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In Memoriam 2018

 

 

 

18 November 2018

 

 

John Stephens - major Composer, Conductor, and advocate in Contemporary Music and Director of the American Camerata for New Music in Washington, DC and Conductor of the Lydian Chamber Players, and founding member of the Klar/Fest 81 at Catholic University - In Memoriam

 

Kensington, Maryland USA

 

                          Very sad to learn about the passing of this life influence and friend, having conducting for many years the Lydian Chamber Players, and being a principal advisor and participant as conductor with the Klar/Fest 81 and 2 years with the Clar/Fests in Washington DC and Towson University in Maryland. Probably the most notable memory of Performance was the Concert finale of KF81 at the Library of Congress where he conducted the Alvin Etler Clarinet Concerto with VIP Charles Neidich, and the Boulez Domaines with Senior VIP Stanley Drucker. As noted below, his value as a musician is well established.    Of interest is a Clarinet Quintet composed by John Stephens for friend and VIP Ben Redwine written and CD issued along with a performance of the Lydian Chamber Players conducted by him at the Cathesral of St John the Dine in New York City.

 

 

 

Mike Getzin

 

                        John Stephens was born in Washington, DC, and beginning at age 8 studied piano, followed by trumpet, cello, and harmony. During the 1960s, he held a trumpet chair regularly with the summer National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), known as the Watergate Symphony.

                      His career as a composer has brought him numerous awards and scholarships. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Catholic University and was elected to Pi Kappa Lambda, the honorary society for music graduates. Other awards included four scholarships to the Bennington Composers’ Conference at Bennington, VT, where he appeared as composer and orchestral player with the conference’s resident orchestra. His first work for string orchestra was awarded a National Young Composers’ Award, as was his first choral piece.

                     He has written music for every medium that has been performed at concerts by the Watergate Symphony, at the Donnell Series for Contemporary Music in New York City, the Phillips Collection, the American University Chamber Music Society, the American Camerata, the Contemporary Music Forum, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Music Teachers National Association, and the Strathmore Hall Arts Foundation, which honored him with a full concert of his works. In 1988, he was awarded the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship in Music Composition. In 1998, he was awarded a fellowship grant for his preparation of the Three Symphonic Etudes for Solo Timpani and Orchestra, written for, and dedicated to, Fred Begun, principal timpanist with the NSO. NSO premiered the work under Leonard Slatkin on April 10, 1999.

 

                    Dr. Stephens’s music is published in the United States by MMB and by TAP Music and in France by Vandoran. He has served on the faculties of Catholic University; George Washington University; American University; and, with the American Camerata, as Artist in Residence at the University of the District of Columbia. His Creations for Trombone & String Quartet and Three for Four Plus One were released on AmCam Recordings.

                  Dr. Stephens’s conducting experience led him to the Academy of Music in Basel, Switzerland, where he studied with Pierre Boulez. He was Music Director for Clar-Fest International in the 1980s and early 1990s. He served as music director of the John Cage Festival Orchestra and as conductor of the Sistrum New Music Ensemble. He served as tour conductor with the Lydian Chamber Players and as music director for jazz pianist Keith Jarrett in his appearances with members of the NSO. He served as principal conductor for the American Camerata and Artistic Director/Producer for AmCam Recordings. His many recordings have included the music of Ives, Brant, Krenek, Sapieyevski, Moss, Villa-Lobos, Cyr, Gershwin, Boulez, Shoenberg, Debussy, and Woollen. He received the Alice Ditson Award from Columbia University for his recordings and several National Endowments grants for his educational production “New Sounds for Young Ears,” a program for young students based on 20th-century music.

 

 

 

26 October 2018

 

Murray Khouri - Noted International Clarinetist from New Zealand and Contributor to the RNZ. - In Memoriam

New South Wales, New Zealand

 

          According to Slipped Disc, Khouri died Friday night, in New South Wales, two weeks after undergoing heart surgery. He was in his late 70s.

Khouri was born in Wellington and performed both with the NZSO Youth Orchestra and the NZSO. He was 16 when he joined the Youth Orchestra in 1959 – the year it was established.

         In his early years Khouri studied at London’s Royal College of Music and made his solo debut at Wigmore Hall in Matyas Seiber's Clarinet Concertino.

Following his formal education, he performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Ballet Orchestra and Prague Metropolitan Orchestra and was led by some well-known conductors including Leopold Stokowski, Pierre Boulez, Georg Solti, Bernard Haitink, Adrian Boult, and Eugen Jochum.

         Khouri was also the principal in the NZBC Concert Orchestra then the NZBC Symphony and also performed concertos Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the City of Birmingham Symphony.

        He was also interested in chamber music, turning his attention to the format in the mid-70s when he returned to the antipodes. He formed the Australian Contemporary Music Ensemble and the Australia Ensemble, the latter toured the world.

        Khouri was also a dedicated broadcaster, reviewer and writer, contributing work to the BBC, Slipped Disc and RNZ.

        In New Zealand he created programmes exploring all the great conductors he’d worked with and a series explaining the instruments in the orchestra. He also did numerous reviews of live and recorded performances.

        Khouri also founded the Spring Festival concert series in Whanganui in 2008.

In later life he split his time between Wellington and Australia.

 

 

4 October 2018

 

 

Jazz Clarinetist McDonald “Don” Payne, Jr. - In Memoriam

 

                      Jazz clarinetist McDonald “Don” Payne, Jr. passed away on October 4, 2018. Don was born July 24, 1932 in Morrisania Hospital in the Bronx to Panesa Ross Payne of Chester, SC, and McDonald Adolphus Payne of Christ Church Parish, Barbados. Raised in Harlem, the youngest of three sons – the Payne boys (Harry, Robert and McDonald), he was known to many as “Mac” or “Junior” and in later years, “Don.”  At a young age, Don’s love of affair with music, particularly jazz, took root after being introduced to this great American art form by his brother, Harry.  When Harry left for the Army in 1944, and gave Don his saxophone, the love affair deepened after their uncle Maurice Hubbar&&d gave Don a clarinet.  Don eventually took lessons from his first and favorite music teacher, the late, great Cecil Scott, the co-leader of the swing band — Cecil Scott and His Bright Boys.

                     Don played the clarinet, saxophone and flute, hung out at jazz halls and clubs and talked jive with his buddies.  Among his friends was the great Sonny Rollins, whom he called his homeboy from back in the day.  Graduating from Evander Childs High School at age 16, Don later graduated from the Manhattan School of Music with a B.A. in Theory and M.A. in Music.  He later went on to earn an M. A. in Administration & Supervision from Brooklyn College.  By then, known as Mr. Payne to many, he was the popular band teacher at Intermediate School (I.S.) 218 in Brooklyn, where he later became an assistant principal.Don played in numerous bands over the years, among them, the U. S. Army Band, the Brighter Moments Big Band, Jimmy Heath Big Band, Illinois Jacquet Big Band, Kenny McIntryre’s Contemporary Afro-American Music Orchestra, Queens Symphonic Band, Brownstone Clarinets, Phil Costa and the Something Special Big Band, Carol Sudhalter Astoria Big Band, Harbor Conservatory Latin Big Band, Ray Abrams Big Band, and Dance Clarinets w/ JD Parran & Gershwin Gala throughout Europe.  He played as part of the pit band for Broadway’s Black & Blue, Jazz Vespers at St. Peter’s Church, Treemonisha by Scott Joplin at York College, and the World Bass Clarinet Convention in Holland.   He also toured Germany and Switzerland with the great swing saxophonist and clarinetist Benny Waters.  Upon retirement in 1987, Don and his lovely wife, Rona, served as adjunct jazz instructors at the New School.

                   Don and Rona travelled the world, visiting such countries as Norway, Japan, France, Switzerland, and Italy for various jazz and classical festivals.   Every other year, they travelled near and far to clarinet conferences to enjoy classical music, yet another passion. He and Rona made many pilgrimages to the Saratoga Jazz Festival and often attended New Orleans jazz festivals.  Don also found time to serve as a consultant for the annual Queens Jazz Festival for the Parks Department and as a volunteer at the Flushing Council and Culture on the Arts.

                  Don loved his family and friends with a fervor deeper than his passion for music.  He leaves to cherish his wonderful memory, his loving wife, Rona Neufeld Payne; his children, Brenda Payne Whiteman and McDonald Payne III; son-in-law, Lee Whiteman; daughter-in-law, Heather Payne; grandchildren, Belinda, Bethany, Gabrielle, Danielle, Morgan and Miles; brother, Harry Payne Sr.; nephews, Harry Payne Jr. and Mark Payne; niece-in-law, Nyima Payne; grandnieces, Mamanding and Fatou; grandnephews, Harry Momodou and Omar; great nephew, Yusha Lee; and countless

4 October 2018

 

Daniel Leeson - Performer, Mozart Scholar and Computer Pioneer - In Memoriam

 

Santa Clara, California USA

 

 

 

 

 

2 October 2018

 

 

 

Paul Apelian - Solo clarinet of the Montpellier Orchestra - In Memoriam

 

Montpellier, France

 

                      We am sad to inform you of the death Tuesday, 2 October 2018, of Paul Apelian, solo clarinet of the montpellier orchestra. Ceremony at the basilica our lady of tables in Montpellier Friday, October 5 AT 9 PM and burial at Saint Etienne Cemetery in montpellier. He was the father of Anaïde Apelian, who was in the clarinet class at the conservatory of Paris.

Paul Apelian was born in 1954 in tarare in the rhône-Alpes region. He began his musical studies, then took them to the National Conservatory of Lyon, before finishing them at the conservatoire national superior in Paris, where he obtained the first clarinet prize (1997, class of Ulysses Delecluse) and the First room music prize.
He performed his third cycle of chamber music in Christian bacon's class. Throughout his musical studies, he was attracted by composition, teaching and orchestra, and passionate about the particular aspect of chamber music.

                    In 1979, Paul Apelian was appointed solo clarinet of the Montpellier National Orchestra. Since then, he has often played as a soloist in this orchestra as well as with other parisian and European orchestras In Agreement with his love for chamber music, he played with several members of the Paris Orchestra, and in recital.
Paul Apelian recorded several records for radio France. He was also a member of the wind quartet of the montpellier orchestra; and invited as a soloist in many music festivals, including in Korea and North Africa.

We will keep at vandoren the memory of a nice and generous musician, a musician passionate about his art He was proud that his daughter anaïde continued the family tradition, and we will be happy to continue to share with her this passion. All our thoughts go to the family.

 

 

20 August 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Trulliard - Major Clarinetist and member of the "Republican Guard Clarinets Quartet" and founder and director of "the Paris reeds orchestra" - In Memoriam

 

Paris, France

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19 August 2018

 

 

VIP Dr Randall Paul - Distinguished Clarinetist and Teacher and Dean of the Wright State University Music Department - In Memoriam

 

Dayton, Ohio USA

 

                  It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Dr. Randall Paul, chair of the School of Music. Before he was chair, Dr. Paul was the long time clarinet professor at WSU and earned many accolades- he was a Conn Selmer artist, frequent performer and presenter at the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest and other festivals, substitute musician with many local orchestras including the Dayton Philharmonic, and has many successful alumni who hold teaching positions throughout the Dayton area and beyond.

              Even after becoming chair, Dr. Paul was a steadfast supporter of the WSU Clarinet Studio, and supervised and led the renovation of the Creative Arts Center. Most importantly, he will be remembered as a positive, kind, and wonderful person; he will be sorely missed. Please keep his family in your thoughts, and stay tuned to this space for information on upcoming memorial services and other events.

 

            Dr. Randall S. Paul is a respected performer, scholar, conductor, and educator. He has performed as a soloist and conductor at the International Clarinet Association Convention, the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, The International Flute Association Convention, and the World Saxophone Congress. His performances have taken him as far as the Virgin Islands, Canada, Korea, China, and Japan. He has performed solo recitals throughout the U.S. including numerous prestigious venues including, The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the Lincoln Center Bruno Walter Auditorium, and twice at Carnegie Hall. His debut performance at Carnegie Hall received critical acclaim in The New York Times.

 

           Dr. Paul has over twenty years of professional regional orchestra experience performing as guest principal clarinetist with The Utica Philharmonic (NY) the Dayton Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony, Dayton Ballet Orchestra, Dayton Opera Orchestra, the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the Richmond (IN) Symphony.

He served as guest conductor and soloist for the Cincinnati Civic Orchestra, the Miami Valley Junior Winds, and guest conducted the Cimmeron Circuit Opera Company with members of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. In 2006-2007 he was the Conductor and Music Director for the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. His conducting mentors include Gervase de Peyer (London Symphony), Robert Shaw (Atlanta Symphony), and David Dworkin (NYC Metropolitan Opera).

 

           His education includes study at Jacksonville State University, Ithaca College, the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, and The University of Oklahoma, where he completed his Doctorate in Clarinet Performance. His dissertation “An Investigation of Four Prominent Clarinet Reed Making Techniques” includes interviews with such notable performers and educators as Stanley Hasty of the Eastman School, Christopher Sereque of the Seattle Symphony, Robert DiLutis of the Rochester Philharmonic, and Robert Gilbert of the Cleveland Orchestra.

 

          Dr. Paul was Professor of Music at Wright State University. He serves as the Ohio Chairperson for the International Clarinet Association. He appears frequently at the Ohio Music Educator’s Convention as a performer and as a clinician. He has authored articles and appears often in The Clarinet, the official publication of the ICA, and has completed two national recording/CD projects. In 2006, he performed the United States premier of a new concerto for clarinet called Prairie Dawn by the Canadian composer Stephen Chatman. In 2010 his book "Successful Strategies for Clarinet Reed Making-Including a Step-by-Step Process" was published by VDM Publishers in Saarbrucken, Germany.  This publication is available through Amazon.com, ISBN 978-3-639-22310-1.

 

In lieu of flowers, Randall's family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Randall S. Paul Music Scholarship Fund benefiting students at the Wright State University School of Music. Contributions may be made online at www.wright.edu/give/rpaul. Checks may be made out to Wright State University Foundation and mailed in Attention: Sara Woodhull, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio, 45459-0001. Or you may contact Sara Woodhull at 937-775-4921.

PAUL, Dr. Randall S., “Randy”, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, August 19, 2018. Dr. Paul, Director of the School of Music at Wright State University, was a respected performer, scholar, conductor, and longtime educator. He was preceded in death by his mother Trudi Paul; half-brothers Brayton O. Paul and William Paul. He is survived by his adoring wife of 32 years, Nora; his father Brayton B. Paul (99 years of age) and wife Jean; sister Joy Singletary and husband Joe; niece Megan Rimkus and husband Ben; step-brother Russell Montgomery and wife Michelle; and half-sister Donna Davis. Dr. Paul studied at Jacksonville State University, Ithaca College, and the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, and received his Doctorate in Clarinet Performance from the University of Oklahoma. From 1983-1988 he served as Adjunct Professor of Clarinet, was promoted in 1988 to Professor of Clarinet, and was appointed in 2011 to Director of the School of Music at Wright State University. He leaves a legacy of inspired teaching for hundreds of his beloved students. Randy was a kind, compassionate, selfless colleague and his leadership will serve as an inspiration for years to come. All who knew him will miss his sense of humor, his positive outlook and, perhaps most of all, his exuberant laughter. He served as the Ohio Chairperson for the International Clarinet Association (ICA) and appeared frequently at the Ohio Music Educator’s Convention as a performer and clinician. He authored many articles and appeared often in The Clarinet, the official publication of the ICA. His book, Successful Strategies for Clarinet Reed Making-Including a Step-by-Step Process, was published in 2010, and he was an Artist/Clinician for the Selmer Instrument Company. He also served as Director and Host of the Aeolian Chamber Music Series at the Hayner Cultural Center in Troy, Ohio. Also a renowned performer, he was soloist and conductor at the International Clarinet Association Convention, the Oklahoma Clarinet Symposium, the International Flute Association Convention, and the World Saxophone Congress, and performed on several nationally distributed recordings. In 2006, he performed the United States premier of Stephen Chatman’s clarinet concerto Prairie Dawn. His performances took him as far as the Virgin Islands, Canada, Korea, China, and Japan. He performed at numerous prestigious venues including the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, and the Lincoln Center Bruno Walter Auditorium. His debut performance at Carnegie Hall received critical acclaim in The New York Times. Dr. Paul had over twenty years of professional regional orchestra experience performing as guest principal clarinetist with the Utica Philharmonic (NY), Dayton Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony, Dayton Ballet Orchestra, Dayton Opera Orchestra, Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and Richmond (IN) Symphony. He served as guest conductor for the Cincinnati Civic Orchestra and Miami Valley Junior Winds, and guest conducted the Cimmeron Circuit Opera Company with members of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. In 2006-2007 he was the Conductor and Music Director for the Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra. A Celebration of Life will be held on September 8, 2018 at 3:00pm, with a Gathering of Friends and Family beginning at 1:00pm at the Wright State University, Creative Arts Center - School of Music, Schuster Hall. In lieu of flowers, his family requests that contributions be made to the Randall S. Paul Music Scholarship Fund, which will benefit students at the WSU School of Music. Donations can be made online (www.wright.edu/give/rpaul) or by check (payable to Wright State University Foundation and mailed to Attn: Sara Woodhull, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy, Dayton, Ohio 45459-0001). Contact Sara Woodhull at the Wright State Foundation (937-775-4921) for more information. TOBIAS FUNERAL HOME-FAR HILLS CHAPEL in care of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.tobiasfuneralhome.com.

 

 

8 August 2018 

 

 

 

André Pons - Clarinetist soloist at the Paris National Opera Orchestra - In Memoriam

 

Paris, France

 

André Pons (1932-2018) a nice friend disappeared yesterday.
Brillant musician ( clarinetist, pianist, composer) and Aïkido great praticien under the japanese Master Noro , Clarinetist soloist at the Paris National Opera orchestra and former principal clarinet at the Monte Carlo philharmonic orchestra .


Born in Castres ( near Toulouse).


1st prize at the Paris conservatoire ( CNSM).


2nd prize at the Geneva international competition .


The Ceremony wast Monday August 13th at 3 , cimetière des Caucades in Nice .

 

 

Photos with Sir Georg Solti in 1973 ( behind the flûtes) and with the Paris Opera clarinet section in 1986.

 

 

 

 

16 June 2018

 

 

Gennady Rozhdestvensky, An Influential Russian Conductor - In Memoriam

 

                   Conductor Gennady Nikolayevich Rozhdestvensky, an immense presence in Russian musical life during much of the Soviet era and an artist who championed the likes of composers Dmitri Shostakovich, Alfred Schnittke and Sofia Gubaidulina, died Saturday at age 87. His son, violinist Sasha Rozhdestvensky, told the New York Times that his father had battled heart issues, diabetes and cancer, but did not confirm to NPR the location or further details of his death.

                  Rozhdestvensky was the former principal conductor of the USSR Ministry of Culture Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2000, he was named general artistic director of the Bolshoi Theatre. In addition, he was a guest conductor at several other prominent podiums, including at the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

               Rozhdestvensky often communicated with his musicians not with a baton or hand gestures, but with facial expressions — a raised eyebrow here, an elaborate shrug there.

                 "If one could explain conducting," he said in a 2003 documentary by Bruno Monsaingeon, "There wouldn't be 1000 conductors, but 10,000. We'd put them in a class and tell them how to spin their arms. Fortunately, some things can't be explained ... in my opinion, the worst approach you can take is to limit teaching to the gestures. Moving your arms is hardly something you have to learn. You have to have a viewpoint, learn how to communicate a musical idea to the orchestra and through it, to the listener."

 

            Although he was best known internationally for his work within the Russian repertoire, and most especially with the living Russian composers of his prime, including Shostakovich, Gubaidulina and Schnittke, Rozhdestvensky also brought foreign works to his home audience, including the first performance in Russia of Benjamin Britten's opera A Midsummer Night's Dream and the first complete cycle of Ralph Vaughan Williams' symphonies. With the Soviet orchestra, he recorded the complete symphonies of Shostakovich, Alexander Glazunov and Alfred Schnittke — and also Anton Bruckner and Arthur Honegger — for Melodiya, the Soviet state-owned record label for which he was one of the earliest and most prolific recording artists.

              Rozhdestvensky often chafed at the artistic limitations that the Soviet government placed on him, and his performances sometimes skirted the lines of what the Soviet system found sanctionable. Among the works that the conductor championed was Dmitri Shostakovich's 1921 opera The Nose — a wry, bracing and absurdist satire inspired by a Gogol short story, which Rozhdestvensky daringly revived in the then-Soviet Union in 1974. That same year, he led the world premiere of Schnittke's brash and densely populated First Symphony in Gorky, far away from Moscow's ears.

           At the same time, he was put forth and promoted as a model Soviet artist, being awarded the People's Artist of the USSR prize in 1976 and named a Hero of Socialist Labor in 1990. He was also allowed to travel abroad for work, including to serve his posts in Stockholm and Vienna during the 1970s and '80s.

          As the Soviet system crumbled, however, Rozhdestvensky felt comfortable enough to complain to the New York Times about the state's stranglehold on cultural life: "I want to be able to work freely," he told the paper in 1988, when the visiting New York Philharmonic played side-by-side with the Soviet State Symphony Orchestra for a landmark concert in Moscow's Gorky Park. Referring to the state-controlled concert agency, which at the time held the sole right to arrange his concerts both domestically and abroad, the conductor said: "It is too difficult for me to work with such a bureaucratic machine. It interferes with my creativity and with my art. I love working here, but not with them. In Russian we have a saying: 'A spoonful of asphalt in a cask of honey.'"

            Born May 4, 1931 in Moscow, Rozhdestvensky seemed predestined for a life in music. His mother, Natalya Rozhdestvenskaya, was a soprano; his father, Nikolai Anosov, was a noted conductor and teacher. Unusually for that time and place, Rozhdestvensky took on his mother's surname rather than use Anosov — possibly simply to distinguish himself from his father, but it was a tactic that also helped him to dodge accusations of nepotism as he rose in his career. (That being said, Rozhdestvensky studied conducting with his father at the Moscow Conservatory of Music before being named as a conductor at the Bolshoi Theatre at age 20.)

            Rozhdestvensky married the pianist Viktoria Postnikova in 1969; his recordings with her include the Tchaikovsky piano concertos for the Decca label. He is survived by his wife and their son Sasha, with whom he recorded the first violin concertos of Shostakovich and Alexander Glazunov. As a family, the three musicians recorded Schnittke's Concerto Grosso No. 6, which the composer wrote for them.

 

10 May 2018

 

 

 

Michael L Mark -  Retired Towson University graduate school dean and professional musician and Clarinetist - In Memoriam

 

 Towson, Maryland USA           

                Dr Michael L. Mark, a retired Towson University graduate school dean and professional musician who was also a fair-housing activist, died of Parkinson’s disease complications May 10 at the Charlestown Retirement Community. The former Mount Washington resident was 81.

                Born in Schenectady, N.Y., he was the son of David Mark, a General Electric worker, and his wife, Ruth Garbowitz, a homemaker.

                Reared in Washington, he was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, then obtained a bachelor’s degree at Catholic University of America.

               He later received two master’s degrees: one from the University of Michigan — where he played in the school band when it made a State Department-sponsored trip to the U.S.S.R. in 1961 — and another from George Washington University. He returned to Catholic University for his doctorate.

              His brother, Brian Mark, a Pasadena, Calif. resident, said their mother “wanted to give her children as broad a cultural experience as possible and, despite having very little money, bought a small piano for her sons and paid for piano lessons.”

             He said his brother began playing the clarinet before he was 8 years old. A cousin gave the family one, and Dr. Mark showed aptitude with the instrument. He studied with teacher Sydney Forrest.

             He began playing in musical groups at 13 and later joined the musicians’ union. He was often called to play in pit orchestras at the Kennedy Center and the old Mechanic Theatre — he was part of the orchestra for the Mechanic’s 1967 opening night and its performance of “Hello, Dolly!” with Betty Grable.

             Dr. Mark also toured with Frankie Avalon and performed with Buddy Hackett, Jan and Dean, Liberace and Barry Manilow. He was a part of the Ringling Brothers circus band.

             He played saxophone in the Baltimore City Park Band under conductor Leigh Martinet.

             “He was a consummate musician, and one of the most self-deprecating persons I have ever met,” said Ed Goldstein, a tubist who is leader of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble. “We played these great transcriptions under Leigh, and Michael really got into it.”

              When Mr. Goldstein was writing a book about the tuba, Dr. Mark offered help and advice. “He was subtle in his approach and he saw the big picture,” he said. “He was invaluable to me.”

              After teaching in Prince George’s County public schools from 1958 to 1966, Dr. Mark became an associate professor at Morgan State University, serving as director of bands and teaching undergraduate and graduate school courses. He also was director of music for the Elmira, N.Y. school district, and from 1973 to 1981 was an associate professor of music at Catholic University.

             He was named dean of Towson University’s Graduate School in 1981. He headed a program for 25 master’s degree programs in arts, humanities, education and life and social sciences. He held the post until 1995.  He also served as professor of music at the university from 1981 until 1998.

             James Anthony, an associate professor of music emeritus at Towson University, said Dr. Mark “became a scholar of music education and was also a leader in that field. He was a gentle and pleasant person.”

             Widely regarded as a music education history and expert, he published more than 75 scholarly articles. He was also co-author of numerous books related to music education.

             Dr. Mark was a past president and longtime board member of Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc. He wrote “But Not Next Door,” a book about fair housing and breaking segregation barriers in Baltimore.

              “I perceived him as a quiet lion,” said Robert J. Strupp, executive director at Batimore Neighborhoods. “His understanding of housing issues has enabled us to continue our work during his tenure.”

             Professor Mark was a past president of Young Audiences of Maryland and raised funds for the organization. He volunteered at the Maryland Historical Society.

             Last month, the Maryland Music Educators Association named him the recipient of its Corwin Taylor Music Education Award.

             “He was a giant in the field of music education,” said Mary Ellen Cohn, executive director of the association. “He was nationally and internationally recognized, and conferred with other music educators across the country and throughout Europe and in China.

            “He was the essence of humility and was always willing to give of himself,” Ms. Cohn said. “He was not afraid to tackle anyting.”

 

 

31 March 2018

 

 

Michael Tree - renowned Violist in the Guarneri String Quartet - In Memoriam

New York City USA

 

 

            American violist Michael Tree has passed away – aged 83.

           A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Leah Luboshutz, Veda Reynolds and Efram Zimbalist, Mr Tree was a founding and long term member of the Guarneri Quartet and the Marlboro Trio.

           He had played extensively throughout the world – and recorded more than 80 chamber music works.

GUARNERI STRING QUARTET | MOZART STRING QUARTET NO. 21 IN D MAJOR | 4TH MVT

“From the first time I heard Michael Tree 63 years ago, I knew that I was in the presence not only of an outstanding instrumentalist but of a remarkable artist as well …” violinist Arnold Steinhardt has told The Violin Channel.

“It was my great privilege to have made music with Michael in the Guarneri String Quartet for a blissful forty-five years,” he has said.

“The world lost a great musician … I lost a dear friend when Michael Tree passed away earlier today … to me, he was the most wonderful colleague, a frequent combatant on the tennis court and a fellow Yankees fan,” Juilliard School faculty member, violinist Cho-Liang Lin has said.

Throughout his career, Mr Tree held teaching positions on faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Bard College Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, University of Maryland School of Music and Rutgers University.

Our condolences are with his family, friends, colleagues and students.

 

 

24 March 2018

 

   

 

José Antonio Abreu, creator of renowned Venezuelan El Sistema and the youth orchestra programs, achieving worldwide acclaim - In Memoriam

 

 

Caracus, Venezuela

 

                     José Antonio Abreu, a Venezuelan government economist turned musical educator who created a network of youth orchestras that has been replicated in dozens of countries around the world, died March 24. He was 78.

                  His death was announced by the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, where his brother Jesús Abreu is president. No cause was given, but Mr. Abreu had been known to be battling several illnesses ever since he retired from El Sistema, as the musical education program is known, a few years ago.

                Mr. Abreu was the teacher to generations of Venezuelan classical music performers, most notably Gustavo Dudamel, musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

              “The Venezuelan people that you so loved today are crying for you Maestro,” Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said in a statement. “We are comforted by knowing that your legacy will remain alive in the hands and voices of the children of the youth orchestras.”

              Born in the western city of Valera on May 7, 1939, El Maestro, as Mr. Abreu was almost universally known in Venezuela, studied music from an early age. But he initially put his artistic aspirations on hold to become an economist, teaching at two universities in Caracas, and later entering politics.

             Well into his 30s in 1975, he formed a small orchestra of a dozen young musicians that would become the seed for El Sistema, or the System. Four decades later, the government-financed program claims to currently put 1 million Venezuelan children in contact with classical music through a network of hundreds of youth choirs, orchestras and music centers spread across the country.

             Internationally, its teaching model has spread to more than 60 countries, while its marquee Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra is a fixture in top-flight concert halls from New York to London.

But more recently the sterling reputations of the institution — and Mr. Abreu — have taken a hit as a result of the program’s close ties to Maduro, whose socialist administration has been accused of undermining Venezuela’s democracy.

           In 2014, amid a wave of deadly anti-government unrest, Mr. Abreu and Dudamel appeared alongside Maduro on national TV celebrating a recent European tour and reviewing blueprints for the government-funded “Dudamel Hall” designed by L.A.-based architect Frank Gehry.

         Around the same time, the book “El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela’s Youth” by British musicologist Geoffrey Baker was published, describing Mr. Abreu as a politically cunning, autocratic and vengeful visionary as much feared as loved. The book also faulted El Sistema for fostering a culture of top-level corruption, favoritism and improper sexual relations between teachers and pupils.

          Mr. Abreu never publicly responded to the criticisms as he retired from public view shortly after the book’s publication. But El Sistema disputed Baker’s characterization and Mr. Abreu’s many backers, include even some government critics, said it overlooked his musical achievements and the successful building of one of the few institutions in Venezuela to have endured almost two decades of polarizing, socialist rule.

 

 

 

2 March 2018

 

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Jesús López Cobos - former Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Teatro Real in Madrid - In Memoriam

 

Berlin, Germany

 

               The Spanish conductor Jesús López Cobos has died in Berlin at the age of 78.

               López Cobos held several music director positions at leading orchestras throughout a long and successful career. He was the Music Director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra from 1986 to 2001, making several highly-regarded recordings for Telarc, and later became their Conductor Emeritus. López Cobos was also General Music Director of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin from 1981 to 1990, Music Director of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra from 1991 to 2000 and Music Director of the Teatro Real in Madrid from 2003 to 2010. 

             Among his most highly regarded recordings for Telarc with the Cincinnati SO were a Respighi disc, including Church Windows, Brazilian Impressions and Roman Festivals, of which Gramophone's Michael Oliver commented: 'if every colour is precisely rendered, the quiet passages as affectionately turned as they are here (and it's surprising how much of this score is quiet), what skill there is to be found in it, what a gift for immaculately precise instrumental detail.'

            In fact, it was often López Cobos's superb ear for instrumental balance, colour and detail that separated his recordings and performances from those of other conductors. His recording of Shostakovich's First and 15th Symphonies, also with the Cincinnati SO, drew high praise from Gramophone's David Fanning: 'By dint of careful preparation López Cobos brings exceptional clarity to the First Symphony‚ forcing you to admire afresh the sheer inventiveness of the teenage Shostakovich’s counterpoint.'

           The recording of the 15th Symphony was singled-out by Philip Clark in his Gramophone Collection article surveying every recording of the work in 2008. Clark called the recording 'A valuable blueprint, full of fastidious orchestral detail and an ear for a good narrative. A faithful rendering of Shostakovich's intentions.'

 

                           In 1983, López Cobos made a great live recording of Verdi's Messa da Requiem with soloists Margaret Price, Livia Budai, Giuseppe Giacomini and Robert Lloyd with the London Philharmonic Choir and Orchestra. 'Central to the experience,' wrote Gramophone's Richard Osborne, 'is the 43-year-old Spanish born Jesús López Cobos, whose conducting has fire, grace and an enviably unselfconscious feel for the work's musical and spiritual dynamic.'

                   From López Cobos's time at Teatro Real in Madrid there are several outstanding DVD/Blu-ray performances, including Verdi's La traviata, Puccini's La bohème, and a wonderful Cav & Pag. The La traviata DVD was an Editor's Choice in September 2006. Alan Blyth remarked that 'López Cobos conducts an interpretation notable for yielding support of his singers combined with dramatic dash, and the Madrid orchestra play as though their lives depended on the results. No wonder this staging has received so much praise in Spain.'

                  López Cobos was active right up until his death, indeed his website still lists performances that he was due to give in the coming months, including Verdi's Aida and Un ballo in maschera at the Vienna State Opera. 

 

A Tribute to his legacy by VIP Pascual Martinez-Forteza, 2nd Clarinetist in the New York Philharmonic

 

               Today is a very sad day. One of the best conductors of our time and one of the best persons I have known just left us. I will always be thankful for the enormous opportunity you gave me when I was only 25 years old to be part of the great Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Those 3 years under your baton were one of the most exciting and rewarding of my career. I remember my 1st rehearsal with you and the CSO when you stopped the orchestra to fix something in the clarinet section and you said “well, finally I can speak Spanish with somebody in this orchestra” and you started telling me what to do in Spanish. You where like a father figure to me those years and I am sure I wouldn’t be in the New York Philharmonic now without all the things I’ve learn from you. I hope to see you in heaven some day and make music together again.

 

 
Rest In Peace my dear Jesús


My Maestro

 

 

2 January 2018

 

 

Carmine Campione - clarinetist with the Cincinnatti Symphony orchestra, 40 years an Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at the College Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati - In Memoriam

 

              Carmine Campione is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, 37 years a clarinetist with the Cincinnatti Symphony orchestra, 40 years an Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at the College Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. A renowned teacher and author of several books that have been a staple in pedagogical content benefitting students for decades past.

 

 

 

1 January 2018

 

 

  

 

Robert Mann, Founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet - In Memoriam

 

New York City USA

 

                      Robert Mann, the founding first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet, the internationally renowned ensemble that at midcentury helped engender a chamber music revival throughout the United States, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 97.

 

                     His death was announced by Debra Kinzler, associate director of the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation, of which he was president from 1971 to 2015.

Conceived in 1946, the Juilliard quartet gave its first official performance the next year. Besides Mr. Mann, the original roster included the second violinist Robert Koff, the violist Raphael Hillyer and the cellist Arthur Winograd.

 

                    Mr. Mann — for decades the quartet’s de facto spokesman, institutional memory and “resident spark plug,” as The Chicago Tribune called him in 1997 — remained with the ensemble for 51 years. By the time he retired in 1997 he had outlasted the entire original lineup, as well several subsequent permutations, to become one of the longest-serving members of any chamber group in the world.

 

 

                   From the beginning, the Juilliard Quartet was known for its probing musicality (the group once devoted two full rehearsals to a single measure from Elliott Carter’s Third String Quartet); hard-driving style, which for all its passionate intensity was considered refreshingly unsentimental; and deep commitment to contemporary music.

 

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