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In Memoriam 2016
22 December 2016
Rafael H. Baghdasaryan - Renowned Solo Clarinetist in the Bolshoi Ballet Orchestra and Teacher at the Moscow Conservatory - In Memoriam
Rafael H. Baghdasaryan was born in Armenia on January 24, 1937 in the village of Sarnahpyur ("cold spring"). In 1953, after graduation of military students of musicians of the Soviet Army in Yerevan, he was assigned to Moscow in the Orchestra of the USSR from the Ministry of Defense.
In 1957 he graduated from the Music School. Gnesin (Mozgovenko class), in 1962 - with honors from the Moscow Conservatory (Volodin Class), in 1965 - post-graduate course (Petrov).
He was awarded the Order "Badge of Honor" (1976)
Winner of the Moscow Youth Festival (1957)
Winner of the All-Union competition of performers on orchestral instruments (1957, 1963)
Baghdasaryan - innovator:
In 1957, he was the first in the Moscow Conservatory to master the "French" system clarinet and was an active promoter of it. In 1978, the second time he graduated from the Moscow Conservatory with a degree in "opera and symphony conducting" (B E. Haykin class ).
Currently, People's Artist of Russia, Professor of the Moscow Conservatory Rafael Baghdasaryan continued creative activities as a soloist, ensemble player, teacher and conductor.
Since 1963 he was a teacher of clarinet at the Music School of the Moscow Conservatory, and since 1985 a teacher of the department of wind and percussion instruments of the Moscow Conservatory. Many of his students - winners of Russian and international competitions - are working in the best symphony orchestras and opera in Moscow, Russian cities and other countries.
master classes in Moscow, Volgograd, Bratsk, Yerevan, Ufa, Philadelphia, Los
Angeles, in the cities of South Korea and other countries.
During his life from 1985 to the present time for clarinet and chamber music at the Conservatoire Baghdasaryan graduated more than 50 students, including foreign ones. The brightest of them taken by competition:
in the orchestra of the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre - E. Aleshin,
A. Bakholdin, A. Gross, A. Gorbunov, A. Canaria, N. Bezverhny, G. Zubritskiy,
Taradankin A., E. Mitrofanova.
in the orchestra of the Moscow Academic Music Theatre. Stanislavsky and Vl. Nemirovich-Danchenko - K. Degtyarev, N. Matvienko, A. Tushev.
the State Academic Symphony Orchestra conducted by E. Svetlanov - Yu Babi.
in the Russian National Orchestra - A. Getman.
in the Symphony Orchestra of Radio and Television - Eremin.
in the orchestra of the State Symphony Capella - N. Fatko, I. Sidorsky Alumyan S., A. Ruzanova.
Philharmonic Orchestra in Yakutsk - M. Tauro.
in the Latvian Philharmonic Orchestra - I. Livmanis.
in Kyrgyz Philharmonic Orchestra - M. Ibraev.
Orchestra in the University of Texas, Lubbock (United States) - D. Perevertaylenko.
in Orchestra "Russian Philharmonic" - P. Zolotukhin.
Participation in the competition jury:
Jury member of the All-Russian and international competitions in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, University of Texas (USA), Odense (Denmark, the International Competition named after Carl Nielsen).
In 1997, Bagdasarian was thr first Russian clarinetist to be invited to the ClarinetFest in Lubbock, Texas (US), where he performed a solo concert, held master classes and was a member of the jury of the International Competition.
Concert activity. The main repertoire:
As a soloist and ensemble player Baghdasaryan performs with outstanding musicians - Vladimir Ashkenazy (piano), Mstislav Rostropovich (cello), Galina Vishnevskaya (soprano), V. Pikayzenom (violin), Vladimir Popov (bassoon), E. Barone (Piano , USA), "Moscow trio" consisting of: A. Bonduryansky, Ivanov, Mikhail Utkin and many others in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Odense (Denmark), Bucharest, Sofia, Philadelphia, Kiev, Yerevan. Concerts class professor Baghdasaryan held with great success in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ulyanovsk, Ufa, Bratsk and other Russian cities.
The annual November concerts class Baghdasaryan Conservatory Rachmaninov Hall held with great success. They come from colleagues around the world. Baghdasaryan - the first "Ebony concert" performer in Moscow for clarinet Stravinsky trio "Contrasts" Bartók (with G. Feigin, Vladimir Ashkenazy), Sonata for clarinet solo T. Olah devoted to his concerts Knipper, E. Hagagortyana, A. Lehmann, Sonata solo V. Artemov and other works. Baghdasaryan recorded many LPs and CDs. The fund made a radio recording of works for clarinet.
Scientific works. Editions. Publications:
Baghdasaryan - author of virtuoso transcriptions for clarinet, as well as methodological approaches to the art of clarinet playing.
Transcriptions (Arrangement for Clarinet)
N. Paganini "Caprice number 24" for violin solo. Arrangement for
clarinet and piano. manuscript. Moscow, 1961.
C. Saint-Saëns' Introduction and Rondo Kaprichiozo "for violin and orchestra. Arrangement for Clarinet and Piano. manuscript. M., 1997.
P. Sarasate's "Navarra" for Two Violins and Orchestra. Arrangement for Two Clarinets and Piano. manuscript. M., 1998.
A. Vivaldi Concerto for Four Violins and Orchestra. Arrangement for four clarinets and piano. manuscript. M., 1999.
F. Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin and Orchestra. Arrangement of the 1st part of the concert for clarinet and piano. manuscript. Moscow, 2002.
A. Khachaturian Concerto for violin and orchestra. 3 Arrangement of the concerto for clarinet and piano. manuscript. Moscow, 2002.
Adaptations and instrumentations
Dittersdorf H. Sinfonietta. instrumentation for 16 clarinets.
manuscript. M., 1999.
D. Shostakovich Polka from ballet "The Golden Age." instrumentation for ensemble of soloists (Sturno and wind). manuscript. Moscow, 1983.
Michio Miyagi "Spring Sea". Arrangement and orchestration for bassoon and string orchestra. manuscript. Moscow, 1992.
"Wind Instrumental ensembles of Beethoven" (problems of style and
interpretation). Moscow, 1989.
"Beethoven - Quintet for piano and four wind" (Performing analysis of problems). M., 1995.
"Problems of a tuning fork and temperament."
The article "Grand Theatre". 10.02.2000.
Artemov V. Sonata for clarinet solo (dedicated to Rafael Baghdasaryan).
Revision for Clarinet. M., "Music", 1968.
L. Knipper Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (dedicated to Rafael Baghdasaryan). Revision for Clarinet. M., "Music", 1968.
Leman A. Concerto for clarinet ensemble with clarinet solo "leading figure" (dedicated to Rafael Baghdasaryan). Revision for Clarinet. manuscript. Moscow, 1998.
Rusanov E. Lucas Quartet for four clarinets (dedicated to Rafael Baghdasaryan). Revision for Clarinet. manuscript. Moscow, 2002.
Hagagortyan E. Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra (dedicated to Rafael Baghdasaryan). Revision for Clarinet. M., "Music", 1971
Publications as a Teacher:
His creative and educational activities devoted a long article in the book "Portraits of Soviet performers on wind instruments" (Moscow, 1989).
Also in England (EPL publishing) in 1989 he appears in a book of Pamela Weston «Clarinet Virtuosi of Today», in which the author has devoted a long article to the creativity and personality of R. Baghdasaryan. Also, his work is explained in a series of radio broadcasts. He has performed as a conductor with various orchestras, including the National Symphony Orchestra of Armenia. Performing musician noted art praised by critics.
The excerpt from the review of "Ode to the orchestra of the Bolshoi Theater" (. Soviet Music 1982. № 7. S. 25), says: " First of all I would describe clarinetist Rafael H. Baghdasaryan, master, vanishingly-thin, almost ghostly pianissimo, others his solo phrases (in "Ivan Susanin", "Ruslan and Lyudmila", "La Traviata", "Tosca", "Spartacus "" The Seagull ") are of a performance - as much in their feelings, sense of beauty, not to mention the possession of fantastic means."
14 December 2016
Karel Husa - Renowned Czech American composer - In Memoriam
Apex, North Carolina USA
Karel Husa is an important composer, the bulk of whose career took place in the last half of the twentieth century. While he is generally ranked in the second tier among his contemporaries, his standing may change for the better in the coming decades. His expressive language, although sometimes employing serial techniques and other advanced methods, is far from difficult: Husa's rhythms and use of ostinatos impart sinew and drive to his music, and his orchestration is always assured and colorful. Among his important compositions are his Fantasies for Orchestra (1956), Third String Quartet (1968), Music for Prague 1968, and the ballet The Trojan Women (1980-1981).
Karel Husa showed talent early in his childhood, learning to play both the violin and piano. He enrolled at the Prague Conservatory in 1939, in part to avoid being drafted into the occupying German Army. There he studied composition with Jaroslav Ridky, and conducting with Metod Dolezil and Pavel Dedecek. His Op. 1 Sonatina, for piano, dates from his student years, as well as his first big work, Overture for Large Orchestra, Op. 3.
After taking further courses with Ridky following the war, Husa traveled to Paris in 1947 to study with Arthur Honegger. He also studied composition with Nadia Boulanger and conducting with Jean Fournet. In the coming years, his career would be split equally between composing and conducting duties. His First String Quartet (1948) received the 1950 Lili Boulanger Prize and helped to establish his name internationally.
Cut off from his homeland by the Communist takeover in 1948, Husa accepted a faculty position with Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1954 to teach composition and to lead the student orchestra. He also took on many guest conducting appearances with orchestras in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and accepted a post as conductor of the Ithaca Chamber Orchestra. He might have stayed in Europe a while longer, but by now he had a wife and two daughters to support. Besides, as it turned out, he found the the Cornell post was much to his liking, remaining in it until his retirement in 1992.
In 1959, Husa became an American citizen, and by that time many of his works were appearing on concert programs in his adopted country and abroad. Then-recent compositions include his Divertimento for Brass Ensemble and Percussion (1958), actually a transcription of four pieces from his 1955 Eight Czech Duos, for piano four-hands. The 1960s might have been Husa's most successful decade: in 1964 he received a Guggenheim fellowship, and five years later his Third String Quartet was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. In addition, his Music for Prague 1968 has become his most often-performed work.
Husa remained quite active in the field of composition over the next several decades, writing most of his music at a cottage he had purchased along Cayuga lake. Among his compositions from the 1970s are Two Sonnets from Michelangelo (1971) and Fresco for Wind Ensemble (1975). Some impressive commissions came in the 1980s: Concerto for Orchestra (1986) was written for Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra; and the Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra (1987-1988) met the commission of Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Husa's 1993 Violin Concerto was written for another New York Philharmonic commission. In 1995, the composer received what was perhaps his most cherished honor, Czech Republic's State Medal Award of Merit, First Class, given by President Vaclav Havel.
8 December 2016
Alan Lawson - Eminent woodwind performer and arranger - In Memoriam
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
30 November 2016
Donald Montanaro - Associate/Eb Clarinetist Emeritus in the Philadelphia Orchestra; Renowned Chamber Music Artist - Professor at the Curtis Institute - In Memoriam
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA
A Very sad day in our Clarinet world just occurred with the passing of this great example of Clarinet playing, pedagogy, and a contageous charisma with his students, many of whom have risen to high points in their careers, and so many have shared their thoughts over Don Montanaro's affect on their personal and professional lives. Below is a heartfelt tribute by Francois Kloc, a true friend and supporter of the clarinet profession.
A special statement from François Kloc, President and CEO of Buffet Crampon USA:
Today is a day I wish would have never happened. A few hours ago, I received a call from my friend, Principal Clarinetist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Buffet Crampon Clarinet Artist Gregory Raden, telling me of the passing of Don Montanaro. Time stopped and the emotion kicked in: I was in disbelief. How could this be possible? The man who played an incredibly important role in my career is no longer with us. As I hung up the phone with Greg and sat trying to make sense of this news, it took me back to the first time I met Don upon my arrival in the US and how nervous I was. Being with such a legend and listening to his explanation of his concept of sound is something which shaped me to be who I am today. From that day onward, Don took me under his wing and impacted me forever. There are no words strong enough to describe how thankful and humbled I am to have had the privilege to know Don and call him a friend. As a matter of fact, he was more than just a friend; he was my mentor, someone I turned to when I had doubts or questions about things musical, personal or clarinet-related. I would not be where I am today without Don’s influence and wisdom. I only hope that I am good enough and will continue to strive to stay the way I am.
Don was also an intricate part of Buffet Crampon; his love for clarinet and the brand was contagious. He always looked at everything and made sure it was of high quality and what it should be in his eyes. His support and love of Buffet Crampon was amazing and on behalf of Buffet Crampon I thank him for this.
In just two days (December 2nd), I was looking forward to calling him to wish him a Happy Birthday. Instead, I only wish that I could have told him one more time how thankful I am to have him in my life. Something changed for me today, but Don will always be part of Buffet Crampon and part of my life. His silky tone will resonate in my ears forever.
My thoughts are with his lovely wife Margarita, his family, Greg and all his students.
Rest in peace, Don, and thank you for everything you did for Buffet Crampon, the clarinet world, everyone who knew you, and for me personally. I miss you terribly already.
28 November 2016
Larry Sobol, Iconic and Innovative Clarinetist, Director of the Long Island Chamber Ensemble, Renowned collaborator with major composers and Performers - In Memoriam
Long Island, New York USA
Lawrence Sobol, clarinetist and Artistic Director of the Long Island Chamber Ensemble has performed extensively throughout America and Europe as soloist with orchestra and in recital. Sobol's highly acclaimed recordings, publishing series and concerts present a consummate professional whose collaborations include: Jessye Norman, the late Judith Raskin, William Warfield, Luciano Pavarotti, and the legendary Richard Tucker. A veritable who's who of distinguished composers has rallied to Sobol's definitive performances including: Roy Harris, David Diamond, Virgil Thomson, Alan Hovhaness and Ezra Laderman Mr Sobol has been active also in Music Publications including his own recordings.
2 October 2016
Sir Neville Marriner, Renowned Conductor and Music Director of the Orchestra of St Martin in the Fields (London) and Founding President of the World Clarinet Alliance - WKA in Stuttgart Germany in 1988 - In Memoriam
London, United Kingdom
30 July 2016
Pete Fountain, Legendary New Orleans Jazz Great - In Memoriam , Information linked on his name
New Orleans, Louisiana USA
22 June 2016
Ronald Zecher de Kant, Emeritus Professor of Clarinet at the Cinncinati Conservatory of Music and Renowned Orchestral Soloist and Teacher - In Memoriam
Cincinnati, Ohio USA
We are saddened to share news of the passing of Ronald Zecher de Kant, Emeritus Professor of Clarinet at CCM. Born in Lancaster, PA, on Oct. 30, 1931, de Kant passed away in Cincinnati on June 22, 2016. He is survived by his wife, Brenda Mitchell of Cincinnati, daughter Monique (Niki) of Vancouver, BC, and cousin Barrie Zecher (wife Leoma) of Lititz, PA.
De Kant was professor of clarinet at CCM from 1987 until his retirement in 2004. During his tenure at CCM, he also served as chair of woodwinds and brass from 1989-2004. Many of his former students have held positions in major Canadian and US orchestras and military bands.
De Kant received the Artist Diploma from Juilliard in 1953, where he studied with Daniel Bonade. Following Juilliard, during his military service, he taught for two years at the U.S. Naval School of Music in Washington, DC. He then performed as principal clarinet for a year in Toronto with Canada’s National Ballet Orchestra. He was principal clarinet with the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra from 1956-65, then principal clarinet of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra from 1965-80. He was also principal clarinet of the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra 1967-83 and performed with the Santa Fe Opera 1970-72. An active chamber musician, at various times he was a member of the New Orleans Woodwind Quintet, the Vancouver Woodwind Quintet, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, and the Cassenti Players. He was a soloist with both the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra. Recordings as clarinet soloist include the Mozart Quintet with the Purcell String Quartet and the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra.
In addition to his time as a CCM faculty member, De Kant taught at the university level concurrently with his orchestral appointments in both New Orleans and Vancouver. He also taught part-time at the University of British Columbia from 1965-80, then full-time until 1983. From 1977-84 he coached woodwinds at the Banff Centre for the Arts, where he premiered the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano by Oscar Morawetz. He was professor of clarinet at Arizona State University 1983-87. He taught clarinet at Louisiana State University during the 2004-05 academic year.
18 May 2016
Renowned past Solo Clarinetist in the Winston-Salem Symphony and Professor Emeritus at the North Carolina School for the Arts Robert Listokin - In Memoriam
Winston-Salem, North Carolina USA
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) is mourning the loss of founding School of Music faculty member Robert Listokin, who died last Wednesday. He was 82.
Listokin, a clarinetist, left a promising New York concert career to join the fledgling music faculty at the School of the Arts when it opened in 1965. He was a member of the Clarion Wind Quintet, which was recruited to teach at the school and served as the ensemble-in-residence at the school for many years.
He retired in 2002 after 37 years on the faculty. He continued to serve the school as a visiting faculty member through 2011. He also served as artist-in-residence for several years at Duke University and the University of Virginia, as well as on the faculties of Wake Forest University, Salem College and New York’s Queens College.
He was the longtime principal clarinetist of the Winston-Salem Symphony.
Listokin won the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence for UNCSA in 1997. “While students admire Listokin’s gifts as a teacher and performer of the clarinet, they most deeply appreciate his kindness, warm support, and his enthusiastic belief in their abilities,” the nomination read. “Former students continue to seek the counsel of this recorded soloist, often traveling long distances for additional lessons.”
Like many School of the Arts music faculty, Listokin’s former students have filled the ranks of orchestras, chamber ensembles and university music departments over the years, and have won countless awards and competitions. Online condolences include many School of the Arts alumni. One said: “So many wonderful memories of learning from him at NCSA (he was my solfege teacher), making music with him in the WS Symphony and hearing him play the literature.” Another said: “Mr. Listokin was a huge musical and personal influence in my life.”
A classmate of his called him “one of the finest clarinetists of our generation! His artistry will live on through his recordings and the many excellent students he inspired.”
Listokin studied at The Juilliard School with Daniel Bonade, graduating in 1956 with the George Wedge Prize for the highest average in his class. In New York City, he performed with the Radio City Orchestra, Symphony of the Air, Musica Aeterna, the Chautauqua Symphony and recording orchestras including Columbia and RCA. He performed chamber music with the Aeolian Chamber Players, New York Festival Winds, New York Chamber Soloists and the Clarion Wind Quintet. He toured the United States, Canada, Europe and South America as soloist with the Clarion Wind Quintet, Claremont String Quartet, Razoumovsky Quartet and Piedmont Chamber Orchestra. His chamber music and orchestral recordings include Everest, Columbia, CRI, and Golden Crest under Stravinsky, Copland and others.
Survivors include his wife, Ann, a pianist with whom he often performed.
His daughter, Monica, has announced that a memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 5, at Arbor Acres, 1244 Arbor Road, Winston-Salem. It will be held in the Fellowship Hall in the Berrier Building. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the UNCSA School of Music online or by mail: care of the UNCSA Foundation, 1533 South Main St., Winston-Salem, NC 27127, indicating in memory of Robert Listokin.
24 April 2016
George Pieterson, principal clarinet of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from 1975 to 2004 - In Memoriam
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
He had played in the best Dutch orchestras from the age of 18 and was greatly esteemed by both Bernard Haitink and Riccardo Chailly, his music directors in Amsterdam, as well as musicians around the world.
12 April 2016
'Mr. Music' in Colorado Springs, Ed Nuccio - Renowned Clarinetist and Pedagogue - In Memoriam
Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Professional clarinetist Ed Nuccio was famous for nurturing children, teens and adults in their pursuit of music, so much so that he earned the moniker "Mr. Music."
The longtime band director, educator and founder of New Horizons Band of Colorado Springs died April 12 from cancer. He was 80 years old.
Nuccio arrived in Colorado Springs in 1958 to play with the Air Force Academy Band where he earned an Airman of the Year award in 1959. He performed with Arthur Fiedler, longtime conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, and in bands for Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dean Martin and others who played in concert at The Broadmoor.
Shortly after arriving in town, he was hired as the first full-time band director at Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School and taught there for 25 years.
He led the Cheyenne Mountain High School bands and marching band for nine years and taught at Douglass Valley Elementary School, Broadmoor Elementary School and Cheyenne Mountain Elementary School. He also was inducted into the Colorado Music Educators Hall of Fame in 2004.
"He had such an absolute passion for both people and music and he did up until he died," said Walt Cooper, superintendent of Cheyenne Mountain School District. "He did what he could to bring those two together."
In 2002 Nuccio and his wife Mary Nuccio founded the New Horizons Band, a group for adults who wanted to resume their interest in playing music. The Nuccios grew it into four bands, three jazz trios and chamber groups.
"The part I remember was when he was on the podium," said his son Brad Nuccio. "He had this mix of passion for the music, caring for the students and incredibly high expectations."
Nuccio is survived by Mary Nuccio, two sons, including Mark Nuccio who plays clarinet in the New York Philharmonic and Brad Nuccio, who works in the entertainment industry in St. Louis, Missouri.
4 April 2016
Joseph Edwards - Renowned Clarinetist, Educator and Dean of the Dana School of Music - In Memoriam
Poland, Pennsylvania USA
Joseph Edwards was born Feb. 21, 1943, in Youngstown, a son of John and Ann Wroblewski Lapinski.
Raised on the north side of Youngstown, he was a 1960 graduate of Ursuline High School, where he was inducted into their Arts Hall of Fame in 2006. He continued his education at Youngstown State University and received a Bachelor of Music in Education Degree and his Master of Music Performance as a woodwind specialist from Michigan State University. Dean Edwards also studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in the Doctor of Musical Arts program.
He began his teaching career at the Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. In 1969, Dean Edwards joined the faculty of the Dana School of Music and was responsible for creating a saxophone degree program, teaching clarinet, conducting the symphonic, concert, and marching bands, along with serving as the director of the Dana School of Music. Following this, he served as interim dean of the Beeghly College of Education, acting chair of Education, Foundations, Research, Technology, and Leadership, and dean of the College of Fine and Performing Arts.
Dean Edwards has appeared as a guest soloist and clinician with high school and college ensembles and at state and national music conferences. He had also performed with the American Wind Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Concert Band, Blossom Festival Band, Cleveland Symphonic Winds, Warren Chamber Orchestra, the Dana Faculty Wind Quintet, and the Temptations. Over the years, he has recorded vinyl and compact discs with numerous groups from Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa.
Dean Edwards was a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and The National Leadership Honor Society of Omicron Delta Kappa. During his tenure with YSU, he has been the recipient of several awards, including the Distinguished Professor of Music Award and the prestigious Watson Award. In 2000, Dean Edwards was honored with a Chairperson’s Leadership Award and was the first recipient of the College of Fine and Performing Arts Alumni Award. Most recently, in 2012, “Joe” was honored with the Beeghly College of Education’s Dean’s Appreciation Award.
He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Youngstown and also served on the Struthers Board of Education for eight years.
Outside of music, Dean Edwards had a passion for golf, which he shared with his son, Justin. One of their favorite courses to enjoy together was Valley Golf Club in Columbiana. More recently, he enjoyed helping his son and daughter-in-law remodel their home in Mill Creek Park.
In addition to his mother, Ann Lapinski of Amherst, he leaves his wife, the former Karen Sue Textoris, whom he married June 9, 1972; his son, Justin Joseph Edwards and his wife, Ashley, of Youngstown; two sisters, Joanne (Bill) Hosterman of Durham, N.C. and Sandra (Bob) Jankowski of Amherst; two brothers, John (Mary Ann) Lapinski of Boardman and Frank (Kathy) Lapinski of Wake Forest, N.C.; brother-in-law, Melvin C. Textoris of Struthers; and his beloved nieces and nephews.
In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his infant brother, Edward Lapinski; and his in-laws, Melvin A. and Marion Textoris, who admired his kind and genuine nature.
17 March 2016
Richard Lesser, Renowned Teacher and Solo Clarinetist Emeritus in the Israel Philharmonic - In Memoriam
Tel Aviv, Israel
It is with great shock and sadness to learn of the passing of one of the great icons and Teachers in Israel.
Richard Lesser received his early music training in Los Angeles, then continued his
studies at Curtis Music Institute, graduating in 1959. After two years of touring with
Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo and National Ballet of Canada Orchestras, Mr. Lesser freelanced
in Los Angeles, recording in the film studios, playing in the Monday Evening
Concert series, and Ojai Festival and recording as first clarinetist in Columbia Symphony
with Igor Stravinsky. He was invited to the Marlboro Festival (Vermont), where he
participated in four summers of chamber music. In 1966 he was invited by Zubin Mehta
to join the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 1968 he was appointed principal first
clarinetist of that organization, where for the next 35 years he performed under the batons
of: Mehta, Bernstein, Munch, Ormandy, Tennstedt, Solti, Barenboim, Abbado, Masur,
Mazel, Muti.,…Mr. Lesser retired from the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002…He
has taught in the USA, Australia, Far East, Germany, and since 1968 has been the head of
the Clarinet Department of Tel Aviv University
5 March 2016
Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Renowned Conductor and Pioneer of the World War II Post War Performance movement, and founder of the Vienna Consentus Musicus - In Memoriam
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, one of the pioneers of the post-war period-performance movement, has died: he was 86. He started his career as a cellist in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1952-69), performing under the barton of conductors like Wilhelm Furtwängler and Herbert von Karajan. Feeling that there was a different approach to music of the Baroque and Classical eras, he decided to form his own ensemble and in 1953 Concentus Musicus Wien was born.
With VCM he performed and recorded a large amount of repertoire ranging from Bach cantatas (winner of the 1990 Gramophone Award for Special Achievement) to Schubert Masses (mainly for Telefunken/Teldec and later RCA and Sony Classical). He later started conducting modern-instrument orchestras, including the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonics. In 1991 he recorded a cycle of the Beethoven symphonies with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe for Warner Classics, a set that secured him Gramophone’s Orchestral and Recording of the Year Awards in 1992. His repertoire expanded to embrace Bruckner symphonies and even Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.
He announced his retirement shortly before Christmas, citing ill health.
As a scholar he wrote a number of books including The Musical Dialogue: Thoughts on Monteverdi, Bach, and Mozart.
He received Gramophone's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and was voted into Gramophone’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
15 February 2016
Louis Lane, Renowned Conductor of the Dallas Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra and Assistant to George Szell - In Memoriam
Bratenahl, Ohio USA
Louis Lane, a noted conducting teacher and longtime member and former resident conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, died Monday at his home in Bratenahl, where he had lived alone. He was 92.
"Louis was a wonderful colleague and friend," said Carl Topilow, chair of the conducting department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where Lane worked for 22 years. "To this day I continue to be appreciative of his mentor-ship and treasure our work together[.]"
Lane's long career in Northeast Ohio began in 1947, when he was appointed apprentice conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra by then-music director George Szell, after auditioning with a work he suspected the intimidating maestro might not know well.
He later was promoted to assistant, associate, and eventually, in 1970, resident conductor, all the while absorbing and embodying Szell's meticulous habits and insistence on clarity. From 1947 to 1961, he also served as the orchestra's pianist and principal keyboardist.
Conductor Garrett Keast, a friend and former student of Lane's now working in Germany, said Lane often spoke to him fondly of his days with Szell, especially of his inability to win the race to work. "[Lane] simply could not beat Mr. Szell to Severance Hall, no matter how early he arrived," Keast noted.
But Lane's impact on the Cleveland Orchestra and music generally in Northeast Ohio was far greater than even his illustrious string of titles suggests.
Were it not for Lane, Topilow said, there would be no Cleveland Pops Orchestra, now a 20-year-old institution in Northeast Ohio. Lane also was renowned locally as music director of Lake Erie Opera Theater, co-founder of the Blossom Festival School (now known as the Kent/Blossom Music Festival), and, from 1952 to 1968, music director of the Cleveland Orchestra's summer pops concerts.
Throughout much of that time, too, and beyond, Lane also served as music director of the Akron Symphony Orchestra (he later held the title there of conductor emeritus), and as an instructor at CIM. He also stood before the Cleveland Orchestra as a guest conductor.
Legions of former students, many of them now professional musicians, filled social media channels Tuesday with colorful anecdotes, personal photos of Lane, and expressions of gratitude.
Among them was Charles Bernard, assistant principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra and a member of a student orchestra under Lane. He said the conductor had a daunting demeanor and could be crude in his descriptions of music, but when it came to previewing life as a pro, there was no one better.
"I learned a lot about precision from him," Bernard said. "He was picky almost to a fault. But he was also effective, and people really respected him. He prepared you for what could be out there in the real world."
News of Lane's death broke late Monday, when Andre Gremillet, executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra, released a brief statement to the orchestra's board, musicians and staff. In that note, among many accomplishments, Gremillet drew attention to two less noted but no less significant elements of Lane's career in Cleveland: his dedication to contemporary music and to education.
Lane's programs, Gremillet wrote, were marked by "exceptional breadth and impeccable taste," and included 75 Cleveland premieres. He also praised Lane for exposing tens of thousands of schoolchildren to classical music over the years through education concerts.
The impact of such efforts is impossible to evaluate, and no tribute will suffice. By way of paying homage, Keast suggested listening to some of Lane's many recordings, with both the Cleveland Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, with which Lane also had a long association.
Not that Northeast Ohio has been remiss in gestures of thanks. As early as 1971, the conductor was granted a Special Citation by the Cleveland Arts Prize. More recently, in 2008, the Cleveland Orchestra bestowed on Lane a Distinguished Service Award. Fittingly, that is the group's highest honor.
5 January 2016
Pierre Boulez, World renowned French composer, conductor, and one of the most significant and influential musical figures of the past half century - In Memoriam
Pierre Boulez, one of the most significant and influential musical figures of the past half century, has died, aged 90.
As composer, his work embraced electronic music and chance, much of which helped cement his reputation as an uncompromising exponent of contemporary music. His commitment to the music of our time was embodied in the foundation, in the 1970s, of both IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) in Paris, an influential institution dedicated to pushing the boundaries and developing our understanding of contemporary music, and the Ensemble InterContemporain, an ensemble devoted to exploring contemporary chamber music.
As conductor, Boulez served as head of some of the world's most prestigious organisations - including the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic - though worked widely with many others. Twentieth-century repertoire was an understandable speciality - Mahler, Stravinsky, Varèse among many others - though his interpretations of earlier repertoire, from Beethoven to Wagner, also earned great acclaim and provoked thought. As conductor he received ten Gramophone Awards, plus four as composer. In 1995 we named him Artist of the Year.
For all his visionary innovation and uncompromising advocacy - perhaps in part because of it - he was also a controversial figure. But for many he will simply have been the person who opened their eyes and ears to classical music, whether as the super-star maestro on the podium, or the teacher who removed chairs from New York's Philharmonic hall and filled the area with cushions in the so called 'Rug Concerts' of the 1970s. As Philip Clark put it in a Gramophone interview with Boulez in 2010: 'He has done more than anybody else to educate and inform us about the music of our time'.
You can explore more about Boulez's life and work in the following features and interviews:
Solo Clarinetist Emeritus in the Cleveland Orchestra Franklin Cohen - a heartfelt testimonial to Pierre Boulez
It was a deeply sad moment to hear of the passing of one of the world's great musicians, Pierre Boulez.
Maestro Boulez has had a profound impact on the direction, appreciation and understanding of the great Masterworks of the late 19th through the early 21st century.
The wonder of hearing the sound of an orchestra change so immediately in his hands was a marvel!
I can remember countless concerts where the Cleveland Orchestra would respond to his confident and always warm gestures of flexibility, rhythm and pristine clarity.
It was my honor to be asked by Mr. Boulez to record the Premiere Rhapsody of Debussy with The Cleveland Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon. This was to be sure one of the highlights of my musical life to date.
The disc was awarded two Grammy Awards and is only a very small glimpse into the magical sound world that was the trade mark of Maestro Boulez.
His unique stamp can easily be heard through countless archived concerts and hundreds of definitive recordings. His generous and gentle guidance of a new and younger generation of performers and composers will have everlasting influence on the musical esthetic for years to come.
The kindness and warmth of his spirit are things of rarity and make his loss all the more significant.
Thank you Mr. Boulez for all of the wonderful moments and memories!!!in his hands was a marvel!
I can remember countless concerts where the Cleveland Orchestra would respond to his confident and always warm gestures of flexibility, rhythm and pristine clarity.
in his hands was a marvel!
I can remember countless concerts where the Cleveland Orchestra would respond to his confident and always warm gestures of flexibility, rhythm and pristine clarity.
in his hands was a marvel! I can remember countless concerts where the Cleveland Orchestra would respond to his confident and always warm gestures of flexibility, rhythm and pristine clarity. It was my honor to be asked by Mr. Boulez to record the Premiere Rhapsody of Debussy with The Cleveland Orchestra and Deutsche Grammophon. This was to be sure one of the highlights of my musical life to date. The disc was awarded two Grammy Awards and is only a very small glimpse into the magical sound world that was the trade mark of Maestro Boulez. His unique stamp can easily be heard through countless archived concerts and hundreds of definitive recordings. His generous and gentle guidance of a new and younger generation of performers and composers will have everlasting influence on the musical esthetic for years to come. The kindness and warmth of his spirit are things of rarity and make his loss all the more significant. Thank you Mr. Boulez for all of the wonderful moments and memories!!!
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Revised: December 24, 2016