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In Memoriam 2019






30 November 2019



Mariss Jansons, Renowned Conductor and Music Director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, the Royal Concertebeau Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Berliner Philharmoniker, and many others on the International music world - In Memoriam


St Petersburg, Russia


                        The Latvian conductor Mariss Jansons has died at home in St Petersburg at the age of 76. He was the Chief Conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, a post he'd held since 2003 and for over a decade alongside being Chief Conductor of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (2004-15).

                  Born in Riga, Jansons’s father was the conductor Arvīds Jansons. He studied in St Petersburg, working as Yevgeny Mravinsky’s assistant at the Leningrad Philharmonic. He entered the city’s Conservatory and studied the piano alongside conducting. He also worked in Vienna with Hans Swarowsky and in Salzburg with Herbert von Karajan, in whose conducting competition he took second place in 1971. (Karajan wanted Jansons to become his assistant in Berlin but the Soviet authorities ensured that Jansons never received the invitation.)

                 His first major post was as Assistant Conductor of the Leningrad Philharmonic, and his first orchestra the Oslo Philharmonic whose Music Director he became in 1979. He resigned in 2000 in protest at the city’s unwillingness to address the problem with acoustics of the Oslo Concert Hall. In 1997 he became  Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic and the same year was named Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a post he held until 2004.

                His last two roles were with the Bavarian and Amsterdam orchestras, but he was a regular guest with the world’s greatest ensembles, the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics and the London Symphony Orchestra among them. 

              Jansons’s career coincided with the enormous boom in classical recordings, and he made a large number of CDs for Chandos (his Oslo Philharmonic Tchaikovsky cycle not only established his reputation but also contributed to Chandos’s eminence in the classical recording field) and EMI for whom he recorded extensively, embracing the primarily the Russian repertoire. He also recorded for the Royal Concertgebouw's own label (including Bruckner and Mahler symphonies) and from his BRSO era many live recordings were released by BR-Klassik including a very fine Beethoven cycle where each symphony was juxtaposed with a contemporary response. He won a Gramophone Award in 2004 for the Grieg and Schumann piano concertos with Leif Ove Andsnes and the Berlin Philharmonic (EMI).

              A superb orchestral trainer, Jansons's Bavarian RSO was praised in Gramophone by Richard Osborne when reviewing the Beethoven cycle: 'As an ensemble, Jansons’s Bavarian orchestra is in a similar league to the prewar BBC SO under Toscanini or the Berlin Philharmonic at the time of Karajan’s celebrated 1961-62 cycle. The string playing is of superlative quality, its transparency enhanced by the dispensations favoured by Jansons: antiphonally divided violins, double basses to the left, cellos in front of the podium, violas to the righ



13 September 2019



Master Chief Musician Nicholas “Nick” J. Annase, Retired - Navy Career of 32 years and Senior Clarinet Instructor at the Naval School of Music in Little Creek, Virginia - In Memoriam


Norfolk, Virginia, USA


                         He entered the Navy in 1943 and was in the gun turret of the battleship USS NEW JERSEY during WWII. Nick proudly served in the United States Navy for 32 years. He was stationed in Newport, RI, the Navy School of Music in Washington, DC and the School of Music at Little Creek Amphibious Base in Norfolk, VA, where he was a senior instructor and Master Chief Musician. Nick enjoyed playing golf at Eagle Haven Golf Course, where he had a hole-in-one. He also loved playing on weekends with fellow musicians in the band, the Society of Seven. Following his retirement from the Navy, Nick taught private lessons and worked at Boykins music store. He had a great appreciation for the high school band directors that he encountered, and he was so proud of all the students that he taught. He loved hearing of their accomplishments.




3 April 2019



Major Al Bader (Retired) - Clarinetist and Executive Officer of The USAF Band in Washington - In Memoriam


Washington, DC USA


                   From The United States Air Force Band - Our very own retired Major Al Bader passed away on April 3, 2019 at the age of 94. Maj. Bader was known for giving us the concert band transcriptions of Andreas Makris’ “Aegean Festival Overture," and it is now a standard in the repertoire.


                  Maj. Al Bader was a native of St. Louis, and studied at the St. Louis Conservatory. He originally joined the AF Music Program in 1960 as an enlisted clarinet player (auditioned by Col. George Howard). Later he became an instructor at the USAF Bandsman School until it closed in 1964 and he rejoined the USAF Concert Band as their principal saxophonist. In 1965, he was selected by Col. Gabriel to be his assistant conductor and was commissioned. He retired from the Air Force in 1976.


                 Maj. Bader was a decorated war hero, having seen combat in the Pacific Theater during WWII as an Army infantryman where he served with the 40th Infantry at Guadalcanal, New Britain, and the assault landing at Luzon in the Philippines. Recalled by the Army, he also served in Korea during the Korean War. Major Al Bader will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery next to his dear wife.



31 March 2019



Former Truman State University Professor Richard Weerts - In Memoriam


Kirksville, Missouri USA


                      Former Truman State University professor Dr. Richard “Dick” Weerts (1928-2019) passed away on March 31, 2019. Weerts received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois in 1951, a Master of Arts from Columbia University in 1956, his Doctor of Education from Columbia University in 1960, and his Master of Arts from Northeast Missouri State University in 1973. Weerts taught in public schools before becoming a professor of music at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri in 1961. He served in this position as well as in the role of chair of the department of music until his retirement in 1994.

                    In addition to his work at Truman State, Weerts was the director of music at First United Methodist Church in Kirksville. He served in the United States Army from 1951-1955, served as the editor of the journal of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors beginning in 1968. He was the author of several books in the field of music education.

               Dr. Weerts is survived by two sons, Lawrence Weerts and Andrew Weerts; two daughters, Lynn Stephenson and husband Randall, and Christie Scott-Hamblin and husband Chris; 10 grandchildren and one great grandchild.




17 March 2019




VIP Wolfgang Meyer, Renowned German Klarinettist and Professor at the Hochschule fur Musik in Karlsruhe - In Memoriam


A video Tribute for Wolfgang Meyer


Baden Baden, Germany


              Wolfgang Meyer, born in Crailsheim, Germany, studied with Otto Hermann in Stuttgart and Hans Deinzer in Hannover. Already in 1969 and again in 1971 and 1973, he received first prize at the national „Jugend musiziert“ competition. In 1974 he was awarded the Kranichsteiner Music-Prize, in 1975 he was prizewinner, with the Syriny Quintet, at the International Music Competition of the ARD in Munich. This was followed by first prize at the Competition of the German Colleges of Music in 1976, and first prize at the 1977 German Music Competition in Bonn. Since 1989 Wolfgang Meyer has been Professor of Clarinet at the Karlsruhe College of Music, from 2001 to 2007 he was director of this College of Music (Musikhochschule).


             As soloist, Wolfgang Meyer places special emphasis on performances of contemporary works, including the many double concertos for flute and clarinet by Tiberiu Olah, Jean Francaix, Hubert Stupper, Peter Eötvös, and Edison Denissov.


             Since 1996 Wolfgang Meyer has performed regularly with the Concentus Musicus under the direction of Nicolaus Harnoncourt. He also recorded the Mozart clarinet concerto with them for Teldec.


            In the area of chamber music, Wolfgang Meyer works by preference in Trio di Clarone with his sister Sabine, in a trio with Hariolf Schlichtig and Rudi Spring, as well as in the Zemlinsky Trio. Moreover, Wolfgang Meyer maintains intensive partnerships with the Carmina Quartet and the Quatour Mosaiques, with whom he made a recently released recording of Mozarts Clarinet Quintet and Kegelstatt Trio on historical instruments for Astrée. In addition, Wolfgang Meyer has issued records on EMI, for whom he recorded the two Brahms Sonatas with the orchestra, on Amati, Bayer Records, Dabringhaus and Grimm, and Harmonia mundi France.


           Since 2004 he has played in the Lucerne Festival Orchestra under Claudio Abbado.




9 March 2019



Gerd Starke, Renowned Solo Clarinetist in the Bavarian Radio Symphony and the Berliner Philharmoniker and major Pedagogue in Germany - In Memoriam


Munich, Germany





28 February 2019



Sir Andre Previn - Renowned International Conductor, Recipient of several Grammy and Oscar Awards and Conductor of the Royal Philharmonic, London Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic amongst other great Orchestras - In Memoriam


New York City USA


VERY SAD NEWS  | Luminary Conductor, Pianist & Composer Sir André Previn Has Died – Aged 89.  

Celebrated German-American conductor, classical, pop and jazz pianist and composer Sir André Previn has passed away at his home in New York City following a short illness – aged 89.

Throughout his eclectic 7 decade career, he served as Music Director of the LA Philharmonic, London Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

He was the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize, four Academy Awards and ten Grammy Awards.

Sir Previn was married five times – including high profile relationships with actress Mia Farrow and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.

“Sad to think that Andre Previn has gone – such a lively, positive presence in London life for so many years … a charming, approachable man too,” cellist Steven Isserlis has today said via social media.

Our condolences are with his family, friends and colleagues.

The London Symphony Orchestra is deeply saddened to hear of the death of its Conductor Emeritus André Previn.

                 His relationship with the LSO spanned over 50 years, with his appointment as Principal Conductor in 1968 marking the start of a new era for the Orchestra. Under his leadership, the LSO performed to large audiences in the concert hall and on television, through André Previn’s Music Night, the show that turned Previn into a star and the LSO into a household name. He introduced new repertoire to the Orchestra, and many of the recordings made together remain definitive versions today.


                    André Previn stepped down as Principal Conductor in 1979 after eleven years – the longest term at the time – becoming Conductor Laureate in 1992 and Conductor Emeritus in 2016. As a pianist, conductor and composer, working in jazz, classical and film music, there was not a single area of music in which he did not excel. He will be deeply missed by everyone at the LSO and remembered with great affection.

Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO, said, 'André Previn is a hugely important part of the LSO story, long before LSO Discovery was established André Previn was reaching out to new audiences far and wide through television. A particular highlight for those of us lucky to be in the audience or listening on BBC Radio 3 in June 2015 was his glorious performance of Rachmaninov Symphony No 2, his final concert with us.'

Gareth Davies, Chairman and Principal Flute of the LSO, said, 'Like the majority of players in the present day LSO, André’s time as Principal Conductor had ended before I’d begun, but it was the stuff of legend and I was fortunate enough to be able to perform with him several times over the last twenty years. I will never forget hearing the 1970s recording of Previn conducting the LSO in Rachmaninov’s Second Symphony when I was about 15. It had me hooked. The sound, the phrasing, the passion. It changed the way I thought about orchestral music. When I got to play it a few years ago with André conducting, it was really a dream come true. André was one of a kind and a real friend to the LSO. We will all miss him.'

Andrew Marriner, LSO Principal Clarinet and life-long friend, said, 'André‘s music making thrilled me long before I was lucky enough to play with him: but when I did, it was the extraordinary sound he conjured from an orchestra, unmistakably his own, that dazzled. In Strauss, Walton, Rachmaninov and so much more, he drew the players into a deeply moving collaboration. His touch on the piano in Mozart concertos and in chamber music was divine, his compositions fabulously crafted. Never one to suffer fools, his wicked sense of humour could be sharp, always hilarious.'


                    André Previn's early musical career took place in Hollywood. Growing up in Los Angeles – after leaving Nazi Germany with his parents in 1939 – he found work in the Hollywood studio system, arranging and composing for films, and winning four Oscars for his work. Alongside this, he worked as a jazz pianist, touring and recording with some of the greatest names of the 1950s. During military service in the early 1950s, he met and took conducting lessons with Pierre Monteux, who would himself become LSO Principal Conductor a few years later.

                    Previn first conducted the LSO in 1965 for a recording for RCA, and became Principal Conductor three years later, after a tenure as Music Director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra. His wit, enthusiasm and the ease with which he moved within the broader entertainment industry brought a new energy, and he introduced the Orchestra to a broad repertoire, much of which was new to them, most notably his passion for 20th-century English music.

                   For many, Previn's era at the LSO is defined by his broadcast appearances with the Orchestra, chiefly on André Previn’s Music Night, which ran weekly in a prime-time slot on Saturday evenings during the early- to mid-1970s. More people watched the LSO on Music Night in one week than in 65 years of concerts, and Previn's appearance on the 1971 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special is still among the most popular moments of British TV comedy history.

                  Previn’s extensive discography, which runs to many thousands of entries, includes recordings still held up as the standard today, including the 1966 recording of Walton’s First Symphony – only his third appearance with the LSO – and Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, recorded in 1977.

                  Following his tenure as LSO’s Principal Conductor in 1979 Previn concentrated on his work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He later also held positions with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In recognition of his work with the LSO, he was invited to become Conductor Laureate in 1993, a position he held until 2016, after which he took up the newly created post of Conductor Emeritus. Throughout these years, Previn regularly appeared with the Orchestra.

                 He continued composing throughout his long career, and many of his works were given UK or European premieres by the LSO, including: the Cello Concerto (Douglas Cummings) in 1970; the Violin Sonata (Alexander Barantschik) in 1998; Diversions in 2000; the Violin Concerto 'Anne-Sophie' (Anne-Sophie Mutter) in 2002; the opera A Streetcar Named Desire in 2003; the Double Concerto for Violin, Contrabass and Orchestra (Anne-Sophie Mutter & Roman Patkolo) in 2008; and the Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (Anne-Sophie Mutter & Yuri Bashmet) in 2012.




6 February 2019


John Mohler, Renowned Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan - In Memoriam


Ann Arbor, Michigan USA


                   John D. Mohler was born October 30, 1929 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His earliest teachers include Joseph Leptich, clarinetist of the Lancaster Symphony and Salvadore Colangelo, Principal Clarinetist of the Harrisburg Symphony. After graduating from Litiz High School, Mohler continued his studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia studying under the tutelage of Ralph McLane, and served in the United State Marine Band and Orchestra for four years from 1950-1954 in Washington D.C. He received Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts in Clarinet Performance degrees from the University of Michigan under the study of William Stubbins. He served on the woodwind faculty at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, for two years before joining the University of Michigan School of Music faculty as an Assistant Professor of Clarinet and clarinetist in the University Woodwind Quintet in 1962. In addition to his faculty appointment as Professor of Clarinet, he served as the University of Michigan School of Music Wind and Percussion Instruments Department Chair from 1979-1994. In 1979, he received the Harold Haugh Award in Excellence and in 1986 received the University of Michigan School of Music Outstanding Studio Teacher Award. Mohler was also awarded the University of Michigan School of Music Alumni Society Citation of Merit in 1992. The John Mohler Clarinet Scholarship was endowed in 1993 to provide annual scholarships for students majoring in clarinet at the University of Michigan. Mohler retired from the University of Michigan in 1994 and the Regents awarded him Professor Emeritus of Music. In 2003, Mohler was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Clarinet Association. In 2012, Mohler was honored with the University of Michigan Band Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award. John Mohler maintains his role as mentor even in retirement and many of his students now hold teaching, performance, and university faculty positions across the country. His ongoing enthusiasm and rapport has affected numerous students and their careers. He possesses the willingness to share his knowledge and expertise in an in-depth and personal manner. John Mohler's biographical and teaching doctrine is underrepresented and recorded, and the personal narrative interviews will help to provide an insight into the life and teachings of John Mohler.







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     Revised: January 10, 2020