Canadian music professor, clarinettist, conductor, composer and arranger David Leon Kaplan was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA on 12 December 1923. He studied at Roosevelt University, Oberlin College and Indiana University, and taught initially at West Texas State University from 1955-9.
He moved to Canada in 1960 and was professor of music at the University of Saskatchewan, where he founded the department of music and ran it from 1966 until 1982. He also founded the university's concert band.
From 1962 until 1972 he was principal conductor of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. He was the founding chairman of the Saskatchewan Music Council in 1967.
Some of his compositions and arrangements have been published by Belwin and Jack Spratt, New York.
He became a member of the Order of Canada in 2002 and received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2006. In 2009 he was named as a Canadian Music Centre ambassador for his contribution to new music in Canada.
His influence on the local and Canadian national music scene was such that Saskatoon City Council named his ninetieth birthday 'David L Kaplan Day'.
David Kaplan died at home in Saskatoon on 6 April 2015, aged ninety-one.