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January 2023 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 January 2023. May they rest in peace.

Chinese composer, conductor, lecturer, journalist and musical ambassador Doming Lam died on 11 January, aged ninety-six. Born in Macau on 5 August 1926, Doming Ngok-pui Lam studied music in Toronto and Los Angeles. He spent much time travelling internationally to conferences, festivals, rostrums, seminars and workshops, to keep his knowledge of the music world up-to-date. Based in Hong Kong, he worked hard to promote music exchanges internationally, and to protect performing rights. His modern Chinese compositions built on traditional roots using avant-garde techniques, influencing younger composers and many of his contemporaries. Read a review of a Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra concert involving Doming Lam's music.

Spanish composer and teacher José Evangelista died on 10 January, aged seventy-nine.

Norwegian organist and choral conductor Magnar Mangersnes died on 9 January, aged eighty-four. Born in Radøy on 31 October 1938, he studied at the Bergen Musikkonservatorium and became Organist and Master of the Choristers at Bergen Cathedral in 1971. During the same year he established and conducted the award-winning choir Bergen Domkantori. He also conducted various other choirs in the region.

Japanese composer Yoriaki Matsudaira died from pneumonia on 9 January, aged ninety-one, in Tokyo. Born in the same city on 27 March 1931, he was self-taught as a composer and mixed Japanese traditional music with Western elements. Although he mainly wrote chamber music, he also composed the 1960 opera Sara and his output also included electronic music, incidental music, jazz and orchestral music. He was also an academic scientist, and taught biology and physics at Rikkyo University in Tokyo.

German conductor and composer Siegfried Kurz died on 8 January, aged ninety-two. Born in Dresden on 18 July 1930, he studied composition, orchestral conducting and trumpet at the Dresden Academy of Music and Theatre, and began his career as a trumpeter. Later, conducting an extremely broad repertoire, he was an important personality on the Dresden music scene as conductor of Dresden Staatsoper and Staatskapelle. As a composer, he mostly wrote for orchestra, first in a rather playful neoclassical style, and later veering towards Bartók and serialism.

Greek composer, guitarist, columnist, radio producer, songwriter and teacher Notis Mavroudis died after falling three metres from the roof of his home in Koukourava, Makrinítsa on 3 January, aged seventy-seven. Born in Athens on 16 July 1945, he lived for the first two years of his life in prison - his mother was a political prisoner after the Greek Civil War. He began guitar lessons with Dimitris Fampas at the National Conservatory of Athens and then moved to Italy in 1970, teaching guitar at the Scuola Civica di Milano until 1975. Back in Greece in 1975, he taught guitar at the National Conservatory in Athens, and over the next few years, took part in festivals in East Berlin, Cuba and Hungary. He also performed in Austria and Switzerland, and recorded extensively. He founded and directed the Greek music magazine TaR, which metamorphosed into a digital version in 2006 in collaboration with guitarist and composer Kostas Grigoreas.

Notis Mavroudis (1945-2023)
Notis Mavroudis (1945-2023)

German stage director Kurt Horres died on 2 January, aged ninety. Born in Düsseldorf on 28 November 1932, he studied in Cologne and then at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf. He worked at the Komische Oper Berlin and then was general director of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, as well as working as a freelance stage director, mostly of opera.

Kurt Horres (1932-2023). Photo © Eduard Straub
Kurt Horres (1932-2023). Photo © Eduard Straub

British composer and teacher Andrew Downes died on 2 January, aged seventy-two.

Posted 4 January 2023 and last updated 12 January 2023 by Keith Bramich



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