Monday, July 05, 2021

Obits from the Last Couple of Weeks

Mimi Stern-Wolfe, pianist and impressario, died recently. She was a social activist whose callings included low-cost concerts, concerts in unusual locations (like the lower east side), and annual concerts devoted to composers who died of AIDS. RIP, Miriam Stern-Wolfe; you were one of the good ones. Read her obituary by Neil Genzlinger at the Times.

Two famous composers died in the last few weeks, composers whose works are widely admired. In the days following each of their deaths, we learned that both had been sexually inappropriate toward women.  One of them was emotionally abusive to some young composers at master classes, calling their compositions garbage and berating them. It's utterly beyond me why you would invite someone to teach after that kind of behavior. Don't tell me nobody knew. I expect that Rzewski's behavior, especially, was well known in the field. I'm not going to cite folks who discussed this on social media, but I have no reason to disbelieve them.

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