2013: The World Has Lost Some Classical Music Greats

Sir Colin Davis (1928-2013)(Photo: decca)
Sir Colin Davis (1928-2013)(Photo: decca)

Of the notables in music who died in 2013:

Conductor James DePreist (1937-2013)  I’m sure he grew tired of being the pioneer for the African-American conductor. He was that, and a very exciting musician, long time music director of the Oregon Symphony and a prolific recording artist. He was the nephew of contralto Marian Anderson .


Pianist Van Cliburn (1935-2013) Many think his career never survived the astonishing publicity of his 1958 win of the Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow. America kicked Soviet butt. Cliburn came home to a ticker-tape parade. He was the public’s darling and the critics whipping boy. The Van Cliburn International Piano Cmpetition, held every three years in his home town of Fort Worth TX, gives careers to the younger generation. If his own career gave him little pleasure, his recordings and his appearances were cheered to the walls.


Sir Colin Davis (1928-2013) British conductor, revived the music of Berlioz, long time director of the Royal Opera Covent Garden, principal conductor of the Boston Symphony and many, many others.

Henri Dutilleux (1916-2013) French composer who in his last years wrote Le temps d’horloge (Time and the Clock) for Renee Fleming

Sir John Tavener (1944-2013) When Tavener’s Song for Athene  was sung at Princess Diana’s funeral, phones were ringing off the walls worldwide. What was that music? It was one of many works written over a fifty year career by an English composer steeped in Orthodoxy.


Wolfgang Sawallisch (1924-2013)  Music Director of The Philadelphia Orchestra 1993-2003. He had led the Vienna Symphony from 1960-1970 and Switzerland’s L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. One of the last conductors to work directly with composer Richard Strauss (1864-1849) Sawallisch’s performances and recordings of Strauss’ operas have been considered definitive.

Patrice Chereau (1945-2013) French director, playwright and dramaturg. Chereau directed the centennial production of Wagner’s Ring der Nibelung at Bayreuth in 1876. The action was updated to the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th century. Public and critics booed one moment and cheered the next. Chereau also directed the restored complete version of Alban Berg’s Lulu for the  Paris Opera  in 1980. 




For a complete list:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_in_classical_music