Full name: John Jacob Weinzweig
Other name(s): Jean Weinzweig
Born: March 11, 1913 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: August 24, 2006 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sport: Art Competitions
Medals: 1 Silver (1 Total)
John Weinzweig was one of Canada’s greatest classical music composers. He took up music as a high school student and studied multiple instruments, eventually attending the University of Toronto and earning a bachelor’s degree in music in 1937. He began composing in the late 1930s, mainly for radio, but his career was interrupted by World War II, in which he served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1943 through 1945. Upon his return he gave up radio and turned to composing concert music. He submitted a piece, Divertimenti for Solo Flute and Strings, to the instrumental and chamber music category of the art competitions at the 1948 Summer Olympics and won silver, the highest honor in the competition, as no gold medal was awarded. He was one of only two Canadian medalists ever in the art competitions, the other being Tait McKenzie, who won bronze in the medals and reliefs category at the 1932 Games.
Weinzweig joined the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music in 1952 and was instrumental in forming several important Canadian music institutions during the 1950s, such as the Canadian League of Composers and the Canadian Music Centre. Retiring from the University in 1978, he continued composing through the 1990s and remained active as a promoter of Canadian classical music until his death in 2006, leaving behind a legacy as one of Canada’s most prolific and prominent composers. Among his many honors, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1974 and received the Order of Ontario in 1988.
|1948 Summer||35||London||Art Competitions||Mixed Music, Instrumental And Chamber||Canada||CAN||2||Silver|