Introduction

“Jacob Siskind was a unique and irreplaceable figure in Canadian music. Never willing to pander to passing fashion, he always expressed himself freely and elegantly, trusting his intelligence, his acutely refined ear and his long experience in the business. He was a tireless and passionate advocate of classical music culture in Canada

– James Wright, Professor of Music, Carleton University

Photograph of Jacob Siskind giving presentation at the National Arts Centre

Jacob Kohos Siskind (b. June 9th, 1928 – d. December 17th, 2010, Ottawa) was born in Montreal, Canada and took an interest in music at a young age, giving him early training for his career of critiquing performing arts and being an important component in the classical music scene in Canada.

Over the course of his career, Siskind critiqued theatre and dance, but primarily performances and recordings of music. Siskind attended hundreds of performances throughout his career, frequently writing, editing and handing in the column in the same night. It was with this this passion that he expressed the variety and beauty of classical music to his audience. His journalistic principles were perhaps the very best evidence of his love of music. Using intentionally unpretentious delivery, Siskind reached a broad audience to illuminate a sometimes seemingly inaccessible art. It was this underlying intention that brought him considerable admiration, but more importantly, brought classical music new enthusiasts.