VIDEO PODCAST: Discussion about Bernard Haitink (1929-2021), Salzburg, Roger Doyle's Finnegans Wake Project, the English Symphony Orchestra, the Chopin Competition Warsaw, Los Angeles Opera and other subjects.
Here are brief details of some of the people lost to the classical music world during June 2020, most recently deceased first. May they rest in peace.
German musicologist Ludwig Finscher died in Wolfenbüttel on 30 June, aged ninety. Born in Kassel on 14 March 1930, he studied musicology, English, German and philosophy at the University of Göttingen. He was professor of music history at the University of Heidelberg (1981-1995), editor of the encyclopaedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG, Music Past and Present) and an acknowledged expert on western classical music. He contributed to the complete editions of the works of Gluck, Hindemith and Mozart, and was co-editor of Capellae Apostolicae Sixtinaeque Collectanea Acta Monumenta.
Polish-born British violinist Ida Haendel passed away in Miami, Florida on 30 June or 1 July, aged ninety-one.
American arranger and composer Johnny Mandel passed away in Ojai, California on 29 June, aged ninety-four.
British organist Jane Parker-Smith died in London on 24 June, aged seventy. Born in Northampton on 20 May 1950, she studied organ with Nicolas Kynaston and Jean Langlais. She made her London debut at twenty on the organ of Westminster Cathedral and played at the BBC Proms two years later. As a concerto soloist and recitalist she appeared at major venues and festivals internationally, recorded a wide range of solo repertoire, worked with leading orchestras and conductors such as Matthias Bamert, Serge Baudo, Carl Davis, Vernon Handley, Richard Hickox and Simon Rattle, and appeared on German, Swiss and British television.
American trumpet player Ryan Anthony passed away on 23 June, aged fifty-one, following a long battle with cancer. Born at Whittier in California on 17 May 1969 he studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and began his career as trumpet professor at Oberlin Conservatory. From 2000 onwards he played with Canadian Brass and other leading performing and recording ensembles. He joined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra trumpet section in 2004, became the orchestra's principal trumpet in 2006 and retained this post for the rest of his life. Following his cancer diagnosis in 2012, he created the Ryan Anthony Foundation, dedicated to promoting cancer research via the CancerBlows concert series.
Russian ballet dancer and teacher Nikolai Fadeyechev died in Moscow on 23 June, aged eighty-seven. Born in Moscow on 27 January 1933, he studied with Alexander Rudenko at the Moscow Ballet School and joined the Bolshoi Theatre, dancing many principal roles and performing with Natalia Bessmertnova, Marina Kondratyeva, Ekaterina Maximova, Maya Plisetskaya, Ludmila Semenyaka, Raisa Struchkova, Nina Timofeeva and Galina Ulanova. He retired from dancing in 1977 to become one of the Bolshoi's most influential teachers and repetiteurs, with students including Sergei Filin, Artem Ovcharenko, Ruslan Skvortsov, Nikolay Tsiskaridze and Andrey Uvarov.
French opera director and administrator Nicolas Joël passed away on 19 June, aged sixty-seven. Born on 6 February 1953 in Paris, where he also studied, Joël began his career at Opéra du Rhin (1973-8) as assistant director. His own first production was Wagner's Ring for Opéra du Rhin and Opéra de Lyon in 1979. Two years later he directed Saint-Saëns' Samson et Dalila at San Francisco Opera and Verdi's Aida at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, leading to a series of international directing projects. From 2009 until 2014 he was director of the Paris Opera.
Canadian violinist and conductor Victor Feldbrill died on 17 June, aged ninety-six, in Toronto. Born in the same city on 4 April 1924 into a family of Polish Jewish immigrants, he studied conducting with Ettore Mazzoleni at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. During World War II he joined the Navy as a violinist with The Navy Show, arriving in London with a letter of introduction to Adrian Boult, who arranged for him to study part-time at the Royal Academy of Music during his free time. After the war he returned to Toronto and freelance work. He played violin in the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1949-56) and was then principal conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (1958-68), with which he became committed to playing Canadian music. He was resident conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (1973-78). In the 1990s he directed the Hamilton Philharmonic, and in 2017, aged ninety-four, he conducted the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for the orchestra's seventieth anniversary.
American pianist and teacher Lucy Scarbrough passed away at her home in El Paso, Texas, on 13 June, aged ninety-two. She was born Lucy Ardans in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, on 26 June 1927. Her piano teachers included her mother, Silvio Scionti, Maurice Lichtman, Leo Sowerby at the American Conservatory in Chicago and Rudolph Ganz. She is known internationally as the founder of the El Paso Chopin Festival, and was awarded a medal by the Polish government for promoting Chopin to American audiences, but she also founded the Albuquerque Interparochial Choir and, in El Paso, the EPCC music department, Opera a la Carte and the El Paso Civic Orchestra.
Japanese composer, arranger and conductor Katsuhisa Hattori died on 11 June, aged eighty-three, in Tokyo, where he was also born on 1 November 1936. He was a respected classical composer who studied at the Paris Conservatoire, although he was also experienced in other genres including new age, jazz, pop music and Japanese enka. He produced music for anime films, TV series and original video animations. With his composer son, Takayuki Hattori, he is also known for producing, in 1989 and 1991, orchestrated music for video game composer Nobuo Uematsu.
American oboist Daniel Stolper died on 8 June, aged eighty-five. Born on 11 January 1935, he was principal oboist with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, the New Orleans Philharmonic Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Chamber Orchestra (with which he give the first US performance of the Martinů Oboe Concerto). He was professor of oboe at Michigan State University and from 1972 he was visiting oboe instructor at the Interlochen Arts Academy. He was also co-editor of the journal of the International Double Reed Society.
Norwegian mezzo-soprano and actress Edith Thallaug passed away in Stockholm on 7 June, aged ninety. Born in Bærum on 16 June 1929, she worked at the Norwegian National Theatre (1948-60) and at Stockholm Opera from 1964. She performed in Europe, Japan and the USA, and won the Grieg Prize in 1977. In 1950, as Edith Rolfsen, she published the crime novel Den myrdede lever (The Murdered Living).
American record producer and musicologist Allan Evans died on 6 June 2020, aged sixty-four. Born on 4 April 1956, Evans wrote the book Ignaz Friedman: Romantic Master Pianist and edited another: Moriz Rosenthal in Word and Music: a Legacy of the Nineteenth Century. He founded the Arbiter Recording Company, later known as Arbiter of Cultural Traditions Inc, for which he produced more than two hundred recordings. He also taught history and literature of music at Mannes College.
Italian pianist and composer Marcello Abbado died in Stresa on 4 June, aged ninety-three.
Engish pianist Rosemarie Wright passed away on 25 April 2020, aged eighty-eight. (Her death was announced on 3 June.) Born in Chorley, Lancashire on 12 December 1931, she studied with Harold Craxton at the Royal Academy of Music, and later with Bruno Seidlhofer, Edwin Fischer and Wilhelm Kempff. She also studied chamber music with Pablo Casals. She won a series of high profile prizes, and had a notable international career. She taught at Southampton University, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.
French singing teacher and harpsichordist Janine Reiss died on 2 June, aged ninety-nine. Born in 1920 or 1921, she studied harpsichord. During the 1960s she trained opera singers in French repertoire, working with Teresa Berganza, Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, Mady Mesplé and Luciano Pavarotti. From 1973 until 1980 she was director of musical studies at the Paris Opera. A documentary (2003) and a book (2013) have been produced about her.
American pianist and tecaher Marion Zarzeczna died on 1 June, aged eighty-nine, in Trenton, New Jersey, where she was also born on 11 November 1930. She studied with Mieczysław Horszowski at the Curtis Institute (where she later taught, from 1962). She gave recitals and appeared as soloist with orchestras in North America and Europe, including Germany and Poland. From 1972 she taught at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.
Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk passed away in Lviv on 1 June, aged eighty-one.
Posted 10 June 2020 and updated 23 August 2022 by Keith Bramich