January 17, 1917 – June 13, 2007
Oskar Morawetz was a Canadian composer. Morawetz was born in Světlá nad Sázavou, Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic). He studied piano and theory in Prague and, following the Nazi takeover of his country in 1938, studied in Vienna and Paris, always staying one step ahead of the invading Nazis. At an early age he developed the ability to sight-read orchestral scores and at the age of 19 he was recommended by George Szell for the assistant conductor’s post with the Prague Opera. In 1940 he left Europe for Canada and since that time he established himself as one of Canada’s leading and most frequently performed composers.