14. July 2019 · 2 comments · Categories: Losses

Just yesterday I was looking up Robert Orth because I ran across this video of him singing Heggie’s “Grow Old Along With Me” and today I read that he has died. I know nothing more than that at this point. But what a sad loss.

Robert performed “A Water Bird Talk” by Dominick Argento with San Jose Chamber Orchestra some years back and it was wonderful. I also heard him with San Francisco Opera, in Moby Dick.

When I had looked him up I ran across his very hysterical bio that he has somewhat hidden on his site. It’s a fun and entertaining read!

19. May 2019 · Comments Off on So Young, Such a Loss · Categories: Losses

A very fine oboist, Samuel Bastos, has died in Switzerland. His biographyshows how much he accomplished at such a young age. He was only 32. What a sad loss.

Samuel Bastos, 1º movement Phoenix Concerto, Op. 102 – Paul Patterson
Winner of the Gillet-Fox Oboe Competition 2017 at the IDRS in Appleton, E.U.A, final concert

A. Lotti – Concerto for Oboe d’amore in A major – Samuel Bastos & Sinfonietta de Braga

28. February 2019 · Comments Off on André Previn 1929-2019 · Categories: Losses

I just learned that André Previn died today.

… and from our own Opera San José:

News links will be added as I find them.

NY Times
Hollywood Reporter
The Guardian
Washington Post
Telegraph (I’m confused by this sentence: “Born in Berlin, Previn’s family left in 1939 for Paris in 1938 – where he studied piano at the Conservatoire – before moving on to Los Angeles.”)

21. February 2019 · Comments Off on Dominick Argento 1927-2019 · Categories: Losses

I just learned that the composer Dominick Argento died yesterday. I’ll never forget doing his Water Bird Talk with the incredible Robert Orth and San Jose Chamber Orchestra.

30. January 2019 · Comments Off on Sanford Sylvan 1953-2019 · Categories: Losses

I’ve just learned here that the singer died yesterday.

And this is rather poignant:

26. January 2019 · Comments Off on Michel Legrand 1932-2019 · Categories: Losses

Michel Legrand came to San Jose at some point (I can’t remember the date) and performed (and conducted, I believe) with the San Jose Symphony. I barely remember that. I do remember watching the Umbrellas of Cherbourg over and over with our daughter. That man knew how to write lovely music!

I may put more music up later … for now I have students to teach.

Okay … one more (quickly):

04. December 2018 · Comments Off on Harold Farberman 1929-2018 · Categories: Losses

I just learned of his passing, but he died on November 24.

Composer and arranger George Roumanis passed away at age 89. Roumanis began his career as a jazz bassist and arranger, working with luminaries such as Louie Armstrong, Johnny Smith, Dizzy Gillespie, Doc Severinsen and Bud Shank. Over the course of five decades, he composed and arranged dozens of popular jingles as well as four albums for Decca Records. His prolific TV scoring includes “Mission Impossible,” “Medical Center,” “The Streets of San Francisco,” and “Star Trek: Next Generation.” Roumanis was also a composer of concert music and opera. His first guitar concerto was performed by Tommy Tedesco and the Los Angeles Studio Orchestra and his opera, “Phaedra,” was performed by Opera San Jose and broadcast on PBS. George was thrilled when his opera became part of the Oxford University Archives.

Yes, I played when Opera San Jose did the video of Phaedra. That was long ago and I must confess I don’t remember the music well.

06. October 2018 · Comments Off on Montserrat Caballé 1933-2018 · Categories: Losses



FEW OPERA SINGERS rocketed to fame more swiftly than Montserrat Caballé. When the soprano substituted for Marilyn Horne in the title role in a concert performance of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall on April 20, 1965, she was virtually unknown beyond a few provincial European opera houses. After the performance—and a twenty-five-minute ovation—all that would change. Rival record companies dashed to Caballé’s dressing room to get her signature while the audience was still swooning in the aisles. (RCA won.) One new fan was heard shouting ecstatically to his companion, “Callas plus Tebaldi equals Caballé!” And of course invitations to sing all over the world poured in.


22. November 2017 · Comments Off on Dmitri Hvorostovsky 1962-2017 · Categories: Losses

Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the charismatic Siberian baritone who won critical acclaim and devoted fans around the world for his burnished voice, uncanny breath control and rueful expressivity, died on Wednesday in London. He was 55.

Mark Hildrew of Askonas Holt, the talent management agency that represented Mr. Hvorostovsky, said the cause was brain cancer. Mr. Hvorostovsky announced the diagnosis in June 2015 and died in a hospice facility near his London home.

A favorite of audiences thanks to his alluring voice and heartthrob presence, Mr. Hvorostovsky cut a striking figure, his trim 6-foot-1 frame topped by a mane of prematurely white hair.

He also had a compelling personal story: He escaped the street-gang life as a teenager in a grim Siberian city, found his talent there despite the region’s cultural isolation, and overcame a tempestuous drinking problem that could have ruined his career.

You can read more here and, of course, a lot of other places.