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In Memoriam 2020




29 March 2020



Krzysztof Penderecki - Internationally Renowned Composer, Conductor and Iconic Musical Figure of the last and Present Century - In Memoriam


             Krzysztof Penderecki is a composer and conductor. He was born on 23 November 1933, in Dębica, died on 29th March 2020. In the history of 20th-century music, his career stands out for his fast rise to the top, matched by none, with the possible exception of Stravinsky.












                    The Berliner Philharmoniker mourn the death of Krzysztof Penderecki, who died on 29 March at the age of 86. Penderecki was one of the most prominent composers of our time and his works have been featured in major opera houses and concert halls. The Berliner Philharmoniker have also performed many of his compositions, both under his own direction and in concerts with Herbert von Karajan and Zubin Mehta.

                   Among the works performed were Penderecki’s Symphonies No. 1 and 2 and his Second Violin Concerto. His Cello Concerto No. 2 was premiered in 1983 by the Berliner Philharmoniker under Penderecki’s direction and with Mstislav Rostropovich as the soloist. A performance of the St. Luke Passion with Antoni Wit as conductor was recorded for the Digital Concert Hall in 2013.

                  Go to the St. Luke Passion in the Digital Concert Hall


11 March 2020


Charles Wuorinen - Major American Composer and proactive authority in New Music - In Memoriam





                             It is with regret that we announce the death of Charles Wuorinen, composer of over 270 works, virtuosic pianist, and conductor. He died on Wednesday, March 11 from complications after sustaining a fall in September 2019.

                           Wuorinen’s music of refinement, power, technical excellence and wide-ranging emotional pallet found a home in operas, ballets, symphonies, and chamber and vocal works of all combinations and instruments. Wuorinen’s last completed work was his Second Percussion Symphony, premiered in Miami in September 2019.
                         In recent years James Levine became a staunch advocate for Wuorinen’s music and commissioned five orchestral works including his Fourth Piano Concerto with Peter Serkin for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Michael Tilson Thomas, a conductor whom Wuorinen worked with for much of his career, commissioned Bamboula Beach for the inaugural concert of the New World Symphony, and most recently Sudden Changes for the San Francisco Symphony.  

                      The first composer Christoph von Dohnányi commissioned for the Cleveland Orchestra was Wuorinen, who produced Movers and Shakers. Oliver Knussen, a great interpreter of Wuorinen’s works, recorded A Reliquary for Igor Stravinsky, which enshrined musical fragments entrusted to Wuorinen at the Russian composer’s death by his widow, Vera Stravinsky.
                    Wuorinen wrote six works for the New York City Ballet including three scores inspired by scenes from Dante for Peter Martins, and Five: Concerto for Amplified Cello and Orchestra with the dual purpose of it being a cello concerto for his great friend and collaborator Fred Sherry.
                  Wuorinen’s works for the stage include operas on Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain and Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Throughout his career Wuorinen displayed his mastery of vocal writing, setting texts from the Vulgate to contemporary writers such as James Fenton, James Tate, and John Ashbery.
                Wuorinen had a strong interest in earlier music which is seen in such works as Delight of the Muses, written for the Mozart Bicentennial, Time Regained, which uses materials from Machaut, Dufay, Gibbons, and Mattei de Perugia, and The Magic Art: An Instrumental Masque drawn from the works of Henry Purcell.
I              In 1962 he co-founded The Group for Contemporary Music with Harvey Sollberger. The Group was the precursor of a large number of similar ensembles formed throughout America particularly in the early 1970’s, and its luminous performances were widely regarded as models to be emulated.
              A prodigy who started composing at age five, Wuorinen was a polymath with interests in fractal geometry, astrophysics, Egyptology and Chinese calligraphy.
             He was the recipient of many awards, fellowships, and honors including the Pulitzer Prize (for Time’s Encomium) and a MacArthur Fellowship, and he was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is the author of Simple Composition, used by composition students throughout the world. His longtime publisher is C.F. Peters.
           He is survived by his husband of thirty-two years, Howard Stokar.



4 March 2020



William O Smith - Renowned Clarinetist and Jazz Performer and Composer of some of the most important  Contemporary Music for the Clarinet - In Memoriam


Seattle, Washington USA


                  The groundbreaking clarinetist known as William O. “Bill” Smith, a founding member of the Dave Brubeck Octet, Smith also pioneered the use of multiphonics on clarinet in the 1960s and has continued to experiment with extended techniques throughout his life. Born in Sacramento, California, he studied at Juilliard, Mills College, the University of California–Berkeley and the Paris Conservatory, and his longest teaching appointment was at the University of Washington, where he taught composition, clarinet and contemporary music for more than 30 years. He has enjoyed great success over seven decades as a composer and performer. He is still writing and performing music, most recently at a residency this summer at the Bologna Conservatory in Italy.


                Bill Smith makes so much music that he's had to divide his workload between two personae.

                As William O. Smith, he's an acclaimed and influential innovator in "new" or "contemporary music." He pioneered the use of many untapped sounds of the clarinet, and incorporated them into his 200 compositions.


              In his second musical world, jazz, his renown is just as great, thanks not just to those same clarinet innovations, but moreover to his subtle use of them in soloing and accompaniment.


              Dave Brubeck calls Smith "one of the all-time greats." And he doesn't just say that because he and Bill have known each other well for 50 years. They have worked together throughout that long friendship, which began when they were at graduate school together at Mills College, in Oakland, Cal. Smith was an original member of the Brubeck octet that worked the Bay Area, beginning in 1947, and with which Brubeck began one of the most successful careers in West Coast jazz.

Smith performed on and contributed compositions to the group's first recordings in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In the 1960s he again recorded with Brubeck - an album a year until he moved to Seattle in 1966. That pace of recording resumed when the two began working together again regularly in 1982. That was when Smith took over the soloist's spot with the Brubeck Quartet and began to work its many concerts - up to 100 a year. The group's pace has slowed of late, but Smith still performs on its long spring tours of Europe and on West Coast gigs.


           When Brubeck asked him to begin touring with his band, Smith agreed with the proviso that touring wouldn't preclude teaching composition, orchestration, and contemporary idioms at the University of Washington, and co-directing its highly praised Contemporary Group.



26 February 2020




Hans Deinzer - Celebrated German Klarinette Pedagogue and teacher at the Musikhochule in Hannover and mentor of many of the Great German and European players - In Memoriam


Hannover, Germany


                Born in Rothenbruck [de], Deinzer received his first clarinet lessons at the Städtisches Konservatoriun in Nuremberg between 1949 and 1955.[2] He was until 1962 a student of Rudolf Gall in Munich.[


               Deinzer was clarinetist at the Nürnberger Symphoniker and at the Sinfonieorchester des Norddeutschen Rundfunks in Hamburg.[2]


              He was one of the first clarinetists to professionally adopt the use of rubber mouthpieces, and also was a champion of historical instruments and playing. He recorded two versions of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto using a reconstructed historical boxwood clarinet and has premiered several important works, including Pierre Boulez's "Domaines" —which was written for him— and Henri Pousseur's Madrigal I.

             He is a two-time winner of the Grand Prix du Disque.

             His students include several prominent clarinetists, such as Sabine Meyer, Reiner Wehle, Wolfgang Meyer, Martin Fröst, Andrew Marriner, Nicholas Cox, Antonio Salguero and Michele Zukovsky.



18 January 2020



Robert Crowley - Acclaimed Clarinetist and Teacher - Solo Clarinetist Emeritus in the Montreal Symphony - In Memoriam


Montreal, Quebec, Canada


                       Robert Crowley's professional world was one of music and performance. He always said it was an immense privilege to be able to work at that about which he was most passionate. He started playing clarinet at age 9 as part of the school band in Deer Park, Long Island. He excelled and was accepted to the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Stanley Hasty. He completed his Master's degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Robert Marcellus. He performed in the United States from 1973 to 1976. In 1976 he won the audition for Associate Principal clarinetist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and was appointed Principal in 1998. Bob was always known for his persistent quest for the perfect reed and for the perfect mouthpiece. But the result was so worth it! He could play like no one else and produce an angelic sound. He was also a devoted teacher to an entire generation of clarinet students at McGill University. He was proud of each and every one.


                 You can call this is trademark recording- Rhapsody in Blue....



14 January 2020



Guy DePlus, Renowned French Clarinetist and Professor at the Paris Superiore Conservatory and a Founding member of the Paris Intercontemparian with Pierre Boulez - In Memoriam


Paris, France


                     Guy Deplus studied clarinet at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris and received Premiers Prix in clarinet and chamber music. He was a professor of clarinet at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and was retired. He taught many French orchestral clarinetists. He was also one of the clarinetists who collaborated with Buffet Crampon on the creation of the Tosca and Festival clarinets. Together with Pierre Boulez, Deplus cofounded the "Concerts du Domaine Musical". He was a soloist in the Paris Opera. Deplus received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Clarinet Association (for "Outstanding Performance, Teaching, Research, and Service to the Clarinet).  He has been Director of the International Clarinet Congress 81 and 97 held in Paris.  His collaboration with Buffet-Crampon, the renowned Clarinet Maker brought about the development of advanced Clarinet models including the Tosca and other models.  He was 96 years old.




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     Revised: March 31, 2020