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Classical 101

In Memoriam: Musicians Who Died in 2014

Licia Albanese, soprano (1910-2014)  Toscanini's choice for his broadcasts of La boheme and La traviata; Over four hundred performances at the Metropolitan Opera between 1940 and 1966; Stole the show in Follies with the New York Philharmonic in 1985; Albanese gave me quite the pithy interview when she was a youngster, at 98: "I tell-a studenti, no worry! Make mistake! Be brave! Coraggio!" Claudio Abbado, conductor (1933-2013) His Mozart symphonies, Orchestral works by Brahms and Mahler, operas of Verdi, in everything Abbado was spectacular. In his later years he conducted the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, which he formed to employ emerging music students. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-DuGL-wTG0 Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, conductor (1933-2013) Spanish-German conductor, prolific recording artist, who conducted Carmen with fire; Fruhbeck "got" the architecture of a Bruckner Symphony that eluded others. Stephen Paulus, composer (1940-2014) Paulus never recovered from a devastating stroke in 2012. He was the choral musicians best friend. His music has all the color and accessibility that made him a success for decades, not forgetting a sophistication that kept us all wanting more. He was in Columbus at  few years ago and I knew him to be a kind and humble man. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spFFdQjMDWk Loren Maazel, conductor (1930-2014) Conducted the New York Philharmonic before his 12th birthday. He was the Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. His late career appointment as Music Director of the New York Philharmonic had the musical press fuming "too old, too cerebral, not box-office." Maazel  fooled them all, bring that venerable new orchestra back to life. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2VYn-KDClI Carlo Bergonzi, tenor (1924-2014) My favorite tenor, he died a week after his 90th birthday. The famous Three were more robust  and louder voices, but no one matched Bergonzi for beauty of tone, legato, and musicianship. Jose Feghali, pianist (1961-2014) Born in Brazil,  Feghali won the gold medal at the 1985 Van Cliburn Competition. He became an expert recording engineer and in later years gave a number of talks on the latest recording technology. Feghali had been artist in residence at Texas Christian University since 1990. His death was reported as a suicide. Magda Olivero soprano (1909-2015) You don't live to be 106 without being able to kick butt and take  names. Olivero had a thread of a voice and an electric stage presence that sometimes bordered on camp. She specialized in the verismo operas of the early 20th century. Puccini's Tosca was a signature role, introducing Olivero to the Met  in 1975, at the age of 66. The ovations lasted longer than the performance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6o8G9sHKYM Christopher Hogwood, conductor (1941-2014) Was part of the early music revival of the late 1960s, dusting off not only J.S. Bach but Monteverdi, Frescobaldi, and a host of composers born before 1700; founder of the  Academy of Ancient Music; recorded prolifically from the Bach Passions to symphonies by Mozart and Mendelssohn.