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August 2020 Obituaries

Our summary of those the
classical music world has lost this month


Here are brief details of some of the people lost to the classical music world during August 2020. May they rest in peace. We will update this page as necessary, throughout the month.

Austrian-born British violinist and teacher Erich Gruenberg died on 8 August in Hampstead Garden Suburb, aged ninety-five. Born in Vienna on 12 October 1924, Gruenberg studied in Vienna and (after rescue from the Nazis by Emil Hauser) at the Jerusalem Conservatory. From 1938 until 1945 he led the Palestine Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra and then moved to London in 1946 to study with Max Rostal. He took British citizenship in 1950 and lived in the UK for the rest of his life. Highlights of his career include winning the 1947 Carl Flesch Violin Competition, giving the first Russian performance of Britten's Violin Concerto in Moscow and appearing as a soloist at the Henry Wood Proms in London, playing the Beethoven Violin Concerto with Adrian Boult and the BBC Orchestra in 1971 and Schnittke's Third Violin Concerto (conducted by Edward Downes) in 1983. He was leader of the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra from 1955, the London Symphony Orchestra (1962-5) and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (1972-5). He was the London String Quartet's first violin and played much chamber music, recording all the Beethoven violin sonatas with David Wilde. He also played contemporary music by, for example, Roberto Gerhard, Berthold Goldschmidt, Olivier Messiaen and David Morgan. He played 1731 Stradivarius, with which he also appeared on several of The Beatles' recordings. He was a professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music in London, continuing his tough, uncompromising teaching until he was ninety-five.

Erich Gruenberg (1924-2020)
Erich Gruenberg (1924-2020)

Ukrainian lyric tenor and teacher Anatoly Ivanovich Duda died in Odessa on 8 August, aged seventy-three. Born on 5 October 1946 in the city of Novyi Buh in Mykolaiv Oblast (province), he grew up in Vynohradne (Berezivka district, Odesa region) and studied at Odessa Conservatory with Alexander Fadeyovich Danovsky. He was a soloist with Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre (1976-89) and was soloist and artistic director of the Odessa Philharmonic (1989-93). From 1993 he was professor of solo singing at Odessa Music Academy, and from 1994 was Chairman of the Board of the Odessa branch of the National Union of Theatre Actors of Ukraine. From 1995 until 2000 he sang at Warsaw Opera, and he was Acting Director General of Odessa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre (2009-10). He performed in both Europe and America, and participated in various festivals of classical and folk music in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain and the Ukraine.

Anatoly Duda (1946-2020)
Anatoly Duda (1946-2020)

English guitarist and lutenist Julian Bream died at his home in Wiltshire on 14 August 2020, aged eighty-seven.

Julian Bream (1933-2020) in 1964
Julian Bream (1933-2020) in 1964

American pianist, conductor and teacher Leon Fleisher died from cancer in Baltimore, Maryland on 2 August 2020, aged ninety-two.

Leon Fleisher (1928-2020)
Leon Fleisher (1928-2020)

Posted 16 August 2020 by Keith Bramich




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Founding Editor: Basil Ramsey (1929-2018);
Editor: Keith Bramich