Polyphonic’s tribute to those people important to our field who died in 2010. Please send additions or corrections to Robert Levine (robertlevine at pobox dot com).
Edward Linde, age 68. Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Boston Symphony since 2005, Linde studied at MIT and the Harvard Business School before beginning a career in real estate development. He was involved in the development of the Prudential Center in Boston, Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, and major developments in New York City and Reston VA.
Eugene Rehm Jr., age 81. A percussionist with the Atlanta Symphony for almost 50 years until his retirement in 2003, he was a native of Idaho, attended Northwestern University and spent three years as a musician in the US Army before joining the ASO in 1954. He also taught math in the Atlanta public schools during his early years with the ASO.
Beth Newdome, age 46. Associate Professor of violin at Florida State University in Tallahassee since 2002, she had been a member of the Jacksonville, Columbus and Dallas orchestras before joining the Atlanta Symphony and becoming associate concertmaster. She was also on the faculty of the Aspen School of Music. She was a graduate of the Eastman School.
Michel Glotz, age 79. Paris-based artist manager, he was best known for being Herbert von Karajan’s manager. Prior to working for von Karajan, he worked for EMI in London. A former pianist, he spent World War II in hiding with his family in France.
David Soyer, age 87. Founding cellist of the Guarneri Quartet, he was a native of Philadelphia and made his debut at the age of 19, performing Bloch’s Schelomo with the Philadephia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy. He taught at Curtis, Juilliard, and the Manhattan School of Music, and spent many summers at the Marlboro Festival.
Oscar Ravina, age 79. A native of Poland, he studied violin at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Leningrad and the Vienna State Academy before emigrating to the US at the suggestion of Isaac Stern. A long-time member of the New York Philharmonic, he help organize the Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York and served as its concertmaster. He also taught at Montclair State University.
Patricia Travers, age 82. Born in Clifton NJ, she performed on national radio with the Detroit Symphony and Sir John Barbirolli at age 10, and went on to solo with the New York Philharmonic (at age 11), the London Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Boston, Chicago and Pittsburgh orchestras. In her early 20s, she made the first complete recording of the Ives second sonata. Shortly afterwards, she abandoned her career and returned to live with her parents in Clifton.
Teresa Harth, age 82. Principal second violin with the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1982 to 1998, she also played in the Louisville Orchestra and the Lyric Opera orchestra, as well as the Casals Festival. She was married to violinist Sydney Harth, with whom she had two children, a daughter Laura and a son Robert, who was CEO of Carnegie Hall until his death in 2004.
Peter Cujé, age 74. Long-time bassist with the Milwaukee Symphony, he was a native of Germany. An active long-distance walker, he played third base for the MSO’s Bruckner Dodgers for many seasons.
Maybeth Pressley, age 90. A member of the Seattle Symphony for 43 years, she was a native of Colorado. Two of her children also played in the SSO, as did her sister.
Wolfgang Wagner, age 90. A grandson of Richard Wagner, he was head of the Bayreuth Festival for more than 50 years. He studied trumpet and horn before being wounded while fighting on the Eastern Front in 1939. He and his brother Wieland revived the Festival in 1951, and he became sole director after his brother’s death in 1966.
Kenneth Solway, age 56. An oboist and recorder player who was a native of Toronto, he founded Tafelmusik in 1978 with his wife, bassoonist Susan Graves. He left Tafelmusik in 1982 and went on to start an organic farm and make wooden canoes.
Kenneth McKellar, age 82. Described by Sir Adrian Boult in the 1960s as “the best Handel singer of the 20th century,” McKellar was born in Scotland and was a scientist with the Scottish Forestry Commission when he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music. Although known early as an opera singer, he became best known for his performances of traditional Scottish music. He also wrote for the Monty Python comedy troupe.
Thomas Connell III, age 67. Long-time chief stage manager for the Metropolitan Opera, he flew for the Navy during the Vietnam war before post-graduate studies in music at the University of Hawaii. He grew up in Connecticut, where he studied voice, piano and viola in high school.
Klaus George Roy, age 86. Program annotator for The Cleveland Orchestra for 30 years, he was born in Austria but evacuated in 1939 through the Kindertransport program. He served in the US Army during World War II before attending Harvard, where he earned an MA in 1949. He was music librarian at Boston University before coming to Cleveland.
Jaime Austria, age 62. A native of Manila, Austria studied bass at the Manhattan School of Music before beginning a career as a freelancer. He played in the American Symphony Orchestra and in the pit for Chorus Line for 15 years before joining the American Ballet Theatre orchestra in 1989 and the New York City Opera orchestra in 1990. He led the formation of the Informal Watchdog Network, a largely online effort to monitor the AFM-EP Fund, and helped form El Sistema NYC in 2007. He began a petition to establish a federal Secretary for the Arts, which has gathered 240,000 signatures to date.
Ernest Fleischmann, age 85. A native of Frankfurt, his family moved to South Africa to escape the Nazis, where he made his debut as a conductor at age 17. He was general manager of the London Symphony Orchestra when he became executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he worked until his retirement in 1988. He was widely credited for turning the orchestra from a second-tier ensemble into one of the most successful and prominent American orchestras.
Heuwell Tircuit, age 76. Long-time San Francisco-based critic, he was a native of Louisiana, where he attended LSU and played in the school’s marching band. He served in the US Army before playing timpani in the Asahi Broadcasting Orchestra in Tokyo, where he began his career as a critic. He received a degree in music history from Northwestern University before becoming music critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He was fired for writing a review of a performance that he was accused of not attending, even though several other critics reported seeing him at the performance. He went on to write for the online publication San Francisco Classical Voice.
Beth Pettit, age 47. A native of Los Angeles, she studied trumpet at Ithaca College before playing in the Honolulu Symphony. She eventually attended Parsons School of Design in New York and freelanced in the New Jersey area.
Jay Wadenpfuhl, age 60. A member of the horn section of the Boston Symphony for 29 years, he studied horn at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and played with the US Army Band, the Florida Philharmonic, and the National Symphony before joining the BSO. He was also a composer of brass works and a founding member of the NFB horn quartet, which recorded several of his works. He taught at New England Conservatory, and performed the world premiere of William Thomas McKinley’s Huntington Horn Concerto with John Williams and the Boston Pops.
Kalmen Opperman, age 90. Noted clarinet teacher, he studied clarinet with Simeon Bellison, principal clarinet of the New York Philharmonic, and Ralph McLane, principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He played in the West Point Band from 1938 to 1941 before beginning a career in Broadway pit orchestras and Ballet Theater (later American Ballet Theater).
Roderick Brydon, age 71. The first artistic director of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, he was educated in his native Edinburgh before studying in Vienna and Siena. He began his career as a staff conductor at Sadler’s Wells Opera, becoming associate conductor of the Scottish National Orchestra in 1965. He founded the SCO in 1975. After leaving the orchestra in 1983, he continued an active guest conducting career, particularly in Australia.
Brazel Dennard, age 81. Director and founder of the Brazeal Dennard Chorale, he helped create Classical Roots, a Detroit Symphony outreach program, and also served on the DSO’s Board of Directors. He was a long-time teacher in the Detroit public schools before founding the Chorale, which specialized in African-American choral music. A native of Detroit, he attended Wayne State University, where he received an MA in music education.
Lorely Zgonc, age 58. Long-time concertmaster of the Portland Oopera and Oregon Ballet Theater orchestras, she had also played with the Oregon Symphony, the orchestras of Phoenix and Tucson, and the Aspen Chamber Orchestra. A native of Portland, she also taught in area public schools.
Mitch Miller, age 99. A native of Rochester and a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, he played oboe with the Syracuse Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the CBS Symphony. He also played in the premiere performance of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. He went to work for Mercury Records in the late 1940s and moved to Columbia Records as head of A&R. He became best known for his NBC show Sing Along With Mitch in the early 1960s.
Ken Tribe, age 96. Although he made his living as a lawyer, he spent decades as an influential policy maker in the Australian music scene. He led the presenting organization Musica Viva for many years, first as chairman and then as artistic director. He also chaired the group that produced Study into the Future Development of Orchestras in Australia, which led to Australian orchestras becoming independent of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Willard Shull, age 80. Long-time assistant concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony, Shull was a native of Indianapolis. He played in the 7th Army Orchestra after graduating from Indiana University. He joined the ASO in 1967. He was also an avid motorcyclist.
Colin Stavely, age 68. Educated at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, he joined the Amici Quartet at age 20 before going on to an orchestral career that saw him playing concertmaster for several orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, the Irish National Symphony, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Felix Kok, age 86. Long-time concertmaster of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, he was a native of South Africa before studying at the Royal Academy of Music and. He became concertmaster of the Bournemouth Symphony in 1959 after an active London freelance career and joined the CBSO in 1965 as concertmaster.
Pat Curry, age 84. Long-time faculty member at Northern Arizona University, he also conducted the Flagstaff Symphony and founded the Flagstaff Summer Festival of the Arts. A native of Texas and a violinist, he earned graduate degrees from USC and Brigham Young University before moving to Flagstaff.
Ray Luke, age 82. A composer and conductor, he served on the faculty of Oklahoma City University for 35 years after receiving a PhD from the Eastman School. He served as associate conductor and, for a short period, music director of the Oklahoma City Symphony, and 17 of his works were premiered by that orchestra. He earned the 1979 New England Conservatory Opera Competition Award and the 1969 Grand Prix Gold Medal in the Queen Elizabeth of Belgium composition competition of 1969.
Harvey Phillips, age 80. He began his career as a tubist with the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus before he studied at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. Before joining the faculty of Indiana University in 1971, he played with the New York City Opera, the New York City Ballet and the New York Brass Quintet. He was the progenitor of the TubaSanta tradition, organizing the first Tuba Christmas concert at Rockefeller Center in New York in 1973.
Fred Zenone, age 74. Long-time cellist with the National Symphony, Zenone served at various times as chairman of ICSOM, President of the Symphony Orchestra Institute, and member of the board of directors of the American Symphony Orchestra League (now the League of American Orchestras). He was memorialized on Polyphonic here. More tributes can be found in the December 2010 issue of Senza Sordino.
David Stahl, age 60. Music Director of the Charleston Symphony, he was a native of New York City. A child of German Jewish immigrants, he made his conducting debut in Carnegie Hall at age 23. He became Music Director in Charleston in 1974. He also served as music director of the Staatseater am Gaertnerplatz and, for a period, music director of the original Broadway run of West Side Story.
Rudolf Barshai, age 86. The leading Russian violist of his generation, he was a founding member of the Borodin Quartet and founded the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 1956. He emigrated to Israel in 1977 and become music director of the Bournemouth Symphony in 1982 and also served as principal conductor of the Vancouver Symphony and principal guest conductor of the Orchestre National de France.
Maurice Murphy, age 75. Long-time principal trumpet with the London Symphony, he performed on many John Williams scores, including those for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars films, which Williams stated he wrote with Murphy in mind. He grew up in Yorkshire and played in the Royal Liverpool and BBC Philharmonics before joining the LSO.
Clyde Summers, age 91. A law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, he was widely viewed as the leading authority on American union democracy and union elections. He worked with Senator John F. Kennedy and the ACLU in the 1950s to draft much of the Landrum-Griffith Act, which codified free speech rights and secret elections for union members.
Shirley Verrett, age 79. Born in New Orleans, she studied at the Juilliard School and made her Met debut in Bizet’s Carmen in1968 after having performed for New York City Opera, the Spoleto Festival, and the Bolshoi Theater. She also appeared in the first TV broadcast from Lincoln Center in 1962. She was particularly noted for her performances of Verdi and Donizetti operas. In 1996 she joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Robert Semon, age 96. Founder of the El Paso Chamber Music Society, Semon was a native of Königsberg but grew up in Bremen and studied in Berlin with Carl Flesch. He emigrated to Los Angeles in 1938 before moving to El Paso, where he played in the El Paso Symphony and taught at several schools before starting the El Paso School of Music in 1959.
Georg Straka, age 41. Bassist with the Vienna Philharmonic, Straka was killed while climbing Mt. Fuji during the orchestra’s 2010 Japan tour. A native of Mödling, Austria, he joined the orchestra in 1999 after having joined the Vienna State Opera orchestra in 1996.
Adam Pinsker, age 79. Long-time arts administrator, he began his career as pianist and manager of the 7th Army Symphony. He went on to manage the Buffalo Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Pennsylvania Ballet, and Dance St. Louis. From 1969 to 1975 he was president of the Association of American Dance Companies.
Henryk Górecki, age 76. Polish composer best known for his third symphony, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, recordings of which have sold more than one million copies. He was born in Silesia in 1933 and began violin studies when he was 10. He trained as a teacher, during which time he began to composer. His early music was in the Serialist tradition, but he moved towards Minimalism and a more traditional harmonic style in the 1970s.
Daniéle Doctorow, age 58. A native of New York City, she studied cello at Queens University and Stony Brook University before beginning a long career as a New York freelancer, which included working on Broadway, New York City Opera tours, and playing with the New Jersey Symphony, as well as being a member of the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players.
Jack Hook, age 76. Secretary-Treasurer of Local 40-543 for many years, he was a member of the Baltimore Symphony from 1964 to 1977. He was a native of Baltimore and was mostly self-taught as a trombonist. He began his musical career in the National Guard and became a union officer in the early 1980s. A veteran of many AFM conventions, he was highly regarded by his fellow local officers.
Karen Tuttle, age 90. Viola faculty at the Juilliard School from 1987-2003 and the Curtis Institute of Music from 1944-1955 and 1986-2004, she was a violinist before studying with William Primrose. She was a member of several quartets, including the Galimir Quartet and the Schneider Quartet, and performed frequently at the Marlboro Festival and the Casals Festival in Prades.
John Alldis, age 81. Noted British choral conductor, he led founded the London Symphony Orchestra’s first permanent chorus in 1966 before taking over the London Philharmonic Choir in 1969 and founding the Group Vocale de France in 1979. In addition to guest conducting choirs internationally, he prepared choirs for recordings by Pink Floyd and Duke Ellington.
Eric Rosenblith, age 90. A native of Vienna, he studied in Paris with Jacquest Thibaud and London with Carl Flesch before emigrating to the US in 1939. He served as concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony for 13 years before joining the faculty of the New England Conservatory in 1968. In 1997, he and his wife, Carol Child, founded the International Musical Arts Institute in Maine.
Fran Batchelder, age 76. A native of Arizona, she was a board member of the Omaha Symphony board of directors for 20 years and also served as president of the Omaha Symphony Guild board and the board of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, as well as vice-president of the American Symphony Orchestra League Volunteer Council.