News from around the world

July 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 July 2022. May they rest in peace.

British organist and composer Martin How passed away on 25 July, aged ninety-one. Born in Liverpool on 3 April 1931, How studied music and theology at Clare College, Cambridge University and spent most of his career at the Royal School of Church Music, where he was responsible for training and motivating young singers, developing the Chorister Training Scheme which has since been used in various countries. He travelled internationally as an accompanist, adjudicator, choral conductor and lecturer.

Hungarian-born Austrian conductor Stefan Soltész died in a Munich hospital on 22 July, aged seventy-three, after collapsing while conducting Die schweigsame Frau by Richard Strauss in Munich. Born in Nyíregyháza on 6 January 1949, he sang in the Vienna Boys Choir and later studied conducting with Hans Swarowsky. He was Kapellmeister at the Theater an der Wien, répétiteur and conductor at Vienna State Opera, conductor at Hamburg State Opera and at Deutsche Oper Berlin. He was later Generalmusikdirektor at Staatstheater Braunschweig and chief conductor at Flemish Opera, then artistic director and Generalmusikdirektor of the Aalto-Theater in Essen.

Austrian violinist Alice Harnoncourt passed away on 20 July 2022, aged ninety-one. Born in Vienna as Alice Hoffelner on 26 September 1930, she studied violin with Josef Mertin, became interested in playing baroque violin, married Nikolaus Harnoncourt in 1953 and together, as pioneers of historically informed performance, they founded Concentus Musicus Wien. Until 1985 she was the ensemble's principal violinist, and continued to play with the group until her husband retired from conducting in 2015. She played on two seventeenth century baroque violins - a 1658 Jakob Stainer instrument until 1968, and thereafter a 1665 instrument from the Absam region of the Tyrol.

Alice Harnoncourt (1930-2022) in 1980
Alice Harnoncourt (1930-2022) in 1980

Dutch manager Jeroen van Riel died on 20 July 2022, aged fifty-two. Born on 1 March 1970, he worked in the music industry for over twenty-five years, initally working in a Dutch retail shop. His hard work, passion and commitment to classical music and various other genres saw his career blossom. He became a senior project manager at EMI Classics and Blue Note, A&R and marketing manager at the Foreign Media Group, director for marketing and A&R at T2 Entertainment and, from 2010, the inspiring managing director of Brilliant Classics.

Jeroen van Riel (1970-2022)
Jeroen van Riel (1970-2022)

Dutch pianist and teacher Jan Wijn passed away in Amersfoort on 12 July, aged eighty-eight, following a short illness. Born in Amsterdam on 19 May 1934, he studied with Cornelius Berkhout at the Amsterdam Conservatory and then with Alicia de Larrocha in Spain and Béla Síki in Switzerland. He won first prize in the 1960 Ourense Piano Competition in Spain, and then enjoyed an international career until 1975. From 1976 until 1997, he had problems with his right hand, which nearly ended his performing career, but he continued to play with his left hand and eventually regained full mobility of his right hand. He became a respected piano teacher at the conservatories in Brabant and Amsterdam. His students included Thomas Beijer, Ronald Brautigam, Hans Eijsackers, Paolo Giacometti, Nino Gvetadze, Lucie Horsch, Yoram Ish-Hurwitz, Miguel Ituarte, Arthur Jussen, Lucas Jussen, Daphne Keune, Hannes Minnaar, Frank Mol, Frank Peters, Wibi Soerjadi, Bas Verheijden and Caspar Vos.

Jan Wijn (1934-2022)
Jan Wijn (1934-2022)

British conductor and composer Bramwell Tovey died on 12 July, aged sixty-nine.

British pianist Andrew Ball passed away on 10 July, aged seventy-two, following a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Born in 1950, he studied at Queen's College, Oxford and at the Royal College of Music in London. His teachers were Maurice Cole, Kendall Taylor and David Wilde. He became a specialist in the music of Michael Tippett, recording the composer's complete song cycles with tenor Martyn Hill. He studied Tippett's piano sonatas with the composer and frequently performed them as a cycle. He also gave the first British performance of Sofia Gubaidulina's Piano Sonata, and played Busoni's Fantasia Contrappuntistica, Messiaen's Couleurs de la Cite Celeste and music by Billy Mayerl and John Casken. Collaboratively, he formed a duo with violinist Madeleine Mitchell and, with Julian Jacobson, performed Roberto Gerhard's two-piano music. He also played chamber music with the London Sinfonietta, the Nash Ensemble and the Villiers Quartet. He also taught piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and then at the Royal College of Music, and he concentrated on teaching following his 2012 Parkinson's diagnosis. He gave masterclasses in China, Germany, Japan and the USA and was also an adjudicator.

German organist, composer and teacher Alfred Koerppen died in hospital in Hanover on 5 July, aged ninety-five, following a brief illness. Born into a musical family - his father was the conductor August Koerppen - in Wiesbaden on 16 December 1926, he studied music from the age of six and composed music while at school. During World War II he attended the Musisches Gymnasium Frankfurt for musically gifted children, and worked there after the war as an organist and teacher, as his first works were published and he began to receive commissions. He had an active career, often internationally, which included writing chamber, piano, orchestral and much choral music and a series of stage works, including the opera Virgilius, der Magier von Rom and, with his wife, violinist Barbara Koerppen, founding the Alfred Koerppen Stiftung - designed to help create, publish and perform new serious music.

American pianist, teacher, writer and editor Joseph Banowetz passed away on 3 July, aged eighty-seven. Born on 5 December 1934, he studied with Clara Schumann pupil Carl Friedberg in New York, then with Bartók pupil György Sándor and others in Vienna. Banowetz gave recitals and played concertos in more than thirty-five countries on five continents, and became known as an expert in Anton Rubinstein's music.

American musicologist and critic Richard Taruskin died from cancer of the oesophagus in hospital in Oakland, California on 1 July, aged seventy-seven.

Posted 14 July 2022 and last updated 1 August 2022 by Keith Bramich




 << Home              More news >>