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In Memoriam 2007-2010

                                                In Memoriam

In Memoriam Archive

11 August 2010

Leon Breeden - In Memoriam

Denton, Texas USA

21 July 2010

David Etheridge - In Memoriam

Norman, Oklahoma USA

           For multitudes of Clarinetists around the world including students familiar with the annual Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium at the University of Oklahoma and the many International faculty who have participated in the last 35 years, his passing has brought profound mourning after dying from Peritineal Cancer in such a short period after discovery.  Dr Etheridge has been a landmark icon for his labor of love in this event every year as well as his teaching.  Information about David Etheridge is below which tells a remarkable history of this great man.

David Ellis Etheridge

David Etheridge, 67, of Norman passed away on July 21.  He was born to Eileen and Ellis Etheridge, September 11, 1942, in Denver, Colorado.

David, a David Ross Boyd Distinguished Professor, holds degrees from the University of Colorado and the Eastman School of Music, earning a Doctor of Musical Arts in clarinet performance.

He had a zest for life and was very devoted to his family and students at OU.  His other passions were practicing the clarinet, cooking, sailing, skiing and traveling.

Prior to his 35-year tenure at the Univ. of Ok, he served on the faculty of the Crane School of Music in Potsdam, New York. He gave numerous recitals and clinics across the United States and Europe, and is a former member of the OK City Philharmonic.  He is the founder of the OU Clarinet Symposium, which just celebrated its 35th year.  His most recent  publications include Clarinet for Dummies, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto: The Performers View and three instructional books .

He is survived by Cheryl, his wife of 47 years; mother Eileen Etheridge of Denver, Co and father Ellis Etheridge of Norman; son Scott Etheridge and daughter-in-law Natalie, grandchildren Bennett and Sydney of Atlanta; daughter Suzanne Ouellette and son-in-law Thomas, grandchildren Luc and Nina also from Atlanta; sister Janet Klumas and husband Larry of Calif.; Sister-in-law Charlene Walker and husband Barry of Denver, Colorado and niece Janet Lynn Robinson and husband Mike of Seattle.

Dr. Etheridge will be buried in Denver, Colorado following a  3:00 service on July 28th at Olingers Crown Hill Cemetary.  A celebration of his life will be held in Norman in September.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the the David Etheridge Clarinet Scholarship, OU Foundation, 100 Timberdell Drive, Norman, OK 73019.



3 July 2010


Tsuneya Hurai - In Memoriam



Nishinomiya, Japan






18 June 2010

Kalmen Opperman - In Memoriam

New York City USA

        It is a shock to learn of the passing of this great Clarinet/Musician icon during the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium where on the second day the word reached here. It was 1 December that he celebrated his 90th birthday with a great tribute concert at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall with Richard  Stotzman presiding with many of his students and a Clarinet Ensemble conducted by him performing for a sellout audience.  Opperman's website hyperlinked on his name above provides many details of his life history and legacy.


  • Kalmen Opperman, a master clarinetist whose intensive teaching methods helped mold some of the top players of the last 50 years, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 90

    The cause was complications of congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Roie Opperman.

    Mr. Opperman began his professional career playing for ballet and Broadway, but it was his relentless pursuit of musical perfection and highly personal teaching methods that drew generations of students to his studio.

    “He was the elder statesman of the clarinet,” said Stanley Drucker, who was the longtime principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic until his retirement last year.

    In his quest for excellence, Mr. Opperman became an expert in the mechanics of the instrument and often fabricated tuning barrels and mouthpieces, but only for his students. He wrote a series of widely used technical studies and the first authoritative guide to clarinet reeds.

    Perhaps his best-known pupil is the international soloist Richard Stoltzman, who had just completed a master’s degree at Yale in 1967 when he sought out Mr. Opperman for instruction on reeds — the two-and-a-half-inch-long pieces of cane that are the obsession of most players, a passionate fraternity of tinkerers.

    “I came to him with a sense of entitlement, to take my place in the music establishment,” Mr. Stoltzman said with a laugh in an interview. “He had me play a little. Then he said, ‘Yeah, well, you don’t really know where the holes are on the clarinet yet.’ It was then that I realized I would be a lifelong student.”

    Mr. Opperman was single-minded about extracting the most from those he taught. To that end, Mr. Stoltzman said, he composed wry epigrams and taped them to the walls of his studio, which gradually expanded to fill much of his apartment on West 67th Street in Manhattan. Among them were, “Everyone discovers their own way of destroying themselves, and some people choose the clarinet.”

    Larry Guy, a symphonic player, teacher and author of books on reeds and embouchure development — the taut formation of the lips around the mouthpiece and reed — was already an established player when he went to Mr. Opperman to correct problems with his right hand.

    Instead, Mr. Opperman identified embouchure problems. Over three years, Mr. Guy’s embouchure was restored, and the hand problem vanished.

    “People went to him to clean out all the clutter and the dust in their playing,” Mr. Guy said. “He saw things that other people didn’t see. And he had great ears. This made him a great diagnostician.”

    Kalmen Opperman was born on Dec. 8, 1919, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and grew up in Spring Valley, N.Y., attending high school there. His parents, Hyman and Rose, were immigrants from Austria and Poland. His father, an artist and flutist, became his first music teacher. As a teenager, Mr. Opperman studied with Simeon Bellison, the principal clarinetist of the Philharmonic from 1923 to 1948.

    From 1939 to 1943 he studied with Ralph McLane, a revered player and teacher who later became the principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Through McLane, Mr. Opperman grew to exemplify what is known as the French school, with lineage that dates to the Paris Conservatory in the late 18th century.

    In 1938, Mr. Opperman successfully auditioned for the West Point Band , where he played for three years, ultimately serving seven years with Army bands.

    His Broadway career followed, including nearly two dozen shows as principal clarinet, the last being the original production of “La Cage Aux Folles” in 1983. He was also principal clarinet for Ballet Theater (later renamed American Ballet Theater) and for the American tour of the Ballet de Paris. He taught and lectured widely, at symposiums and universities around the country.

    Mr. Opperman was married three times and divorced twice. After an early marriage, he wed the former Prudence Ward. Their children, Roie Opperman, of Manhattan, and Charles Opperman, of Chappaqua, N.Y., survive him.

    Also surviving are his wife, the former Louise Cozze, and his brothers, George, of South Bend, Ind., and Melvin, of Orange County, Calif.

    Opperman students often found that lessons meant to last an hour could go on for four. Mr. Stoltzman recalled spending at least a week in the Opperman apartment some years ago, rising early for “a farmer’s breakfast” and then beginning the day’s instruction.

    “He would deconstruct you,” he said. “He would expose your false attitudes about things. But at the end, he would restore you to a whole and make you feel that it was all still possible.”


9 February 2010

Kjell-Inge Stevensson - Acclaimed Swedish Soloist - In Memoriam

Stockholm, Sweden

           Kjell-Inge was born in Säffle in Sweden 1950 . He received his first
education at Music College of Ingesund . He continued his studies
with prof Nils Otteryd at Royal College of Music in Stockholm and at
only the age of 20 years he made his debut playing the Carl Nielsen's
clarinet concerto . He recorded this piece later with Herbert
Blomstedt and this recording is considered to be one of the prime.
1971 he won the Principal clarinet position in the Swedish Radio
Orchestra a position he has hold ever since
He continued his studies for Prof Guy Deplus and Prof. Walter
Boeykens. He has taught clarinet and chamber music at the Royal
College of music since 1977 and he holds the Professor of Clarinet
         He has twice received the Swedish Grammy award and also several
awards for his work in performing contemporary music.
         He has served as guest professor at Michigan State University in 1995
and also enjoyed a career in conducting. He formed the contemporary
ensemble Futurum which he travelled worldwide.
         Kjell-Inge also served as jury member at several times at
International competitions
         He was awarded the Swedish composers Interpret price 1997 and was
featured in Pamela Weston' s Clarinet Virtuosi of Today
He was co-host with Stefan Harg for the ICA's Clarinet Fest in 2002
He is featured on many CD such as Carl Nielsen Clarinet Concerto with
DRSNO and Blomsted . CD Virtuoso Clarinet with Eva Knardahl solo
pieces and sonatas. New music with Harry Spanjaard and Rebellious
Clarinettists with Stefan Harg and Crusell Sinfonia Concertante with
the SRSO and Kamu and several others . He also can be heard on the
Swedish Radio Orchestras CD with especially the Nielsens' symphony
5 / Salonen .
        He was survived by his wife, 3 children and 3 grandchildren


10 January 2010

Dick Johnson - Jazz Clarinetist - In Memoriam

Boston, Massachusetts USA

Dick Johnson, perhaps best known for his long stint as frontman for the Artie Shaw Orchestra, died in the Boston area on Sunday, January 10. Johnson died at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston after a brief illness, according to the Conley Funeral Home. He was 84 years old.

Johnson was born December 1, 1925 and grew up in the Brockton, Mass area as part of a musical family. He got his professional start as a musician during a stint with the U.S. Navy in 1944-1946. Johnson served with the navy band on the USS Pasadena during WWII. He often credited his stint in the Navy for kicking off his career in jazz.

After the war, Johnson toured with the big bands of Charlie Spivak and Buddy Morrow. Eventually, after several years on the road, he settled in his hometown of Brockton, Mass. It was there in Brockton where he and close friend, Lou Colombo formed a jazz sextet. The group lasted 10 years, but the friendship and musical kinship lasted for the rest of his life. In addition, Johnson formed his septet—Swing Shift—which was a staple on the Boston music scene for many years. Like Herb Pomeroy, Johnson managed a double career as a perfomer and an educator, teaching jazz at nearby Berklee, where he mentored many younger jazz musicians.

According to the notes on Johnson’s album Artie’s Choice, in 1980, Artie Shaw sent a message to Dick Johnson's manager, and said: "You wanted to hear what I think of Dick Johnson's clarinet playing. Okay. At this time, he's the best I've ever heard. Bar nobody. And you can quote me on that, anywhere, anytime!"

Shortly thereafter in 1983 he joined the Artie Shaw Orchestra as its frontman, with Shaw himself retired at least as a clarinetist. Shaw continued to appear with the group and let Johnson act as his surrogate for the next 20 years. Idiosyncratic until the end, Shaw permitted few recordings by the group, but Johnson’s reputation as a clarinetist grew from its live performances. The group disbanded in 2006 a few years shortly after Shaw’s death.

Over the years Johnson performed with Dave McKenna, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Buddy Rich. He recorded as a both a leader and a sideman on the Mercury, Emarcy, Riverside, and Concord Jazz labels. His latest CD was Star Dust and Beyond: A Tribute to Artie Shaw for the Crazy Scott label in 2006.

Johnson was an important part of the local Boston jazz and music community. In 1999, Brockton declared May 1 to be “Dick Johnson Day.” Johnson spent the day meeting students and later performed with school band members at Brockton High.
Johnson is survived by family members including his wife of 59 years, Rose Johnson of Brockton, his son, Gary Johnson, and his daughter, Pamela Sargent, wife of noted jazz guitarist Gray Sargent.

Eddie Daniels, Pamela Weston, Karl Leister, and Mike Getzin from International Clarinet Congress at University of Denver 1979

22 September 2009

Pamela Weston - In Memoriam

London, United Kingdom

Pamela Weston: Heroine of Clarinettistry

It is with sadness that we note the passing of Pamela Weston, one of the world's foremost researchers and writers on the clarinet. Weston is well-known for her excellent books about clarinetists: Clarinet Virtuosi of the Past (1971), More Clarinet Virtuosi of the Past (1977), Clarinet Virtuosi of Today (1989), Yesterday's Clarinetists: A Sequel (2002), and Heroes and Heroines of Clarinettistry (2008). She wrote numerous articles for journals and magazines, each one beautifully written and a joy to read. Weston combined a talent for writing with a dedication to research, creating a collection of writings about the clarinet and its players which will be valued by the clarinet world for many years to come. She is a true "Heroine of Clarinettistry."

A letter written by Pamela Weston before her death by assisted suicide, and explaining her decision, was published in the UK Times Online and can be found here.

Another article has been posted to the "Action for M.E." website, and there is also a Clarinet BBoard thread going about Pamela Weston. Most of her books can be purchased through Van Cott Information Services, Inc.





Hamilton Memory

14 April 2009

J Finley Hamilton - In Memoriam

Retired Former Commander of The United States Army Field Band 

Ellicott City, Maryland USA


         Finley Ray Hamilton, Colonel (Ret.), United States Army, died of cancer on Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at the age of 61 at his home in Ellicott City, Maryland. His wife, Kathy, was with him throughout his long illness.

         Finley was born on January 21, 1948 in Richmond, Kentucky to Charles and Nancy Hamilton. He attended Eastern Kentucky University’s Model School and later Madison High School. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music in 1970 and a Master’s degree in Music in 1975. Throughout his education, he was an active member of the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha, and marked himself as a career musician early on.

I        n 1971, Colonel Hamilton was commissioned as an officer in the United States Army through Eastern Kentucky University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He would go on to have an illustrious 35-year career in the Army Bands Program, commanding the Army Ground Forces Band at Ft. McPherson, Georgia, the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus in Heidelberg, Germany, and The U.S. Army Field Band, Washington, D.C.

          Colonel Hamilton was a graduate of the Army’s Adjutant General’s Officer Basic and Advanced Courses and the Command and General Staff College. His decorations included the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. He was given the Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Association’s highest award for service to the regiment, the Horatio Gates Medal in Gold.

         Colonel Hamilton was a member of the prestigious American Bandmasters Association, the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and the Texas Bandmasters Association. He was President of the National Band Association at the time of his passing. Eastern Kentucky University awarded him its honorary Doctor of Arts degree in 2003 in recognition of his lifetime of service to music, music education, and the university. He was also inducted into the university’s Hall of Fame, and into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels.

          Throughout his career, Colonel Hamilton remained active as a guest conductor and clinician, conducting numerous state and national music festivals and conventions, as well as the Cincinnati Pops HamiltonOrchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony. He was a fine representative of the United States Army and of the music community. People close to him knew him for his old-fashioned, Middle American sensibilities, his passion for excellence in music, his cheerful pursuit of golf, and his appreciation of a good joke. His Soldiers knew him as an honest, even-handed commander.

Colonel Hamilton is survived by his wife Kathy, his stepson José, and his sister Rebecca Hamilton Brown of Ormond Beach, Florida. He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother Benny.

Visitation for Colonel Hamilton will be held at:
Slack Funeral Home
3871 Old Columbia Pike
Ellicott City, MD
1600 to 1800
Sunday, April 19

Services will be held at:
Argonne Hills Chapel Center
Bldg. 7100
Rockenbach Rd & Grandea Ave.
Ft. George G. Meade, Maryland
Monday, April 20

Burial will be in:
Arlington National Cemetery
1345 (following the services at Ft. Meade)
Those attending the interment should be at the Arlington National Cemetery Administration Building between 1300-1315.


The family asks that remembrances of Colonel Hamilton be sent in the form of donations to the Colonel Finley Hamilton Music Scholarship Fund. Please send donations to Eastern Kentucky University, Development Office, 521 Lancaster Avenue, CPO 10A, Richmond, KY 40475. Annotate the memo line of checks with: COL Finley Hamilton Music Scholarship Fund.

12 March 2009

Kalman Bloch - In Memoriam

Los Angeles, California USA

Kalman Bloch  -  Clarinetist for Los Angeles Philharmonic

Kalman Bloch, 95, principal clarinetist for the Los Angeles Philharmonic for nearly 45 years, died March 12 at his home in Los Angeles, according to his daughter, Michele Zukovsky, who is now one of the orchestra's co-principal clarinetists.

Bloch was born in New York on May 30, 1913, and attended Columbia College. He studied clarinet with Simeon Bellison, a legendary figure with the New York Philharmonic.

When Bloch was having trouble finding work during the Depression, Bellison encouraged him to send out resumes to 100 orchestras around the country. According to Zukovsky, the only one to respond was conductor Otto Klemperer, who was leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Bloch traveled to L.A. and auditioned privately for Klemperer before playing for the full orchestra hiring committee. He immediately got the job.

Bloch was principal first clarinetist from 1937 until his retirement in 1981. For many of those years, he played alongside his daughter.

Albert Goldberg, then the Times' music critic, wrote that Bloch's playing of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto on a program with the suite from Anton Berg's "Lulu" and Schumann's Fourth Symphony, with Georg Solti conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic, was one of the highlights of the 1960 musical season.

Bloch also performed with studio orchestras on several film soundtracks, including "Sunset Boulevard," "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and "North by Northwest."


7 February 2009

Jacques Lancelot - In Memoriam

Paris, France

A great loss for the clarinet world.  passed away on  aged 88


Atelier Buffet Crampon - Jacques Lancelot (clarinet test player) accompanied by Daniel Defayet (saxophone test player)

           Having been a test player for Buffet Crampon for 46 years (1953-1999), Jacques Lancelot has been an important figure for our company and for the world of the clarinet.

           Being an international soloist and teacher, Jacques Lancelot is considered around the world being one of the most authentic representatives of the French clarinet school.

           Being a student of Auguste Périer at the Paris Conservatoire, he obtains his first prize in 1939 and continues his studies in the chamber music class of Fernand Oubradous. He is appointed professor at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon at its foundation. He is a teacher at the Académie Internationale de Nice from 1960 to 1975 and member of the jury of the Paris Conservatoire and of many international competitions. His master classes have been particularly appreciated in Japan, where he formed a large number of musicians. Besides being solo clarinetist of the Concerts Lamoureux and the Orchestre de la Garde Républicaine, he was also a member of the French Wind Quintet.

          Thanks to his numerous recordings, he left us a rich heritage, in particular with his world premiere performance of Jean Françaix’ ‘Concerto’, for which he obtained the Grand Prix du Disque in 1971.


The funeral will take place on Monday 16th February, 2.30 PM at

Eglise St Roch - 296 rue St Honoré 75001 Paris (Métro Tuileries)

The burial will take place at 4.30pm in the Montparnasse cemetery.

Discover his full biography at /en/artists.php?mode=artistPresentation&aid=126

To be (re)discovered also, the following video made in 1971:


1 February 2009

Lukas Foss, Composer, Conductor, Pianist  -  In Memoriam

New York City USA

I            If it had music inside, Lukas Foss – who has died in New York aged 86 – normally felt at home. Foss was a composer, pianist and conductor, but perhaps more significantly a proselytiser for an extreme pluralism that, although carried out with utmost integrity, often led to controversy and – some might say – an uneven legacy.

             Foss was born in Berlin and came to the US in 1937 with his Jewish family to escape an uncertain future in Europe. If a young composer/conductor influenced by Aaron Copland and then becoming Serge Koussevitzky’s conducting assistant at Tanglewood sounds familiar, then Foss’s career did orbit a parallel universe to that of his friend Leonard Bernstein. William Bolcom described Foss’s music as being more “disciplined” than Bernstein’s, but then Foss didn’t want the whole world to love him and, anyway, didn’t have the sort of personality that could have crossed into the mainstream.

             Instead Foss listened hard to what was developing around him, and poured his many discoveries into his own music. Beginning as a neo-Stravinskian classicist with an interest in Bartók, with added Coplandesque spice (as his Piano Concerto No 1 testifies), Foss later fell under the spell of John Cage and cultivated an interest in indeterminacy and electronics; as minimalism became hip, Foss wasn’t far behind and his pieces often referred to jazz and rock. When Bernstein premiered his Time Cycle in 1961, Foss’s free improvisation group was invited to link the movements together; when Rostropovich played Foss’s Cello Concerto in 1967, he was obliged to engage with aleatoric elements and electronics.

           As a performer Foss was just as bold. He led the Buffalo Philharmonic from 1963 to 1970 and his wildly radical programmes provoked bruising orchestral politics, but genuinely revelatory concerts: Foss was alone in programming Julius Eastman, the militant black gay composer whose works bristled with volatile anger and required classical musicians to improvise. He also had a career as a concert pianist, recording Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety Symphony twice with its composer. Bernstein’s recordings of Time Cycle, Phorion and Song of Songs were reissued on Sony in 1997, and in 2003 Naxos released his complete piano music. His impractical requirements and sometimes overstacked concepts mean his compositions will forever be a rarity live, but let’s celebrate Foss as a composer who always dealt with the actualité: in 1997 he said “The funny thing is that after all these works, I still don’t have a recipe for composing.” But he never stopped cooking.

Philip Clark


24 November 2008

Mitchell Lurie  -  In Memoriam

Los Angeles, California USA

             One of the most revered American Clarinetists passed away on this date.  Mr Lurie has been respected as one of the leading players and teachers as he has been in several Symphonies including Pittsburgh and Chicago Symphonies, and a leading Hollywood Studio musician being heard in several films over the last 35 years.  He was a Professor at major Universities in California including the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).  He is a past student of Daniel Bonade when he was a student at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.  Many of his past students have been successful as performers and teachers, and Mr Lurie has always been proactive at Festivals doing Master Classes on the International scale.  In addition to all these activities he has embarked on several projects including developing his own brand of Clarinet Reeds that are used worldwide, and recently premiered the issue of the Tyrone Student Clarinets. 

Played principal clarinet under Fritz Reiner in Pittsburgh and Chicago Symphonies,
soloist  with Los Angeles Symphony, and the premiere clarinetist
in the motion picture studios in Los Angeles for over 25 years.  Many
outstanding recordings, well-beloved teacher at University of Southern
California, many outstanding students who are now playing and teaching
all over the country.  Also produced Mitchell Lurie clarinet mouthpieces,
ligature, and reeds.

Certainly one of the very finest US players of the 20th century.  Pablo Casals called him "the ideal clarinetist".

In respectful commemoration of Mr Lurie, A group of his students, his son Alan, and Larry Guy are involved in a project to make available a CD of his greatest performances, and Boston Records is interested in producing it.  At the moment, we are taking donations to make this CD a reality, and I have been elected secretary of the incoming donations.  If you or any of your subscribers
would like to make a donation to this tribute CD, you can make a check payable to

Mitchell Lurie Tribute Fund

and mail it to me (see address below).  I have established a bank account whose
sole purpose is to receive these donations.  When the funds have been accumulated,
we will use them to pay the costs of the CD, and if there is any money left over, it will go
to the Mitchell Lurie Scholarship Fund at USC.

Larry Guy
36 Hudson Avenue
Stony Point, NY   10980


4 October 2008

Alfred J. Gallodoro - In Memoriam - Clarinetist, Bass Clarinetist, Jazz Saxophonist

Oenienta, New York USA

Legendary Saxophonist's Career Spanned Eight Decades

Obituary by: Peter Westbrook

Jazz Photo Legendary saxophonist and clarinetist Alfred J. Gallodoro, featured soloist with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra from 1936 to 1940, passed away October 4th at the age of 95. During a professional career spanning more than eight decades, Gallodoro worked in virtually every musical environment, from vaudeville houses, speakeasies, and night clubs to symphonies, Carnegie Hall, and international jazz festivals. He claimed to be one of the world's longest continually active performing musicians. He was referred to by Jimmy Dorsey as ". . . the greatest saxophone player that ever lived," and received similar plaudits from the likes of Paquito D'Rivera, Benny Golson, Buddy DeFranco and Eddie Daniels.

Greatly admired for his musicianship and versatility, Gallodoro performed classical music as well as jazz under many famed conductors, including Isham Jones, Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowski, Alfredo Antonini, Leonard Bernstein, Andre Kostelanetz., Johnny Green, Tutti Camarata, Arthur Fiedler, Percy Faith, Skitch Henderson and Dr. Frank Black. Among the greats with whom he worked were George Gershwin, Victor Borge, Dina Shore, Sid Caesar, Raphael Mendez, Les Paul, Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen, Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey, Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra and Milton Berle. He appeared on countless movie and cartoon soundtracks. He also had music composed for him, most notably the Gallodoro Serenade written in 1958 by composer Ferde Grofè.

Gallodoro was featured in 2002 on CBS' Sunday Morning, and was the topic of a PBS documentary, the Al Gallodoro Story. He received an Honorary Doctoral Degree from Hartwick College in recognition of a lifetime of extraordinary achievements in music. Among these, he held the the world record for the most performances of the clarinet slide in Gershwins Rhapsody in Blue which he claimed to have played over 10,000 times.

Born June 20, 1913, Gallodoro was raised in Birmingham, AL. His first job was in 1926, a one week booking doing three vaudeville shows a day at Birmingham's Lyric Theatre, with the Romeo and his Juliet's band of the Romeo brothers, whose father would pick Al up from school. He was somehow able to join the union even though he was at least two years below the required minimum age. He continued to work in Alabama, and later in New Orleans where his parents relocated in 1927. At age 15 he became the first chair alto sax/clarinet in the Orpheum Theater house orchestra in New Orleans, accompanying well known vaudeville acts such as Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen, and Milton Berle. After the last show he would play from 11:30pm to 5 am at a night club called the Frolics, a routine he maintained until July 1933.

Moving to New York, Al freelanced for some time, including work with Isham Jones' orchestra as a sax soloist. Then, in the spring of 1936, he joined the Paul Whiteman Orchestra as first chair saxophone and clarinet and featured soloist. Playing clarinet, bass clarinet and alto sax earned him the nickname "Triple Threat." The orchestra disbanded in 1940, but in 1947 Whiteman became the Musical Director for WJZ Radio, later ABC Radio. Whiteman arranged for Al to join the staff as a soloist. Gallodoro stayed with WJZ until 1967, performing up to four live solos per week; over twenty arrangements were written specially for him. It was his belief that he played more live solos on the air than any other musician.

Gallodoro also joined the NBC Symphony in June 1942 where he played bass clarinet under Toscanini and Stokowski, as well as Dr. Frank Black.

From 1967 Al freelanced in New York, making countless records on various labels and playing for dozens of radio and TV programs. In 1981 he moved to Oneonta, NY. Until very recently he was still teaching and playing with local groups.

Praise for Galladoro came from all sides. Benny Golson wrote: "Amazing! The world should know Al Gallodoro, he is a hero in my eyes and in the eyes of the many others who know him. This guy was unreal, he must have been from Mars!"

Paquito D'Rivera, who was inspired as a boy by Al's Saxophone Contrasts album, sent this message: "With deep, very deep admiration, your NUMBER ONE FAN!"

Buddy DeFranco wrote, in The Clarinet of 12/99 ""Art Tatum, Charlie Parker, Heifetz, Perlman and Gallodoro are unequaled and may be for years to come."

The following tribute is from Saxophone Journal, March 2001: "Everywhere he performs or works, the living legend continues. And although legends tend to grow in size, once you hear this artist the stories of his greatness are, indeed understated . . . In all aspects of saxophone performance whether it be tonguing, articulation, interpretation or musicality, Al Gallodoro is the consummate master . . . His thoughts for musical improvisations are as prolific as his technical wizardry is prodigious."

More information:











































Jimmy Yan, Mike Getzin, and Bernd Wurlitzer

16 August 2008

Jimmy Yan - In Memoriam

Bronxville, New York USA

        Jimmy Yan, one of the most renowned artist Clarinet repair artisans, passed away on this date from advanced Cancer after a long illness. He is remembered for many years as the most sought after Clarinet repair/maintenance craftsman serving the most important players in New York, including members of the New York Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and many major soloists, teachers and students from the New York area. While in China, he was Clarinet Professor at the University of Shanghai, and upon coming to the United States in 1975, worked as a Clarinet technician for Fred Weiner at Wiener Music before setting up his own specialty shop in the mid-eighties.  During his time in New York, he intensively studied Mouthpiece design and facing with Everett Matson.    He is an immigrant from China, where he came to the United States to escape the tyranny from that time there.

15 June 2008

Gabor Reeves - In Memoriam

Sydney, Australia

              AS ONE of Australia's leading classical musicians Gabor Reeves was a serious performer and academic, of course. Unusually perhaps, he was also a burlesque showman. He was a clarinetist with symphony orchestras around Australia and overseas but his desire to entertain led him to create a couple of zany characters to complement the serious side of his work.

             "Eric Lant" was used when he wanted to perform incognito. The other, a more flamboyant one, was "Clare Nit", who made "her" debut in Adelaide many years ago, singing Danny Boy in falsetto. She went on to perform in Sydney on the clarinet as well. Her favorite piece was Immer Kleiner, where she gradually removed parts of her clarinet until all that was left was the mouthpiece on which she squeaked the theme, then packed it into the case, and walked off the stage.

             Gabor Revesz was born in Budapest of Jewish parents, Oszkar Revesz, the managing director of a large porcelain factory and an accomplished amateur violinist, and his wife, Mitszu Kovesi. The family converted to Catholicism to avoid persecution during World War II but still suffered.

            After surviving the bombing of their apartment block, Gabor was interned by the pro-German, anti-Semitic Arrow Cross government. In December 1944 he survived being shot by falling into the icy waters of the Danube and playing dead. He and others had been told to empty their pockets and descend to the edge, facing the water. Then the shooting started.

           "On the first shot the teacher cried out, then the boy on my left," Reeves told his son in later years. "The third shot was obviously quite accurate, as the boy never uttered a sound, just slid into the water. I was the only one left standing so I was prepared. When the sound came, I slid into the water."

           After he had been given up for dead, he managed to stumble to a shelter. The next day he made his way to safety in the house of his school friend Tommy Tycho. Their association continued after the war and he sponsored Tycho in 1950 to migrate to Australia. Tycho became well-known here as a pianist, conductor and arranger.

          Revesz came to Australian in 1948, anglicised his surname to Reeves and a few weeks later fell in love. He and Zsoska Scheffer were married the following year. They had two sons, Ron and Steve, who became musicians, but they were divorced after 25 years. In 1977 he married again, to Anthea Hamilton, and became stepfather to Richard and Nicola.

         In Australia, Reeves continued his clarinet studies and supported himself playing jazz. He took his diploma from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and started a career in classical music. In 1951 he became principal clarinet in Queensland, and three years later, principal of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for six years.

In 1960 he went to London freelancing. From time to time he played with the London Mozart Players and he was also principal clarinet in the Bach Festival Orchestra, conducted by Nadia Boulanger, and performed in the Schubert Octet at a chamber music concert led by Yehudi Menuhin.

        Reeves returned to Australia in 1963 and became principal clarinet in the Victorian Symphony Orchestra. In 1964 the family moved to Adelaide, where Reeves was lecturer at the Elder Conservatorium and a member of the newly formed Adelaide Wind Quintet. He performed extensively with the quintet throughout Australia, the US, Canada, Britain, Europe and South-East Asia. He also joined the renowned Bartok Quartet in a performance at Adelaide Town Hall of Mozart's Clarinet Quintet.

      After 10 years in Adelaide, Reeves returned to Sydney to found the Sydney Wind Quintet. He was appointed professor and head of the wind department, later head of performance studies, and eventually acting director of the Conservatorium. During his 21 years in Sydney, he developed a close musical relationship with the pianist Rachel Valler, with whom he gave many recitals. In 1982 and 1989, Reeves was also a visiting professor at Michigan State University.

         In 1988, he staged the Gabor Reeves Centenary Concert to celebrate his 60th birthday and 40 years in Australia. For that occasion he commissioned works for clarinet, double bass and percussion, so that he could play them with his sons Steve (double bass) and Ron (percussion).

         Reeves had a great sense of humor and didn't mind poking fun at himself (within his family he called himself "Garbage Leaves"). He was an inveterate punster. Once, driving past the Seymour Centre in Sydney, he asked, "Why is it called the Seymour Centre?" and answered straightaway, "Because you can't see more left, you can't see more right, but you can Seymour Centre." His wit showed in lyrics he wrote and performed, such as one about a shower cap: "Always firm yet so elastic, you can trust it if it's plastic." His sons played one of his songs at his funeral, to the delight of all present.

        In 1995 Reeves was awarded an AM for his services to music and as an educator. He and Anthea returned to Adelaide, where he continued to play chamber music and teach until late 1996, when Parkinson's disease forced him to stop.

       Although he and Zsoka Scheffer were divorced, they remained close friends. Late in his life, when he was incapacitated by the disease, Zsoka helped Anthea care for him.

      Gabor Reeves is survived by Anthea, Zsoka, brother Janos, sisters-in-law Maria and Diana,sons Steve and Ron, stepchildren Nikki and Richard and their families.

Ros Dunlop and Rachel Valler


15 April 2008

Thomas Friedli - In Memoriam

Geneva, Switzerland

          A tragic Mountain Climbing accident in Portugal has taken the life of one of Europe's great Clarinetists and Teachers, and active supporter to the professional development of Clarinetists, especially his role as President of the Clarinet Jury of the Geneva Clarinet Competition, just recently held in Geneva. Information about his renowned career is indicated below.

      Thomas Friedli studied music in Berne, Lausanne and also in Paris. In 1972, he was awarded the First Prize for Clarinet and the Ernest Ansermet Prize at the  Geneva International Music Competition. This success was followed by other prizes and distinctions. 

      From 1971 to 1986, Thomas Friedli played clarinet solo for the Berne Symphonic Orchestra. He then took up the same post for the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. Since 1978, he has taught a  virtuosity class at the Geneva Conservatoire. He regularly gives  master classes in Sion, Biella and also in several European countries. 

     His long tours have taken him across Japan  and throughout South America, in particular Brazil. He has performed with great success at the Lucerne, Gstaad, Zurich, Echternach, Bratislava, Sao Paolo, Stresa, Meiringen and Ibiza music festivals. 

     His interests cover a wide range:  from unknown works of the classical and romantic periods to contemporary music. 

     He has created a large number of concertante  partitions of works by Swiss composers.          

     Thomas Friedli has recorded  numerous discs for CLAVES. He received the Golden Disc Award for his recording of W.A. Mozart's Concerto for Clarinet.


7 February  2008


Vincent J. Abato - In Memoriam

Melbourne, Florida USA


        Vincent J. Abato, age 89, of Melbourne, FL and formerly of Malverne, NY. Proud US Navy Veteran. Vincent graduated from the Juilliard School of Music where he also taught for many years. He played the clarinet and saxophone and was an original member of the Glenn Miller Band. He also played in the Tommy Dorsey Band and at the Metropolitan Opera House for many years.

December 8, 2007 - In Memoriam

Karlheinz Stockhausen, Influential Composer and Avant-Garde Guru, Dies at 79

Kuerten, Germany




Karlheinz Stockhausen, an original and influential German composer who began his career as an inventor of new musical systems and ended it making operas to express his spiritual vision of the cosmos, died on Wednesday at his home in Kuerten-Kettenberg, Germany. He was 79.

His death was announced on Friday by the Stockhausen Foundation; no cause was disclosed.

Mr. Stockhausen had secured his place in music history by the time he was 30. He had taken a leading part in the development of electronic music, and his early instrumental compositions similarly struck out in new directions, in terms of their formal abstraction, rhythmic complexity and startling sound.

More recently, he made news for his public reaction to the attack on the World Trade Center. Not widely known outside the modern-music world in 2001, he became infamous for calling the attack “the greatest work of art that is possible in the whole cosmos.” His comments drew widespread outrage, and he apologized, saying that his allegorical remarks had been misunderstood.

Mr. Stockhausen produced an astonishing succession of compositions in the 1950s and early ’60s: highly abstract works that were based on rigorous principles of ordering and combination but at the same time were vivid, bold and engaging.

In “Song of the Youths” (1956), he used a multichannel montage of electronic sound with a recorded singing voice to create an image of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego staying alive in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. In “Groups” (1957), he divided an orchestra into three ensembles that often played in different tempos and called to one another.

Such works answered the need felt in postwar Europe for reconstruction and logic, the logic to forestall any recurrence of war and genocide. They made Mr. Stockhausen a beacon to younger composers. Along with a few other musicians of his generation, notably Pierre Boulez and Luigi Nono, he had an enormous influence. Though performances of his works were never plentiful, his music was promoted by radio stations in Germany and abroad as well as by the record company Deutsche Grammophon, and he gave lectures all over the world.

By the 1960s his influence had reached rock musicians, and he was an international subject of acclaim and denigration.

The intellectual and physical excitement of his earlier music diminished in the later 1960s, when he devoted himself largely to performing semi-improvised music with a chosen group of performers. The tone of his lectures and essays also changed. Earlier he had based his thinking on psychoacoustics and the nature of musical time; now he presented himself as the receiver of messages about a spiritual drama being played out in the cosmos.

Between 1977 and 2002, he concentrated his creative efforts on “Light,” a cycle of seven operas intended to bring that cosmic drama to the human stage. The project was extravagantly egomaniacal. Mr. Stockhausen devised the music, the scenario and the words for his operas, and he made stipulations about sets, costumes and lighting. During the period of “Light” and after, Mr. Stockhausen was venerated within his own circle of performers and family members (often the same people) but largely ignored outside it. His home at Kuerten, which he designed, became the center of a publishing, recording and promoting enterprise removed from the wider world. Formerly a star, he had turned into a guru.

Karlheinz Stockhausen was born on Aug. 22, 1928, near Cologne, the first child of Simon Stockhausen, a schoolteacher, and his wife, Gertrud. His mother began suffering deep depressions when he was still a boy and was committed to a mental hospital, where, according to Mr. Stockhausen, she was “officially killed” in 1941. His father later volunteered for the army and was killed in Hungary.

The young Mr. Stockhausen himself served as an orderly to a military hospital during the last year of World War II, after which he studied at the State Academy of Music in Cologne. He took composition lessons from Frank Martin, but his training was as a music teacher. He also played jazz in Cologne bars, directed an amateur operetta theater and, as he later remembered, “prayed a lot.”

His ambitions changed in July 1951, when he attended a summer music course at Darmstadt and heard a recording of Olivier Messiaen’s piano piece “Mode of Values and Intensities,” which he described as “incredible star music.” On his return to Cologne, he began studying the music of Messiaen, writing his own similarly conceived work, “Crossplay,” for piano, percussion and two wind instruments.

As “Crossplay” shows, he understood at once how Messiaen’s single notes could be organized by applying Schoenberg’s serial principle to every dimension of sound: pitch, duration, loudness and tone color. A few formal rules would be set up, and the notes would fall into patterns as of themselves. Here his admiration for Hermann Hesse joined with his intense Roman Catholic faith to give him confidence in a kind of music that would be new and pure, reflecting the unity of the divine creation.

He arrived in Paris in January 1952 and stayed 14 months, during which he wrote two big orchestral scores; “Counter-Points,” an exuberant ensemble piece with instrumental flourishes; and the first four of a continuing series of piano pieces. He also composed his first electronic piece. When he went back to Cologne, it was to assist in the foundation of an electronic music studio, as well as to marry his student sweetheart, Doris Andreae, with whom he had four children during the next decade: Christel, Suja, Markus and Majella.

Between 1953 and 1955, he wrote more piano pieces (influenced by a first meeting with John Cage and with Cage’s regular pianist, David Tudor) and two electronic studies. Then came works on a more public scale: “Song of the Youths” and “Groups.” He was attracted by the idea that pitch, timbre, rhythm and even musical form could all be understood as forms of vibration, and by the notion of an entire musical work as a kind of photographic blowup of a single sound or sequence of sounds.

The first performance of “Groups,” in 1958, confirmed his dominant position within the European avant-garde. But he kept moving on. His music became slower and more enveloping in the electronic “Contacts” (1960) and in “Moments” for solo soprano, choir, brass, percussion and electric organs (1964). At the same time, his Catholic piety began giving way to a broader spirituality that embraced Eastern thought. He also fell in love with the American visual artist Mary Bauermeister. He divorced his first wife to marry her in 1967; they had two children, Simon and Julike.

His first visit to Japan, in 1966, was crucial to his artistic development. He was impressed by traditional Japanese culture and gained an awareness of himself as an artist in a global context. In Tokyo he composed the electronic piece “Telemusic,” in which recordings of music from around the world are made to intermingle. On his return to Cologne, he produced “Anthems” (1967), an electronic composition based on national anthems. For a few years after that, much of his work was devised for his own live-electronic performing group.

Working with his chosen musicians, he simplified his notation, until, in “From the Seven Days” (May 1968), he was offering his players only a text on which to meditate in performance. He spoke not of improvisation but of “intuitive music,” the idea being that his words would guide the performers to a metaphysical connection with music beyond themselves.

With “Mantra” for two pianos and electronics (1970) he returned to precise notation and introduced a new style, in which entire compositions were to be elaborated from basic melodies. The method gave him the means to fill long stretches of time, and from then on his major works were of full-evening length. They included “Starsound” for several groups in a public park (1971) and“Inori” for orchestra (1974).

Once again, a turn in Mr. Stockhausen’s music coincided with a new page in his emotional life. In 1974 the American clarinetist Suzanne Stephens entered his entourage, and she remained his companion to the end, joined from the early 1980s by the Dutch flutist Kathinka Pasveer. These two, along with his son Markus, a trumpeter, and his son Simon, on saxophone and synthesizer, gave him a new ensemble.

They also became the central performers of “Light”: Markus, who shared his father’s striking good looks, as the hero Michael; Ms. Stephens or Ms. Pasveer as the lover-mother figure, Eva; and often a trombonist as Lucifer, the spirit of negation.

The first three “Light” operas were introduced by La Scala, the next two by the Leipzig Opera; the remaining two have not been staged. Mr. Stockhausen’s final project was “Sound,” a sequence of compositions for the 24 hours of the day.

Mr. Stockhausen is survived by his companions, his six children and several grandchildren.

Right from his early 20s he never doubted that he was a great composer, and this conviction guided all his actions. It made him authoritarian in his dealings with others, whether fellow musicians or administrators. It pulled him through the creative challenges he set for himself as a young man. But it left him an isolated figure at the end.

14 November 2007

In Memoriam - David Oppenheim, Clarinetist and Dean of N.Y.U. Arts

New York City USA


Published: December 3, 2007

David Oppenheim, a clarinetist at Tanglewood and a producer of classical music records and television documentaries who became the main architect of the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, died in New York on Nov. 14. He was 85 and lived in Manhattan.

Taking charge of what had been a collection of departments in offices and classrooms scattered throughout Lower Manhattan, Mr. Oppenheim transformed N.Y.U.’s arts programs into a major institution offering programs taught by professionals in photography, cinema, musical theater, dramatic acting and writing.

Mr. Oppenheim was dean of the N.Y.U. School of the Arts from 1969 to 1991, and in 1985 he secured a donation of $7.5 million from Laurence A. Tisch and his brother, Preston Robert Tisch, billionaire businessmen who were then members of the N.Y.U. board of trustees. With that donation, most of the school’s programs were centralized in a 12-story building at 721 Broadway as the Tisch School of the Arts.

Mary Schmidt Campbell, the current dean of the Tisch School, said last week that under Mr. Oppenheim the school’s enrollment increased to 3,000 from 600 and its budget to about $50 million from $2 million. But far more than growth mattered to Mr. Oppenheim, Ms. Campbell said.

“He made it clear that this was not going to be an academic school of the arts,” she said, “this was going to be a school where working professionals teach” — among them the director Martin Scorsese, the actress Olympia Dukakis and the noted Broadway lighting designer Jules Fisher. In the 1970s, in cooperation with Leonard Bernstein, Mr. Oppenheim started the school’s musical-theater writing program.

Mr. Oppenheim also created what the school calls its studio system. “When our undergraduates study acting, they do so at independent professional studios outside of N.Y.U.,” Ms. Campbell said, including the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute and the Stella Adler Acting Studio. The school’s alumni include Mr. Scorsese, Spike Lee and Oliver Stone. In 1970, New York State gave approval for the school’s film studies program to grant doctoral degrees, making it the first such program in the United States.

“The miracle to me is that the school was founded in 1965, and within five years it was on the map,” Ms. Campell said. “And David Oppenheim was the architect of that.”

It was music that first attracted Mr. Oppenheim. Born in Detroit on April 13, 1922, he was a son of Louis and Julia Nurko Oppenheim. His father owned a department store.

Mr. Oppenheim began playing clarinet as a young boy. When he was 13, the family moved to New York. For a year, he studied at Juilliard; he then transferred to the Eastman School of Music, from which he graduated in 1943. He served as an anti-tank gunner in Germany during World War II.

After the war, he received a scholarship to study at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts. There, over several summers, he performed under famous conductors, including Toscanini, Stokowski, Stravinsky and Bernstein. In the late 1940s, he was first clarinetist for the New York Symphony Orchestra.

From 1950 to 1959, Mr. Oppenheim was director of the Masterworks division of Columbia Records, working with artists like Eugene Ormandy, Dimitri Metropoulos, Bruno Walter and George Szell. With Bernstein at the piano, he recorded Bernstein’s Clarinet Sonata. He then joined Robert Saudek Associates, a television production company, where he helped produce “Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic” and the PBS documentary series “Omnibus.”

From 1962 to 1967, he worked at CBS as a writer, producer and director. Among the shows he produced were “Stravinsky” and “Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution,” the latter an attempt by Bernstein to bridge the generation gap by explaining why he liked some pop music. In 1964, Mr. Oppenheim wrote, produced and directed “Casals at 88,” about the Spanish cellist Pablo Casals, which received the Prix Italia.

Mr. Oppenheim married the actress Judy Holliday in 1948; they divorced in 1957. That year, he married Ellen Adler, the daughter of the famed acting teacher Stella Adler; they divorced in 1976. He married Ms. Jaffe in 1987.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Oppenheim is survived by his son from his first marriage, Jonathan, of Manhattan; two children from his second marriage, Sara Oppenheim of Manhattan, and Tom, of Brooklyn; a brother, Stanley, of Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; four grandchildren; and six step-grandchildren.

In an interview, Mr. Oppenheim once called the arts a “secular religion.”

“The world is chaotic,” he said. “Art is an ordering of that chaos.”

5 October 2007


Julie Anne Vaverka  - In Memoriam

(b. Sept 6, 1953, Enid, Oklahoma)

 Manchester, New Hampshire USA

[Obituary by Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin and Andrew Wilson]

             The one thing that colleagues and friends will remember most about Julie Vaverka is her voice, whether from the other end of the telephone line, or from the bell of her clarinet. Julie never had to fear that she would not be heard. She was a commanding presence, with a speaking voice that could reach across the prairie expanses of her native
Oklahoma. One only had to hear the first words to know that Julie was on the telephone, often with the welcome news that she was offering orchestral employment to New England’s musicians. More importantly, however, was the voice of beauty, grace, and harmony that she summoned from her clarinet during the hundreds of classical concerts in which she performed throughout New England for more than thirty years.
That voice was stilled in a
Manchester, NH hospital on October 5, 2007, after a long and valiant battle with metastatic breast cancer.

           Raised on the family wheat farm in
Marshall, Oklahoma, Ms. Vaverka took a different path from an early age. She started learning piano at the age of 5, and towards the end of elementary school, chose the clarinet. As a child, she often played duets with her trumpet-playing dad (and sometimes trios when brother Jesse joined in), learning traditional Czech polkas first-hand in the thriving ethnic community of Garfield and Kingfisher Counties. Her musicianship developed rapidly as her mom drove her to Enid each week to study with Dr. Max Tromblee, clarinet instructor of the Phillips University Music Department. She later enrolled at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy, determined to become a professional clarinetist. She then went to study with Steve Girko at Oklahoma University, at the Eastman School of Music under Stanley Hasty, and later with Boston Symphony principal clarinetist Harold Wright. At age 19 she became the youngest member of the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra.

           After moving to the
Boston area in the 70’s, she established herself as an indispensable, passionate free-lance artist and teacher. She soon became a member of the New Boston Wind Quintet, and in 1978, co-founded the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra cooperative. Julie was profoundly devoted to the orchestra as principal clarinet, soloist, and concert organizer until her death. She also performed regularly with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, the Boston Ballet Orchestra, and the Springfield (MA) Symphony. She was a regular member of the Monadnock Festival Orchestra and the New Hampshire Symphony, serving simultaneously as clarinetist and personnel manager for both organizations. Springfield Symphony principal clarinetist Michael Sussman, her colleague of over 30 years, described her this way: “Julie certainly studied with great teachers – Wright, Hasty, Moyse - but when she first came to this area, she was already a really excellent player. Of course she grew musically over the years. But she was just a natural, great musician, and she loved her colleagues.”

          One of her career highlights was playing by Mr. Wright’s side as interim second clarinet of the
Boston Symphony for the two years prior to Mr. Wright’s death, and for the two years following. At the BSO she also performed with the BSO Chamber Players at Prelude Concerts at Symphony Hall, at the Tanglewood Music Festival, and as a founding member of the Boston Wind Octet with Harold Wright and now-retired BSO oboist Alfred Genovese. Genovese recalls, ““Julie was so darn good – a fantastic musician! She was plenty talented to be a regular member of the BSO, and when we played together, she was just one of us. She was also an amazing friend, and I loved her like a sister.”

           Ms. Vaverka recorded for both the
Boston Pops and the Boston Symphony Orchestra during her time with the orchestra. These recordings include Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa, Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole under Bernard Haitink, and the movie soundtrack for Schindler's List under John Williams, for which she performed as principal clarinetist.

           During rehearsals Julie was famous for her infectious laugh and straight-from-the-hip manner. Her deep love of animals was ever-present at rehearsals in the form of a tiny, impeccably behaved dog lying on stage in a soft carrier next to her clarinet case. Well-concealed, conductors never seemed to even notice that a dog was there.

          A devoted and beloved teacher, Ms. Vaverka served on the faculties of
Phillips Exeter Academy, the Boston Conservatory of Music, University of Connecticut, Boston University, and Dartmouth College. She maintained lifelong connections with many of her students, who were deeply touched by the continued love she devoted to them long after their studies were completed. Rohan Smith, chairman of the music department at Exeter, where Julie taught for over 20 years, described her impact on the school: “The Academy simply came alive in Julie’s presence. Over the years, letters arrived from Exeter graduates who mentioned that she imparted not just incredible skills, but her love of music and life.”

          In 1997, Ms. Vaverka decided to relocate to NH, where she was teaching and playing more and more. Eva Gruesser, concertmaster of the NH Symphony, recalls that Julie “was the heart and soul of the
New Hampshire Symphony, as well as the motor that kept it going." After a long search, she bought some land atop Mount Delight, where she could relish the pace of country life and yet manage frequent commutes to Boston. She had a home built to her designs and relished being surrounded by farmland again. Her yard soon grew into an organic Eden of horticultural wonders, from exotic, fragrant flowers to European heirloom tomatoes and Crandall currants, all lovingly tended until her final days.

          Julie was also a talented cook and wine connoisseur. Her passion for the culinary arts nearly drove her to give up music as a career in order to pursue her equally compelling dream to become a professional chef. She enrolled at the
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, and after completing her degree, realized she simply could not tolerate the large musical hole in her life. She returned to music, but shared her extraordinary culinary gifts with others at every possible turn. Whether sublimely turning a phrase of Schubert or delicately turning a Coq au vin, her life reflected an enormous heart and consummate artistry.

         Plans for a celebration of her life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra,
107 Brighton Avenue, Suite #1, Boston, MA 02134.



26 June, 2007

Thea King – In Memoriam

London, England

Last Updated: 1:59am BST 02/07/2007

      Thea King, who died on Tuesday aged 81, was the doyenne of English clarinettists; a versatile and popular musician, her mellifluent tones were also well known to viewers of children's television in 1970, thanks to her accompaniment in the BBC's colour series of Andy Pandy.

       Her playing produced a sound that was hard to resist, leaving a warm glow lingering for hours afterwards like the embers of a fire refusing to die away. Her enthusiasm bordered on the infectious, and her ability to encourage others was inspirational. Everywhere she played her technique was fluent and incisive, bringing a sparkle to the occasion while still delivering a solid performance rooted in the long-standing English clarinet tradition.

       Thea King's recording of the Stanford and Finzi concertos on Hyperion launched that popular label. It was her love of cows - which feature on most of her album covers - that led to Ted Perry, Hyperion's founder, using works of art rather than pictures of the musical performers on the sleeves of his discs

          Her later coupling of Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and Quintet, on which she played the basset horn, went on to become the label's second best-selling release of all time, and her discography - both for Hyperion and elsewhere - was once described as being "as long as a basset clarinet".

          Thea King was born at Hitchin, Hertfordshire, on Boxing Day 1925. Her father was Henry King, MBE, formerly manager of the family business, GW King Ltd, a paint and varnishing company based at Rossendale, Lancashire. Her mother, Dorothea, was musical and taught her daughter the piano as soon as she could read.

          It was not until some years later, when she was in her final year at Bedford High School, that Thea was given a clarinet, so that she could participate in a new wind section in the school orchestra.

          She later recalled: "The teacher who had been using it only had time to practise in the evenings, but it gave her indigestion." Within a few months of taking up the instrument Thea was playing for an approving Herbert Howells in a competition.

           At the Royal College of Music, to which she won a scholarship during the latter years of the war, Thea King studied piano with Arthur Alexander - the clarinet was still her second instrument. "In those days it helped if you played two instruments, however poorly," she said.

           In January 1953, five years after graduating, she married her clarinet teacher, Frederick "Jack" Thurston, a pupil of Charles Draper, and still regarded as one of the finest of all 20th-century clarinettists.

           "He taught me that it was possible to play more beautifully and more convincingly than I had ever dreamed of and that it must take incredible courage and idealism," she once said.

            It was a devastating blow for Thea Thurston when her husband died of lung cancer in December that year at the age of 52, only 11 months after their marriage.

26 June 2007

Dr. Michael Sullivan -  in Memoriam
Flagstaff, Arizona USA

            Dr. Michael Sullivan, Professor of Clarinet at the Northern Arizona University School of Music in Flagstaff, Arizona, passed away on June 26, 2007, due to complications from bone cancer.  Michael was convalescing from tumor surgery with his family in Orlando, FL, when his condition accelerated beyond treatment.  His strong and supportive family was with him at death. He also served as NAU's Coordinator for the Wind and Percusssion area, and in 2005, Michael was selected as Teacher of the Year for the NAU School of Music.  He received his degrees from Florida State University (B.M.E., D.M.) and the University of Michigan (M.M.). Upon receiving a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service, he studied at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Munich, Germany, and as first prize winner of the Pro-Mozart Society of Atlanta Concerto Competition, he was awarded a grant to study at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst (Mozarteum) in Salzburg, Austria where he earned certificates in clarinet and saxophone. Dr. Sullivan served on the faculties of the University of Michigan at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and Pittsburgh State University. He appeared as soloist with symphony orchestras throughout the United States and presented numerous recitals in the U.S. and Europe, most notably performing at the Salzburg Festival in 1993. Michael Sullivan served as principal clarinetist with the Ernest Bloch Music Festival in Newport, Oregon and the Flagstaff Symphony Summer Ensemble and served as principal clarinetist with the Phoenix Mainly Mozart Festival, the Flagstaff Festival of the Arts Orchestra and Arizona Opera's Wagner Festival Orchestra. He performed as guest artist with the Music Academy of the West, the U.S. Army Field Band, and the Sedona Chamber Music Festival. He frequently appeared as a recitalist, adjudicator, and clinician with universities and high schools across the country. His principal teachers included Frank Kowalsky, Fred Ormand, Gerd Starke, and Alois Brandhofer.  Michael was also proficient on piano, flute, violin, and tin whistle, and performed on these instruments regularly with his folk music ensemble, the Frayed Knots, where he enjoyed maintaining his Irish heritage.

Denise A. Gainey, DMA
Associate Professor of Clarinet and Music Education
Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Music
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
(205) 975-0558

"Practice and hope.....but never hope more than you practice."
                                        Kalmen Opperman


19 June 2007

Efrain Guigui – Former Conductor of the Vermont Symphony and Clarinetist -  In Memoriam

Burlington, Vermont USA

         A former conductor of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra died Monday in Los Angeles from complications of cancer.  Efrain Guigui was 81.

·             Guigui led the VSO from 1974 to 1989, notably taking the orchestra on a tour of all of Vermont's 251 towns to celebrate the 50th anniversary.  During his tenure, Guigui, a clarinetist, as awarded the Alice Ditson award from Columbia University, which is considered to be the conductors' equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. In 1989 the Vermont Council on the Arts presented him with the Gov.'s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

        "Vermont gave him a lot," said Martin Guigui, his son. "Vermont gave him the opportunity to find his voice as a conductor. He loved the people, he loved the spirit for the arts in Vermont. He said that it was unequaled anywhere else he had worked: the support for the arts, the spirit of the people he got to work with, and the spirit of the audience."

         Guigui was born in Panama and raised in Argentina. He moved to Middlebury in 1974 to lead the VSO.  After leaving Vermont Guigui did guest conducting in South America and started a youth orchestra in Mexico, his son said.

        He was invited to conduct in many places, including the Julliard School in New York.


5 May 2007

Alvin Batiste, 74; veteran jazz clarinetist - In Memoriam

By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post
May 7, 2007

New Orleans, Louisiana USA

Alvin Batiste, a widely respected jazz clarinetist, composer and educator who played across the musical spectrum, from traditional to avant-garde styles, and was a prolific figure on the jazz festival circuit, died Sunday at his home in New Orleans after an apparent heart attack. He was 74.

He played Saturday at FestForAll, a celebration in Baton Rouge, La., and died hours before he was scheduled to perform with pianist and singer Harry Connick Jr. and saxophonist Branford Marsalis at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

Batiste recorded sparingly but performed with saxophonists Ornette Coleman and Cannonball Adderley, considered modern jazz greats, as well as musicians as diverse as drummer Billy Cobham and pianist Dr. John. Never a household name but always admired among musicians, Batiste received broader recognition in the 1980s, touring and recording with Clarinet Summit, a quartet that included John Carter, David Murray and Jimmy Hamilton.

Batiste was born Nov. 7, 1932, in New Orleans, where his father, a railroad worker, played traditional jazz clarinet on the side. Outside home, Batiste grew immersed in the city's music offerings.

"I remember following a parade when I was 3 years old," he told a Baton Rouge reporter last year. "It was Easter Sunday. I had on a little white suit and, all over New Orleans, the people fed me. When I got home, after they expressed the happiness for me being there, then they almost killed me."

Batiste received extensive musical training through the school system and, as a college student, was a guest soloist with the New Orleans Philharmonic, playing a Mozart clarinet concerto.

He was a 1955 music education graduate of Southern University and later earned a master's degree in clarinet performance and composition at Louisiana State University.

Batiste was increasingly influenced by bebop jazz pioneers such as saxophonist Charlie Parker. In 1956, he helped start the American Jazz Quintet in New Orleans with drummer Ed Blackwell, pianist Ellis Marsalis, saxophonist Nat Perrilliat and bass player Chuck Badie.

Batiste considered the American Jazz Quintet an experiment in a modern chamber-jazz sound, and it resulted in an early album, "In the Beginning."

Competent on piano and saxophone, Batiste was called on for his multi-instrumental skills while touring with rhythm-and-blues artists such as Ray Charles, Guitar Slim and Little Willie John.

He also was a studio musician for the AFO ("all for one") label in New Orleans and toured regionally with his band, the Jazztronauts. That group included many of his music students at Southern University, where he helped create the jazz studies program in the late 1960s.

As an educator, Batiste influenced several generations of performers, including Branford Marsalis (son of Ellis, brother of Wynton) and pianist Henry Butler. Though retired from Southern University, he continued to teach at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, a conservatory for young adults.

His first major-label release was 1993's "Late" for Columbia Records, which included several of his compositions and a trio led by pianist Kenny Barron. This year, Branford Marsalis produced "Marsalis Music Honors Alvin Batiste," which showcased Batiste's compositions.

Batiste is survived by his wife of 53 years, Edith Chatters Batiste of New Orleans and Baton Rouge; three children, Alvin Batiste Jr. of Plaquemine, La., Marcia Wilson and pianist Maynard Batiste, both of Baton Rouge; a sister; and 12 grandchildren.

27 April 2007

Russian cellist and Conductor Mstislav Rostropovich - In Memoriam

Moscow, Russia

Musical legacy of cellist legend
Rostropovich celebrated his 80th birthday in March

The celebrated Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80.

James Jolly, editor-in-chief of Gramophone magazine, looks back at his musical legacy.
With the death of Mstislav Rostropovich, the musical world has lost not just one of its greatest interpreters but also one of the greatest muses of the 20th Century.

As a cellist, he was responsible for the creation of hundreds of new works, many from some of the greatest composers of the day.

Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Britten, Lutoslawski and Penderecki all wrote concertos or concertante works for him, and hundreds of lesser composers were the beneficiaries of his boundless enthusiasm for new music.

'Unique human spirit'

Rostropovich was a real musical polymath. Not only was he a cellist without equal but he was also a fine conductor.

He was music director of Washington's National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) from 1977 to 1994 and he enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) - those two partnerships are well represented on disc.

Rostropovich had an unconventional conducting technique

He was also an accomplished pianist, often playing for his wife, the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya.

But above all he was a consummate communicator in everything he did - his idiosyncratic English, his opening plea to anyone he met to 'Call me Slava', his passionate, tactile grasp of life all combined to make him a colossus and a unique human spirit.

Of all his musical friendships, it was that with the composer Dmitri Shostakovich that bore the most fruit.

Not only did Shostakovich write both of his cello concertos for Slava, but also the cello part of his setting of Alexander Blok poems.

Proms performance

Rostropovich also played as an orchestral cellist in the 1962 revival of Shostakovich's opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, renamed Katerina Ismailova.

He later recorded the work for EMI with Vishnevskaya in the title role.

As a cellist he had a large sound - a beautiful musical expression of his generous personality.

He often worked with legendary composer Dmitri Shostakovich

His recording of the Bach cello suites, made in 1995, is pure Rostropovich - heart-on-sleeve, buoyant, songful and above all, so clearly a genuine response to the composer's message.

It became a hugely successful release, selling about 250,000 copies to date.

Another non-Russian work with which he was closely associated was the Dvorak Cello Concerto, which he recorded many times.

His Deutsche Grammophon disc with Herbert von Karajan is probably the best-selling of his many versions, but by far the most charged is a live recording of a Proms performance given the day that Soviet tanks entered Prague on 21 August, 1968.

Nicholas Kenyon, the current director of the Proms, recalls hearing the concert on the radio and noted the protests within the Albert Hall.

Rostropovich was a mentor to violinist Maxim Vengerov

'But the irony was that Slava, as the most committed advocate of freedom, was on their side, playing a great Czech piece. At the end of the concerto, as an encore, he played a solo Bach Sarabande in tears and dedicated it, sotto voce, to the Czech people,' said Kenyon.

Rostropovich enjoyed musical partnerships with many of the world's greatest artists. He performed regularly with pianists like Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Vladimir Horowitz, Rudolf Serkin and Martha Argerich.

Not only did Benjamin Britten write a number of works for Rostropovich - the cello symphony and cello suites among them - but they performed regularly as a piano and cello duo.

Thankfully, there are recordings of this inspiring partnership - not least of which are glorious accounts of cello sonatas by Debussy and Frank Bridge, works by Schubert and Schumann, as well as pieces by Britten himself.

Emotional charge

From a younger generation he championed the Korean cellist Han-Na Chang and is held to be one of violinist Maxim Vengerov's real musical mentors - they recorded works by Prokofiev and Shostakovich, Shchedrin and Beethoven.

He was as generous with his time and advice as he could be with a schedule that combined so many musical disciplines.

And like his friend Leonard Bernstein, Rostropovich was a musician who blossomed in front of an audience.

Some of his tempi could be broad but there was no denying the emotional charge that lay behind his interpretative decisions.

His somewhat unconventional technique as a conductor was never an impediment to his extraordinary ability to speak directly to every member of the audience.

And as a cellist: well, he was simply one of the greatest. 

28 March 2007

Tony Scott - In Memoriam

 85; Jazz Clarinetist Explored Eclectic Mix of Music

Rome, Italy

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 1, 2007; Page C06

Tony Scott, 85, a jazz musician who helped expand the musical limits of the clarinet and who was an early proponent of what is now called world music, died March 28 at his home in Rome, where he had lived for more than 30 years. He had prostate cancer.

A musician of vast and eclectic range, Mr. Scott found fame in the 1940s as one of the first clarinetists to master the difficult new jazz idiom of bebop, with its tricky chords and acrobatic runs. He led his own groups as a clarinetist, played in the saxophone sections of bands led by Duke Ellington, Tommy Dorsey and Buddy Rich and also performed as a pianist. In the mid-1950s, when he was music director for singer Harry Belafonte, he wrote the arrangement for "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)," one of Belafonte's biggest hits.

Mr. Scott recorded with such renowned musicians and singers as Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday, yet he spoke fondly of times when he'd walk down streets in Bulgaria or Indonesia, piping away on his clarinet. He spent several years in Asia and Africa in the 1950s and '60s and made albums reflecting his interest in the music of other cultures.

"I was searching for something new, emotionally and spiritually," he said in a 1966 interview. "The jazz world here had turned cold for me -- cool jazz, cool people. It was without passion. I found the warmth I sought in Japan."

He had an outgoing personality that made him popular with other musicians. He wrote songs for Holiday, with whom he recorded on clarinet and piano, and also composed music for short films featuring stripper Lili St. Cyr.

At his peak in the 1940s and '50s, Mr. Scott was considered the most advanced clarinetist of his generation, rivaled only by Buddy DeFranco. In 1953, critic Nat Hentoff wrote in Down Beat magazine: "No other modern clarinetist has the fire, the drive, and the beat Tony generates."

"Mr. Scott has stretched the jazz range of his instrument farther than any of his contemporaries," John S. Wilson wrote in the New York Times in 1958. "He is the most exciting jazz musician playing today."

Mr. Scott, whose given name was Anthony Joseph Sciacca, was born June 17, 1921, in Morristown, N.J., the son of Sicilian immigrants. He began playing a metal clarinet at age 12, formed his first band at 14, quickly mastered the piano and was playing in Harlem jazz sessions by the time he was 18.

He studied for three years at the Juilliard School, performing Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady" on piano as his audition piece. He played in Army bands during World War II and spent nights in New York jazz clubs.

In 1943, he first heard saxophonist Charlie Parker, one of the progenitors of the new bebop style, and was determined to bring Parker's musical advances to the clarinet. They often performed together, and Mr. Scott would later call Parker the greatest man -- not just the greatest musician -- of the century.

At a concert in Yugoslavia in 1957, two years after Parker's death, Mr. Scott improvised "Blues for Charlie Parker," which became his best-known composition.

"It was a spur-of-the-moment thing," he said. "The audience gave me a five-minute standing ovation. Musically, it was the high point of my life."

In 1970, he settled in Rome and formed a five-year musical association with Romano Mussolini, an acclaimed jazz pianist who was the son of Italy's executed fascist leader. Mr. Scott experimented broadly with musical styles in the 1970s and '80s before returning to more traditional jazz late in his career.

"Without experimenters, jazz would die a lingering death," he said on his Web site. "I believe in being receptive to all music. . . . If you stop learning, you might as well throw your horn away."

Cultivating an air of eccentricity, he grew a chest-length white beard and sometimes took apart his clarinet onstage, pretending to use it as a telephone. Nonetheless, his playing remained strong, and he continued to perform into his 80s.

In addition to his performing career, Mr. Scott had a large collection of photographs of jazz musicians and made jazz-influenced paintings.


Ken Domer

Christmas visit with former Army Band members Richard Harmon, Charles Boyer and Wade Lineberger

Domer soloist with Henry Cuesta and Band combo

14 February 2007

In Memoriam - Kenneth Domer, Sergeant Major Retired

Melbourne, Florida, USA

           Kenneth Domer, a Major icon and soloist in The United States Army Band (Pershing's Own) in Washington DC from 1961 - 1990, died in Florida on this date.  He is remembered as an icon at this Premiere Band as a jazz soloist frequently on tours, major events such as the annual 'Spirit of America' , and as an administrating Woodwind Group Leader charged with daily section responsibilities addressing all taskings in running the musical requirements in the section.  In addition to this function, he performed clarinet and alto clarinet in the Concert Band and also performed in Ceremonial functions on occasion as needed. As a soloist, he has performed dixieland often and performed with luminaries such as Henry Cuesta, a guest soloist who performed with Lawrence Welk in the 1980's.  After retirement in 1990, SGM Domer moved to Florida and has kept open ties with the Band and colleagues. 

23 February 2007

In Memoriam -  Lazarus Harisjadis - 7 generations of Greek Epirotika Music

Delvanaki, (Epirus) Greece

         Sadly, Lazaros passed away February 23, 2007 after a long illness. The memory of his divine soul will always be with us as his love for life will always serve to be an inspiration to all who knew him. His strength of character and love for the arts has touched everyone who crossed his path. His soul is divine and at peace and guiding us, as he did in life. I will love you eternally

           Lazaros Harisiadis, born in Delvanaki, (Epirus) Greece is a respected musician, composer - acknowledged as a virtuoso on the clarinet. He also performs on a range of folk instruments from Greece such as laouto, (lute), deffy (tambourine) and is a respected vocalist of the traditional music of Epirus, Greece.

           Lazaros comes from a family of musicians going back seven generations. He began studying music with his father, a well-known musician at the time, and has since gone on to perform with well known artists in Greece and the United States.

           He came to the United States as a musician with the Panallion Group of dancers and musicians in 1961 and has since then been residing in New York City performing at weddings, festivals and cultural events throughout United States and Canada sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and Ethnic Folk Arts Center. Lazaros also has many tape and record recordings to his credit accompanying the Halkias Family Orchestra.


              Epiros, is just south of Albania, a very rugged mountainous area with limited resources. The music of Epiros reflects the harsh land which has forced its people to travel to distant lands in search for livelihood.

              The music of Epiros is highly developed in the instrumental ensemble tradition. These ensembles consist of clarinet, violin, laouto (lute) and defi (hand drum).The clarinet in the main vehicle of expression. The clarinetists are well known for their excellence of their profound emotional expression.

            The most beautiful examples of Epirotika music are in the free style melodies such as Miryioloi and Skaros. Here the lower tones of the clarinet are expressed reflecting a range of emotion from thwarted love affair to the pain of death or living in a foreign land.Mirioloi literally means to lament and and intensely emotional mood is created in this type of music.

           My personal experience with Epirotika music is that it is very compatible to the Hindustani system of ragas. Whereas a particular range of notes are played to reflect the emotional range of human experience. I was drawn to it because of its emotional intensity. A raga is similar to the Miryioloi of Epirus. It gives a melodic base with rules governing its elaboration and yet allowing for improvisation. The raga decides the mood of a situation and governs its emotional impact.

            The rhythm or tal on the other hand, binds the music together. It is a time cycle that remains fixed throughout a particular rendering. Similarly, the rhythm repeats itself in cyclic regularity, offering amazing dimension for improvisation between beats. To listen to the interplay of rhythm with musical phrases is a fascinating experience. The division of time into minute pluses, the crisscross patterns, the regular and off-beat emphasis of time, the running together of two contrary cycles meeting creatively at a point, offer a regularity that stimulates the emotions and an excitement that heightens mood.

Notes by Najma Ayashah

Ted Lane and Menotti in 1976

Gian Carlo Menotti

1 February 2007

In Memoriam - Gian Carlo Menotti

Monaco, Morocco

A great figure passed on

Gian Carlo Menotti

The enclosed photo was taken on his 65th Birthday on July 7th in Spoleto, Italy where he directed his festival.

Mr. Menotti allowed thousands of young musicians to take part in world class performances.  He founded three of the best music festivals on our planet: Spoleto Italy, Charleston (USA) and one in Australia. He opened musical doors to many and brought joy to millions.

When I performed his 1951 Opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors" in High School in 1971 under the direction of Charles Emmons,  little did I know he would make a major impact on my career. It was only three years later that he appointed me Principal Clarinet of the Spoleto Festival.

I am grateful for all the many wonderful musical opportunities he made possible.  The many friendships that are alive to this day.

He will be in my heart for ever.

Ted Lane


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Revised: December 19, 2010