I just read that composer Stephen Paulus has died. I’ve posted some of his choral music here on my Sunday morning and evening posts.

Twin Cities composer Stephen Paulus has died.

Paulus was among Minnesota’s leading classical composers. He wrote hundreds of works — including nearly 60 orchestral scores, 10 operas and 150 choral pieces.


Richard Kanter, a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s oboe section from 1961 until 2002, passed away on Friday evening, October 10. He was 79.


I wasn’t familiar with Mr. Kanter, but perhaps some readers were. Anyone? Here is his Wikipedia page.

I just learned that Christopher Hogwood has died. He was only 73. Such sad news. I will post more when I’m home from rehearsal.

(time lapse)

Posts you can read online:

Christopher Hogwood site

Deceptive Cadence (Anastasia Tsioulcas)


The Guardian

“I am the most hated man in the world of opera,” he said, “but I am loved by the masses.”

Tibor Rudas died on September 8. You can read about him here.

He is the man mainly responsible for bringing us The Three Tenors and putting opera in arenas. I did both a Pavarotti and a Domingo show in this way. Did I do The Three Tenors? I honestly can’t remember! (I do remember Pavorotti telling the crowd, near the end of his performance, that singing in our arena — usually called the Tank these days, I think — was a horrible place to sing.)

I was not familiar with this singer (I’m not familiar with so many), but she was 104 when she died yesterday. Maybe singing is good for longevity?

You can read about her here.

What were you doing when you were 83?

14. August 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

Frans Brüggen,who has died aged 79, was a Dutch recorder player, conductor and musicologist who brought the recorder out of the classroom and into the concert hall as a serious musical instrument.
In his early days he would play anything that he felt might sound good on the recorder — “which included, for better or worse, [tunes from] symphonies by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven”.
Later Brüggen explored more carefully how the instrument was used in the baroque era, while pushing for its acceptance as a modern instrument — including commissioning works from composers such as Louis Andriessen and Luciano Berio (notably Gesti, which tests the performer’s powers of control and interpretation). Indeed, Berio once described Brüggen as “a musician who is not an archaeologist but a great artist”.
Along the way Brüggen founded the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, spearheading the move away from the luscious accounts of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven that had become popular in the first half of the 20th century and towards a realisation of how the music would have sounded during the composers’ lifetimes.

(I just have to laugh at the crossed legs!)

13. July 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

Maestro Maazel’s website

Lorin Maazel, a former child prodigy who went on to hold the music directorships of the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Vienna State Opera and several other ensembles and companies around the world, and who was known for his incisive and sometimes extreme interpretations, died on Sunday at his home in Castleton, Va. He was 84.


The Guardian

Wall Street Journal

26. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

Julius Rudel, the Austrian-born conductor who raised the New York City Opera to a venturous golden age with highbrow music for the masses and a repertory that, like him, bridged the Old and New Worlds, died on Thursday at his home in New York. He was 93.

His death, announced by his son Anthony, came eight months after his beloved and financially struggling City Opera filed for bankruptcy and closed its doors.

“I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would outlive the company,” he told The New York Times shortly afterward.

Mr. Rudel was the maestro and the impresario, the principal conductor and the director of City Opera for 22 years (1957-79), working in the orchestra pit while running the company on shoestring budgets, signing contracts, casting productions and nurturing young singers like José Carreras, Plácido Domingo, Sherrill Milnes and Beverly Sills.

Continue reading the main story

Julius Rudel, the former general director and principal conductor of the New York City Opera, at his home on Central Park West.Music: Julius Rudel, Still Keeping Tabs on City OperaMARCH 17, 2010
A Jewish Viennese refugee from Hitler who fled to New York with his family in 1938, he joined the company in 1944, soon after its inception. He went on to preside over sweeping changes, reflecting his belief that the company should emphasize contemporary and American operas and musicals alongside the traditional European repertory — that it should entertain the wider public and not just opera lovers.


12. June 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

The widely admired Spanish conductor Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos died this morning in Pamplona, Spain at age 80. It was just a week ago that Frühbeck acknowledged he was ill with cancer and announced, via the Boston Symphony Orchestra, that he would have to cease working.


25. May 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

I learned yesterday that David Weiss has died. I heard him play musical saw last year at the IDRS, and he and I had conversed a bit via email due to this website. He will be missed. I send my sympathies to his family as they deal with this sudden shock. He was far too young ….

A rather young Mr. Weiss with the L.A. Philharmonic (1979):

A bit later, playing Telemann:

From the YouTube page:
David Weiss, Oboe. Izabela Spiewak, Violin.
Alpha Walker, Piano. Yang Xi, Viola
live performance from the tour of ” Two duo and a Saw ” in NY,

Here he is on the saw:

From the YouTube page:
Astor Piazzolla’s OBLIVION arranged for musical saw, flute, bassoon, and piano by Alpha H. Walker. Performed live by the Weiss Family Woodwinds: David Wiess, oboe and musical saw, Dawn Weiss, flute, Abe Weiss, bassoon, and Alpha H. Walker, piano.

And finally …

2011 – Tribute to David Weiss from Christopher Allport on Vimeo.