RIP Robert Mann (1920-2018)

Robert Mann

Saddened by the death of Robert Mann. A founding member of the Juilliard String Quartet, Mann was its first violinist for decades as well as a master teacher and composer: his melodramas are memorable pieces. Countless quartets benefited from his guidance.

Mann was one of the finest musicians I ever encountered. I am truly glad that he was active during my time at Juilliard.

RIP Klaus Huber (1924-2017)

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The formidable Swiss pedagogue and composer Klaus Huber died last week, aged 92. Among his students were Kaija Saariaho, Wolfgang Rihm, Brian Ferneyhough, and Toshio Hosokawa,

Below is one of my favorite works by the composer, his Quintet for Strings, performed by the Arditti Quartet and violist Garth Knox.

Einojuhani Rautavaara (1928-2016)

I’m sad to report that composer Einojuhani Rautavaara has passed away at age 87. He continued to be active until the very end, with a premiere just last month. Orpheus singt (video), a setting of Rainer Maria Rilke for a cappella chorus, was performed by SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, directed by Marcus Creed.

 

Ursula Mamlok (1923-2016)

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I’m sad to learn of the passing of Ursula Mamlok, a persuasive composer of elegant post-tonal works. Like Ralph Shapey and Stefan Wolpe, her compositions referred to serialism while also retaining pitch centricity as a unifying principle.One can hear a particularly compelling example, her Concerto for Oboe and Chamber Orchestra, below.

I met Ms. Mamlok twice, once at a concert and once at a grad school audition at MSM. I was struck by her keen intellect and insightful comments.