Died June 3, 2018
Saul Chapman studied composition with Samuel Dolin and harmony and counterpoint with Gordon Delamont in the 1950s. Chapman has been involved with music since early childhood. His uncles were all musicians. One, violinist Isadore Dubinsky, played for the Toronto Symphony for 50 years. Saul chose to go into business for himself to support his musical career. He soon became a successful jazz clarinetist and saxophonist and the leader of the Toronto Chamber Jazz Sextet, which performed their original compositions at Universities, Museums, Art Galleries and other public venues in the city throughout the 1960s. Later he broadened his musical vocabulary, and while elements of jazz can still be detected in his music, they are neither more nor less significant than his references to Jewish liturgical chants. His “Memorial to the Holocaust,” Yad V’ashem, has received several performances since its premiere in 1976, as has his trio for clarinet, cello and piano, Somerset (1977). Ruth, a cantata based on the Old Testament character who refuses to desert her Jewish mother-in-law Naomi, was commissioned in 1981 by Holy Blossom Temple, Toronto.