-1 with Kathleen Parlow in Toronto and in 1947 with Dimitri Dounis in New York. He also studied conducting during the 1950s with William Steinberg in the USA and with Igor Markevitch in Germany and Mexico. He played 1934-42 in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and in CBC orchestras and was acting concertmaster 1941-2 for the Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra's Promenade Symphony Concerts.

Career from Mid-1940s

Kash joined the National Film Board in 1942 and was music director 1948-50. He was concertmaster 1944-50 and conductor 1950-7 of the Ottawa Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1946 he founded a popular series of children's concerts with that orchestra; one of these was the subject of a 1949 NFB film entitled Children's Concert. During the 1940s and 1950s he performed in recitals with Greta Kraus and Pearl Palmason. In 1952 he premiered Murray Adaskin'sSonatine baroque (a work he had commissioned) and in 1955 he was a featured performer at the Stratford Festival. Kash developed a children's series "The Magic of Music" for CBC television (1955-8) to introduce children to the instruments, history, and musical theory of the orchestra. The programs were written by Helmut Blume and won an award from the Institute for Education in Radio and Television from Ohio State University.

He married the contralto Maureen Forrester in 1957.

Kash and Forrester participated annually 1961-75 in the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. He broadcast for the BBC in London and Orchestre National De France (ORTF) in Paris. He was assistant conductor and director of youth concerts 1961-3 with the Fairfield County Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut, academic administrator of the National Youth Orchestra in 1963, and conductor 1964-5 of Montreal Symphony Orchestra youth concerts.

Career after 1970s

In 1971 he hosted the CBC radio's "Musicscope," on which he performed sonata recitals with John Newmark. Kash taught 1967-71 at the Philadelphia Musical Academy and 1971-3 at York University, Toronto, where he also conducted the York University Chamber Ensemble. He was the conductor 1975-85 of Toronto's Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra and 1975-80 of the North York Teachers' Orchestra. Kash joined the staff of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) in 1975 and continued to teach violin, viola, and conducting there until 2004. He was a member of Soundstage Canada '81, the 1981 contemporary music performance ensemble that toured in Yugoslavia, Hungary, and Romania.

Kash was the subject of the documentary produced by Favaro-Mallen Films entitled Eugene Kash: Passionate Flight (1997). The RCM honoured him with a 90th anniversary concert in 2002. In 2004 he was the recipient of the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal, and the City of Toronto Award of Merit.


Handel Sonata, Opus 2, no. 8 - Reger Trio, Opus 2. Kondaks viola, Newmark piano. 1951. RCI 45

Morawetz Rondo. Newmark piano. 1949. RCI 9

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