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April 2022 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 April 2022. May they rest in peace.

American pianist Nicholas Angelich died on 18 April, aged fifty-one, from chronic lung disease. Born on 14 December 1970 in Cincinnati, Ohio, he began piano lessons, aged five, with his mother, and performed a Mozart concerto with a chamber orchestra when he was seven. At thirteen he began studies in Paris at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique with Michel Beroff, Aldo Ciccolini and Yvonne Loriod, then later studied with Marie-Françoise Bucquet. He won a series of high profile prizes which launched his international career in Europe and the USA. He recorded for harmonia mundi, Lyrinx and Virgin Classics, and was also active as a chamber musician. He was the dedicatee of Pierre Henry's Concerto for piano without orchestra.

Nicholas Angelich (1970-2022)
Nicholas Angelich (1970-2022)

Slovenian composer and pianist Janez Matičič died on 18 April, aged ninety-five. Born in Ljubljana on 3 June 1926, he studied composition and conducting at the Ljubljana Academy of Music and then studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Between 1959 and 1975 he worked on electroacoustic music experiments with Pierre Schaeffer and the Groupe de Recherches Musicales. He wrote two piano concertos, a cello concerto and a series of modernist experimental works.

British composer Harrison Birtwistle died on 18 April, aged eighty-seven.

Romanian pianist Radu Lupu passed away in Lausanne, Switzerland on 17 April, aged seventy-six.

Belgian composer, pianist and radio producer Philippe Boesmans died in Brussels on 10 April, aged eighty-five.

Argentinian pianist Miguel Ángel Estrella died in Paris on 7 April, aged eighty-one. Born in San Miguel de Tucumán on 4 July 1940, his teachers included Nadia Boulanger, Celia de Bronstein and Erwin Leuchter. As ambassador to UNESCO, he sat on the 1966 International War Crimes Tribunal (Russell Tribunal). He went into exile in 1976, when Argentina was under military rule between 1976 and 1983. In 1977 he was imprisoned and tortured by the military authorities in Uruguay, then released in 1980. In 2010 he played on the Argentinian state TV Canal Siete's programme Estudio País Bicentenario, and in 2013 he was honoured by the Honorable Senado de la Nación Argentina (Argentine Senate), both for his career as a pianist and his work in defending human rights.

Icelandic composer, pianist, accordionist and lithophone player Elias Davidsson died in Germany on 7 April, aged eighty-one. Born Elias Kahn in Palestine on 23 January 1941 to German-Jewish parents, he grew up in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, studied piano and composition in Cologne, Freiburg and Basel, lived for a while in France and then made his home in Iceland in 1962, where he created avant-garde computer-assisted music. Later he concentrated increasingly on studies for the piano. In 2008 he moved to Germany, and from 2013 onwards was active writing about terrorism and conspiracy theories, including rejecting the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission as a 'perfidious lie'.

Canadian conductor Boris Brott died, aged seventy-eight, in hospital in Hamilton, Ontario as a result of being struck by a hit-and-run driver on 5 April.

English composer, pianist and teacher Rosemary Duxbury died on 1 April. Born in 1959, she grew up in Quorn, Leicestershire. She wrote, in a sacred minimalist style, both classical concert music and music for film and other media.

Posted 19 April 2022 and last updated 27 April 2022 by Keith Bramich




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