- Renowned Clarinetist and Teacher; Past
Honorary President of the Japan Clarinet Society - In Memoriam
We send our loving thoughts and support to the family and friends of Koichi
HAMANAKA, a great musician who has just left us. His funeral is below: Tue. 12
nov. / 11h-12h funérailles place / touzenji-temple (Tokyo) Buffet Jap...an has
helped his funeral in both ceremonies. We pray Mr. Hamanaka's soul may rest in
peace. Koichi HAMANAKA graduated top on the list from the Tokyo National
University of Fine Arts and Music. While he was studying there, he won the first
prize at the 28th Competition. Joined the NHK Symphony right after graduation,
and took part in their first European Tour. He also formed the “Aurous Quintet”
with Shinya Koide and Seizo Maruyama. After being strongly moved by the
performance of Jacques Lancelot, he decided to leave the NHK Symphony to study
with him in France. During his 9 years stay in France, he was a member in the
Orchestra of Rouen National Opera. After returning to Japan, he went back to the
NHK Symphony as the principal clarinetist and held that position until his
retirement. Honorary President of Japan Clarinet Society.
Peter Simenauer, Clarinetist with the Pascal
The world has lost a great musician. Peter Simenauer, former Associate Principal
Clarinetist of the New York Philharmonic for 38 years passed away on September
14th in Naples, Florida. A child prodigy Peter excelled at many instruments
including the violin, viola and saxophone. Born in Berlin Germany, Peter grew up
in China and then went on to join the Israel Philharmonic for nine years. As a
young artist he won the Mozarteum Competition and concertized worldwide before
joining the New York Philharmonic in 1960. His recording of the Mozart Clarinet
Quintet K581 with the Pascal String Quartet has continued to sell for over 50
years. His loving family survives him.
13 July 2013
John Wes Foster - Renowned Solo Clarinetist in the Vancouver Symphony and Clarinet designer - In Memoriam
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
A brilliant clarinetist, Wes's career began in the Montreal Expo '67 Band, followed by principal clarinet positions in the National Ballet, Hamilton Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony and for 23 seasons, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. A loving husband and father,Wes is remembered for his integrity, warmth, kindness, and quick wit.
John Wesley Foster, known to family and friends as Wes, had a long and distinguished career as one of North America’s foremost woodwind players. He was an instructor at the School of Music at UBC for over two decades, and from 1981 to 2004 was principal clarinetist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Vancouver, Wes grew up in Burnaby, BC. He began playing the clarinet in the school band and was a member of the New Westminster Band and Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra. He studied with three former VSO clarinetists: Henry Ohlemann, Dominic Lastoria and Ronald DeKant. Later at UBC’s School of Music, he studied with Elliot Weisgarber. He went on to study privately with James Morton of the National Ballet and National Arts Centre Orchestras, and with Robert Marcellus, former principal clarinetist of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Following his studies, Wes held principal clarinet positions with the Indianapolis Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, and the National Ballet Orchestra. He returned home to Vancouver in 1981 to become the Principal Clarinet of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. He performed with the Vetta String Quartet, Masterpiece Chamber Music, and in many other chamber music concerts in the Greater Vancouver area. He was known for his musical refinement and artistry, and was always trying to learn more about the clarinet and to improve the function and sound of his own instrument.
“The sound of the clarinet is made up of a unique series of overtones which give it a wonderful balance of warmth, mystery and brilliance. Quite simply, this sound touches my heart and soul, and pushes me to surmount the many challenges inherent in playing the clarinet. I love sharing with other clarinetists the joy of overcoming many of these challenges, and helping them to make music come alive with this marvelous instrument.” - Wes Foster
As well as being a brilliant performer, Wes was also an outstanding teacher. After holding teaching positions at Northwestern and McMaster Universities, on his return to Vancouver he joined the faculty at the UBC School of Music. He loved teaching and sharing music with his students, and enjoyed seeing them grow and flourish as musicians.
Every year Wes made Christmas gift bags filled with treats and CDs for his students, a lovely example of his lighthearted approach to life. He loved to make people laugh and could find humour in so many situations, often turning a negative situation positive. He was a man of great kindness and intelligence, who inspired others with his performances and teaching.
21 June 2013
Joseph Marchi - Professor of Clarinette - Conservatory of Montpellier,
Director of the Conservatory and the Harmony of
Sète in the 1960s, then Professor of clarinet at the conservatories of Perpignan
and Marseille. He had made of the acoustic research on clarinet (clarinet Selmer
10S-Marchi cf in 1975 - In Memoriam
Joseph Marchi died June 21, 2013 at the age of 90
Civil it is tribute today, Wednesday 26 June, at 1.45 p.m. the complex funerary
Thau (near Sète, Hérault), followed by cremation.
After having taught at the Conservatory of Montpellier, Joseph Marchi was
Director of the Conservatory and the harmony of Sète in the 1960s, then
Professor of clarinet at the conservatories of Perpignan and Marseille. He had
made of the acoustic research on clarinet (clarinet Selmer10S-Marchi cf in
Photo taken in 2008 at Vandoren, during the presentation of the book of Yves
Didier and Michel Lethiec by the authors.
VIP Richard Stoltzman with his teacher Keith Wilson
Keith Wilson (center), displays
the Sanford Medal he was awarded on Nov. 17. He is flanked by School of
Music Dean Robert Blocker (left) and composer Mitch Leigh, a former
student of Wilson's whose works include "Man of La Mancha."
3 June 2013
Keith Wilson, Renowned Clarinetist, Teacher and
Professor Emeritus at Yale University, and Major Contributor to the Clarinet and
Music Field - In Memoriam
New Haven, Connecticutt USA
earns high honors for his musical contributions
3 June is a sad day to note the passing of one of the
great Clarinet icons of the last century as noted below with the honors bestowed
on him for his influence on so many clarinetists and musicians. He
will be missed.
Clarinetist Keith L. Wilson, professor emeritus of music and one of the
major figures in the development of music at the University over the
past half-century, was honored by The Yale Concert Band and the Yale
School of Music during the band's Nov. 17 concert in Woolsey Hall.
In a ceremony before the second portion of the musical program, Music
School Dean Robert Blocker awarded Wilson the Samuel Simons Sanford
Medal, the school's highest honor. In his presentation, Blocker
described Wilson as "one of Yale's most outstanding professors" and "the
embodiment of all the Yale School of Music stands for and hopes to be."
Wilson was also given the Gustav Stoeckel Award, which is named after
the first music professor at Yale and honors faculty who have
contributed to the life of the School of Music. Wilson is only the
second recipient of the award, which was presented by one of his former
students, Vincent Oneppo '73 M.M., who is now director of the Concert
and Press Office at the School of Music.
Two of Wilson's other former students -- clarinetist Richard
Stoltzman '67 M.M. and composer Mitch Leigh '52 M.M. -- joined Blocker
and Oneppo on stage for the awards presentation. The two offered warm
reflections on their years as students, and later as friends and
colleagues, of Wilson.
Stoltzman, who has been hailed as one of the finest clarinetists in
the world, said "it was through Mr. Wilson that I discovered the
greatest mission of a musician: to communicate music with peers to the
audience. He gave me that wisdom and that love."
The alumnus also praised Wilson's artistry as a clarinetist,
recalling that, when he first witnessed Wilson perform the Brahms
Clarinet Quintet, "I heard the clarinet as I had never heard it before,
but as I always dreamed it could be -- not just as an instrument but as
an expression of the deepest emotions of the music."
During the ceremony, the Yale Concert Band under Thomas C. Duffy
performed "The Wilson Wail," which Leigh composed while a Yale student.
Following the number, Leigh -- whose works include "Man of La Mancha" --
described the influence that Wilson and his wife, Rachel, had on his
life and how important the professor's mentorship was to him. Then,
turning to the members of the Yale Concert Band, Leigh said, "I give you
this blessing for the next millennium: I wish for you a Keith Wilson."
As part of the tribute to the professor emeritus, the Yale Concert
Band also performed Wilson's transcription of Paul Hindemith's
"Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, " which he
produced at the request of the composer. Duffy's "Butterflies and Bees"
and Joseph Turrin's "Chronicles," featuring School of Music professor
Allan Dean on trumpet, rounded out the musical program.
Wilson taught at Yale for over 40 years before retiring in 1987. At
the time of his appointment in 1946, he was the only wind professor at
the School of Music. Within two years, the wind department had gained
equal ranking with other areas of instruction at the school. He was also
director of the Yale Bands, a position he held until 1972. Wilson later
became associate dean of the School of Music and director of the Norfolk
Summer School of Music.
A world-class clarinetist and teacher of the instrument, Wilson
performed often in recital, chamber music, and concertos. He achieved
national prominence both as a conductor and as a clarinetist, and
received numerous honors at Yale and throughout the country. After his
official retirement, he continued to coach chamber ensembles, serve on
committees, and advise students.
23 April 2013
Walter Boeykens - Acclaimed Soloist with the BRT Philharmonic
Orchestra in Belgium from 1964 to 1985, and
Director of the Boekens Clarinet Choir - In Memoriam
New information coming
14 April 2013
Sir Colin Davis, Renowned Conductor and President
of the London Symphony - In Memoriam
London, United Kingdom
Sir Colin Davis, the magisterial conductor whose career with the London Symphony
Orchestra spanned over half a century and included 11 years as its principal
conductor, died on Sunday.
The London Symphony Orchestra said in a statement that Sir Colin, who served as
the orchestra’s president since 2007, died of an unnamed illness on Sunday
evening. He was 85.
“Sir Colin’s role in British musical life was immense,” the orchestra said in
its statement. “He was internationally renowned for his interpretations of
Mozart, Sibelius and Berlioz, and music lovers across the world have been
inspired by his performances and recordings.”
Colin Rex Davis was born in Surrey, England, on Sept. 25, 1927.
Though he had always dreamed of being a conductor, his rise in the profession
was not swift. His skill on the piano was wanting, as was, he admitted, his
desire to play it. He was appointed as assistant conductor of the BBC Scottish
Symphony in 1957 after three attempts for the job.
own admission, he was hot-headed and short-tempered in his younger years, and
his relationships with musicians and musical organizations early in his career
were often tempestuous. He made his debut with the London Symphony in 1959, but
in 1965, the London Symphony turned him down as chief conductor.
the following decades, first as chief conductor of the BBC Symphony, then as
music director for the Royal Opera House, his career advanced steadily.
1992, he became principal conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, and in 1995 he
took the post denied him 30 years before: music director of the London Symphony.
He held that position until 2006, when Valery Gergiev took his place.
His mark on
the institution was indelible. He championed Sibelius and Berlioz, whose major
works he conducted in full with the London Symphony in 1999 and 2000. He also
revived Mozart as a symphonic mainstay after a long absence. In 1997, he took
the London Symphony to New York to conduct its first residency at Lincoln
Center. He was principal guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic from 1998
two Grammy awards for his recording of Berlioz’s Les Troyens with the London
Symphony Orchestra in 2002, and another in 2006 for Verdi’s Falstaff.
Though age had
slowed his pace in recent years, at the podium he radiated a vigor and passion
for his craft to the end.
“But once he
settled into his tall, swiveling conductor’s chair, he exuded authority and
stamina and drew a radiant, angelic and at times terrifying account of this
challenging score from the orchestra and chorus.”
There was no
immediate word on survivors. Sir Colin’s wife, Shamsi, died in 2010 after nearly
half a century of marriage. The couple had five children, and he had two
children with his first wife, April Cantelo, the BBC reported.
Toward the end of his
life, Sir Colin had become something of a sage in the world of classical music,
wont to puff on his pipe and knit in quiet introspection.
”Conductors,” he once
said in an interview with The New York Times, ”are paid to think, and that’s
what the job should be about: sitting at home thinking, what is this piece? How
can I set it up to sound its best and live on, because there’s nothing to
replace it with just yet? This is what absorbs the mind. Especially in old age.”
11 April 2013
Leonard Getzin, advisor of the World Clarinet Alliance website
and son of CEO and founder Mike Getzin - In Memoriam
Falls Church, Virginia USA
New information coming
15 March 2013
Former Solo Clarinetist in the Buffalo Philharmonic and Professor Emeritus at
the State University of New York at Buffalo - In Memoriam
Williamsville, New York USA
It is with great sorrow to post about the passing of a great Clarinetist,
Teacher, and of special interest my very first teacher and inspiration having
literally started from scratch at age 17 and tutored effectively to become a
Clarinet performance major within two years continuing undergraduate major study
at the State University at Fredonia. It takes a genius to develop a
student so quickly covering all the comprehensive details of performance
development including technical, musical, and necessary skills to achieve these
results and that has changed my life forever thanks to him. I feel
that there is a special place for him now.
Sigel, former principal clarinetist with the
Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and professor
emeritus at the University at Buffalo, died
Friday at his Williamsville home. He was 88.
Mr. Sigel was born in Chicago and grew up in
Ottumwa, Iowa, where his father ran a dry goods
store. His first clarinet, acquired when he was
11, came from an uncle’s pawnshop, and he became
dedicated to his music, practicing up to eight
hours daily and leading his mother to say,
“Allen will be a famous clarinetist one day.” He
received a scholarship to study clarinet at the
University of Iowa with Hymie Voxman and earned
a master’s degree from Rochester’s Eastman
School of Music in 1947.
Mr. Sigel became principal clarinetist with the
BPO in 1948 and remained with the orchestra
until 1960, when he accepted a full-time
position at the University of Buffalo, where he
had been instructing part-time. While teaching,
he remained active as a musician and composer,
performing on an occasional basis with the BPO
until he was in his 70s. A career highlight was
playing the “Clarinet Concerto” by Aaron Copland
under the direction of the composer when Copland
was the Slee professor of music at UB.
Mr. Sigel also taught hundreds of private music
students in the area and wrote seven books,
including “The Twentieth Century Clarinetist,”
considered a classic resource for aspiring
musicians. He served as music director of the
Jewish Center of Buffalo and was a founding
member of the Clarinetist Society of America.
Mr. Sigel and his wife, Phyllis, were
well-traveled, and at one time they lived in
China, where he also taught. The couple wintered
in the Sarasota, Fla., area.
In addition to his wife, Mr. Sigel is survived
by a son, Jeffrey; two daughters, Elaine Becker
and Linda; and a sister, Norma Schweig.
14 March 2013
Renowned Teacher and Chamber Musician - Professor at the Peabody Conservatory in
Baltimore, Maryland - In Memoriam
Kensington, Maryland USA
Born in 1918 in Brooklyn, New York, Sidney Forrest has spent the bulk of his
career in Washington, DC and Baltimore. As a teenager in Brooklyn, he sought
out Simeon Bellison (principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic) for
private lessons and enjoyed being a member of Bellison's Clarinet Ensemble. He
continued his studies at the Juilliard School and maintained his close
relationship with his teacher until Bellison's death in 1953. After two years
at Juilliard, he went to the recently established school of music at the
University of Miami on full scholarship, where he earned his undergraduate
degree.. He was principal clarinet there, under the esteemed Russian conductor
Arnold Volpe. He received a master's degree from Columbia University. Other
influential teachers and mentors were Alexander Williams (first clarinet of the
NBC Orchestra under Toscanini) and Otto Conrad (former principal clarinet of
the Berlin Philharmonic).
In 1941, Sidney Forrest came to Washington, DC as a member of the United States
Marine Band and Orchestra, frequently appearing as soloist. In 1946 he became
principal clarinet of the National and joined the faculty of the Peabody
Conservatory (Johns Hopkins University) in Baltimore. He taught at Peabody for
40 years and also served as adjunct professor at the Catholic University of
America and American University. Summers 1959- 2005, he taught at the
Interlochen Center for the Arts, teaching hundreds of students and coaching the
clarinet section of the World Youth Symphony. He was "Master Teacher" at the
Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. and continued to teach privately at
his home in Kensington, Maryland. He has also given master classes throughout
27 February 2013
Renowned pianist Van Cliburn - In Memoriam
Fort Worth, Texas USA
Cliburn's talent alone might have earned him
a place among the 20th-century giants of his
instrument, alongside classical pianists
like Arthur Rubinstein and Vladimir
Horowitz. But after a magical Moscow spring
in 1958, Mr. Cliburn's fame eclipsed even
those musical contemporaries, rivaling that
of another young superstar of his time,
Mr. Cliburn was "The Texan Who Conquered
Russia," according to a
Time magazine cover. At the height of
the Cold War, the lanky 23-year-old from
East Texas traveled to Moscow and won the
first Tchaikovsky International Competition,
an event created to showcase Soviet cultural
superiority. Mr. Cliburn's unlikely triumph
was thus said to bring a thaw in tensions
between the rival superpowers and created a
mythic parable about the power of art to
The man at the heart of that parable died
Wednesday morning at his mansion near Fort
Worth. It had been announced Aug. 27 that
Mr. Cliburn, who turned 78 in July, was
suffering from advanced bone cancer.
"In 1958, he proved to the world that music
is a transcendental force that goes beyond
political boundaries and cultural boundaries
and unifies mankind. He was a very concrete
example of that," said Veda Kaplinsky, head
of the piano department at the Juilliard
School in New York. "Beyond that, his legacy
is that of a person who personified grace,
humility, talent, kindness and sincerity. He
was a human being first and foremost. He
never lost that."
While the world mourns a cultural icon, many
in North Texas remember a friend -- a shy
man of uncommon graciousness.
A friend to American presidents, foreign
leaders and Hollywood celebrities, Mr.
Cliburn also became a fixture in the life of
Fort Worth. In the 1980s, he moved from a
New York City apartment to a mansion in the
exclusive Fort Worth suburb of Westover
Hills. In the decades since, he was often
seen at local cultural events or handing out
medals to winners of the prestigious Fort
Worth piano competition that bears his name.
A famous night owl, Mr. Cliburn was
well-known for his off-hours visits to the
Ol' South Pancake House on University Drive,
always dressed in his trademark dark suits.
A man of deep Christian faith, he was a
member at Broadway Baptist Church, sneaking
into a back pew just before services began
each Sunday he was in town.
"One of the most profound truths that has
characterized my life is St. Paul's advice
to 'pray without ceasing,'" Mr. Cliburn told
Brent Beasley, his pastor at Broadway
Baptist, shortly before his death. "That's
how I have lived my life."
Beasley and others who spent time with Mr.
Cliburn after his recent diagnosis described
a man bent on reminiscing from the moment he
woke updaily, but a person unafraid of the
"He actually made the comment, 'I'm more
afraid of living than dying,'" Beasley said.
For all his local familiarity, Mr. Cliburn
largely belonged to the world. Through much
of the 1960s and 1970s, he was among the
most sought-after soloists and recording
artists of his generation. But he would
always be, first and foremost, the humble
young man of the Tchaikovsky triumph, which
came when the cloud of nuclear confrontation
hovered over the world.
From childhood, the musician born in
Shreveport and raised in the East Texas town
of Kilgore seemed to channel the Russian
soul, an affinity that was quickly obvious
in that first trip to Russia. Max Frankel,
then a Moscow correspondent for
The New York Times,
began to hear of Russian audiences at
the competition that were completely
enthralled by the one known as "Cleeburn."
"Especially the young girls were going
absolutely crazy about Van's performances,
heaping flowers on him," Frankel, who
eventually became the
Times' executive editor, said in
2008. "And there were long lines to get in
[when he played], even longer than usual."
Frankel sought out another American in
Moscow, Mark Schubart, dean of the Juilliard
"Is this kid really so phenomenal, or is
this just another case of Frank Sinatra
bobby-soxers?" Frankel asked him.
"No, he's a hell of a musician," Schubart
said. "He's well in line to win this thing
if the Russians ever let him."
After a series of historic performances
before rapturous throngs -- playing works by
the Russians' best-loved composers,
Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky -- jurors voted
to award first prize to Mr. Cliburn, first
finding it necessary to obtain the blessing
of Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. Later,
Mr. Cliburn and Khrushchev, himself a
classical music aficionado, became good
The triumph was front-page news around the
globe and earned Mr. Cliburn a ticker-tape
parade in New York City on his return to the
United States, the only classical musician
ever afforded that honor.
He eventually performed for every American
president from Harry S. Truman on. He began
every performance by playing
Banner. In 2003, Mr. Cliburn was
awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by
President George W. Bush. In 2004, Russian
President Vladimir Putin presented Mr.
Cliburn with the Order of Friendship. In
another White House ceremony in 2011,
President Barack Obama presented Mr. Cliburn
the National Medal of the Arts.
He understood the role music could play in
the lives of diverse people," said Robert
Blocker, dean of the Yale School of Music.
"He just saw music as a vehicle of hope. He
lived that out, whether it was with
[President] Carter or Khrushchev. I see him
as being one of the world's great cultural
leaders. The message he carried to
presidents and to children was that music is
"Old when I was born"
Mr. Cliburn's path seemed fated, a destiny
that he recognized early.
"I was old when I was born," he said in May.
"I told my parents when I was 5, 'I am going
to be a concert pianist. They thought I was
crazy. I played in public when I was 4, then
made my debut with the Houston Symphony when
I was 12, and my debut with the New York
Philharmonic, I had just turned 20. I had so
much ambition, but first of all I loved the
He was born in Shreveport on July 12, 1934,
to Harvey Lavan Cliburn, an oil company
executive, and Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn,
herself a classical pianist with an
impeccable pedigree. The daughter of a
lawyer and former mayor of the small Texas
town of McGregor, Mr. Cliburn's mother had
gone away to study piano at the Cincinnati
Conservatory, and then to New York. Her
teacher there was Arthur Friedheim, who had
been a pupil of piano legend Franz Liszt.
Rildia Bee Cliburn's piano career would
consist mostly of teaching, and her most
prominent pupil was her talented and
precocious son. In the recent interview, Mr.
Cliburn remembered his mother as a very
"I was about 9 or 10 and she was taking me
Transcendental Etudes of Liszt," Mr.
Cliburn said. "She said, 'Oh, no, dear.' I
said, 'I can't play this because I don't
have perfect hands like you.'"
His voice became stern as he remembered his
"No one has perfect hands!" she said.
"Everyone has problems. Your responsibility
is to solve your problems."
Mr. Cliburn graduated from Kilgore High
School at age 16, and from Juilliard three
years later. Jerome Lowenthal, another
American pianist and a classmate at
Juilliard, remembered that Mr. Cliburn was
famously innocent, even then.
"We had a class together in Renaissance
music, and one of the things we would do is
sing," Lowenthal recalled in 2008. "Van was
special because he would always put a lot of
emotion into it. I can see it to this day
with his eyebrows going up. We were all too
self-conscious to do that.
"I remember once meeting him on the street
in New York. He was coming back from a Billy
Graham evening, and he was very excited, and
he talked with great enthusiasm and
emotion," Lowenthal said. "He was just
different than other people I knew. And he
was a wonderful artist. He was the Van you
know today, only much less sophisticated."
Well before his victory in Moscow, Mr.
Cliburn seemed headed toward classical music
stardom. In 1954, he won the prestigious
Leventritt Competition in New York City,
which led to performances with major
orchestras across the United States and a
debut with the New York Philharmonic at
Carnegie Hall on Nov. 14, 1954.
His playing also
attracted the attention of Sol Hurok, a
leading music impresario of the time, who
became Mr. Cliburn's longtime manager.
23 February 2013
William Bennett, Solo Oboist in the San
Francisco Symphony - 23 February 2013 - In Memoriam
San Francisco, California USA
The San Francisco Symphony is deeply saddened to announce the passing of
Principal Oboist William Bennett. Mr. Bennett had been hospitalized since
Saturday, February 23, after suffering a brain hemorrhage during his
performance of the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony at
Davies Symphony Hall.
heartbroken by the tragic death of Bill Bennett, which has left a terrible,
sad emptiness in the hearts of the whole San Francisco Symphony family,”
Director Michael Tilson Thomas. SF Symphony Executive Director Brent Assink
added: “How fortunate we all were that Bill Bennett was our Principal Oboe.
His artistry transported us. He touched audiences around the world with his
music and the warmth of his personality.”
All of us
here in the San Francisco Symphony family grieve this enormous loss with the
entire Bay Area community. We also extend our love and support to Bill’s
It is with great sadness that The Philadelphia Orchestra mourns
the death of Wolfgang Sawallisch, conductor laureate of the Orchestra
and its music director from 1993 to 2003. Mr. Sawallisch passed away on
Friday, February 22, 2013, at his home in Grassau, upper Bavaria,
Germany. He was 89 years old. In a special tribute and dedication to
him, the Orchestra performed Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll to open
its Sunday afternoon concert.
The Orchestra’s sixth music
director, Mr. Sawallisch made his debut as guest conductor in 1966 and
nearly 40 years later made his final appearance leading The Philadelphia
Orchestra on March 1, 2005, in a program of Grieg’s Piano Concerto with
guest pianist Yundi Li and Schubert’s Symphony in C major (“Great”).
During his decade as music director he fostered the rich tradition of
the ensemble’s legendary Philadelphia Sound while strengthening and
securing its artistic future, hiring 40 musicians into the Orchestra.
Mr. Sawallisch became conductor laureate of The Philadelphia Orchestra
in September 2003, directly following the conclusion of his tenure as
Mr. Sawallisch demonstrated an unwavering dedication to his
craft, as evidenced by his actions in the winter of 1994 when blizzard
conditions doomed a scheduled performance of excerpts from Wagner’s
Tannhäuser and Die Walküre at the Academy of Music. With
most musicians unable to leave their homes due to the storm, rather than
cancel the performance, Sawallisch instead enlisted the help of the
three soloists staying in nearby hotels and a small, hastily recruited
chorus, and flung open the Academy’s doors to anyone willing to brave
the elements. Over 600 Philadelphians witnessed their maestro’s operatic
foray on the piano that evening—an unforgettable performance. In another
example of dedication to his Orchestra, Mr. Sawallisch was intent on
joining his musicians as soon as possible after the tragedy of 9/11.
Understanding the power of music to help heal, he caught the first
flight to Philadelphia from Germany, leading the Orchestra less than a
week later in a televised tribute concert at the Mann Center for the
Performing Arts, followed by a three-week tour of the United States.
28 January 2013
Gene Saucier - Professor of Woodwinds
and Area Head Woodwind Division of the University of Mississippi Music
Department - In Memoriam
Oxford, Misissippi USA
83, retired Professor of Woodwinds and Area Head Woodwind Division of the
University of Mississippi Music Department, passed away Monday, January 28, 2013
at his home in Oxford, MS. Funeral services will be Thursday, January 31 2013 at
11:00 A.M. in the Chapel of Waller Funeral Home with Father Joe Dyer
officiating. Burial will follow in Oxford Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will be
Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from 4:00 to 6:00 P.M. at the funeral home.
Originally from Shreveport, LA, Gene A. Saucier, brought his family to Oxford in
1960 to assume a teaching position at the University of MS. During his 33 year
tenure, he attained the position of Professor of Woodwinds and developed an
award-winning saxophone ensemble, woodwind choir, flute ensemble, and was
subsequently named area head of the Wind/Percussion/String division at Ole Miss.
earned his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in clarinet performance at the
Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he met his wife-to-be, Joan Smeltzer.
During more than three decades of performance activity, he made guest
appearances with bands and orchestras on both clarinet and saxophone. In 1957 he
was presented with a John Philip Sousa Memorial Award for performance. It was an
honor Gene treasured all his life.
Prof. Saucier’s textbook, Woodwinds: Fundamental Performance Techniques, was
published by Schirmer Books in New York and Collier Macmillan Publishers of
London and has since received national recognition. Prof. Saucier was indebted
to the University of MS for awarding him two sabbatical leaves to pursue
research and composition for the textbook. The expanded second edition of
Woodwinds is published by Opus 2 Publishing Co., owned by Mr. Saucier.
Professor Saucier’s chamber works, including Three Pieces for Clarinet, Fantasy
for Clarinet and Piano, Suite for Clarinet and Sonata for Clarinet and Piano,
are widely performed with several having been used in doctoral dissertations and
master’s thesis recitals at schools of music across the nation. Many of his
display works for woodwinds carry dedicatory acceptances by such international
artists as Julius Baker, Benny Goodman, Reginald Kell, Artie Shaw, Eugene
Rousseau, and most recently the distinguished American recitalist Jerry Hall.
of his many accomplishments, publications and honors, his children believe his
finest accomplishment was the family he and his wife created. They are
strengthened in their loss by the love, integrity and strength he and his wife
instilled in each of them and which they share with each other and their own
families. He was a member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church since 1960.
Gene was preceded in death by his wife, Joan L. Smeltzer Saucier; a daughter,
Gloria Jean Saucier and a brother, Roland L. Saucier, Jr.
survived by six daughters, Elizabeth Edmondson, and her husband, Frank of Lake,
MS, Linda Holley and her husband, Stephen of Corinth, MS, Marguerite Cook of
Starkville, MS, Joni Savage and her husband, Tommy of Hamilton, MS, Susan
McNeely and her husband, Ric of Virginia Beach, VA and Paula Gibbs and her
husband Dean of Oxford, MS; a son, Gene Allen Saucier, Jr of Huntsville, AL; a
brother, Ronald D. Saucier and his wife, Mary Ann of Bossier, LA; 10
grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
The family is
appreciative of all the kind gestures and prayers of his friends and colleagues
and ask that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the Gene A.
Saucier Excellence in Music Scholarship, U. M. Foundation, P.O. Box 249,
University, MS 38677, Attn: Denson Hollis.
Estes Park, Colorado USA
Oscar Lee Gibson - past
Professor of Clarinet at University of North Texas at Denton, and icon original
Editor of the
International Clarinet Association's
Clarinet Magazine and continuing contributor of Articles on Clarinet Acoustics
Dr. Gibson was Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of North Texas
where he taught for 36 years. His undergraduate degree was from Oklahoma A & M
College, his graduate work at the Eastman School of Music, and his Ph. D. in
Musicology from UNT in 1960 with his dissertation, The Woodwind Serenades of
Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. Before moving to Texas he was Assistant Professor
of Music and Director of Bands at the University of Idaho. An avid Amateur Radio
Operator (W5AJF), Gibson also taught at the US Navy Radio School while in
Moscow, Idaho, and later, toward the end of WW II, at RCA in New York City.
A renowned clarinetist, pedagogue, and authority on design of the clarinet, Lee
Gibson trained many of today’s outstanding players and teachers.He was the first
editor of The Clarinet, journal of the International Clarinet Society, and later
served as the Society’s president. Gibson joined the Acoustical Society of
America and, combining his research on clarinet tone and pitch with his
performing artistry, was sought after as a consultant on clarinet and clarinet
reed design and construction. He invented the Vandoren V12 clarinet reed in 1988
during a week-long visit to the company’s factory on France’s Cote d’Azur. The
V12 is still popular among clarinetists today. His book, Clarinet Acoustics, was
published by Indiana University Press in 1998. It is available today from Amazon