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Nicholas Maw Obituary

Nicholas Maw

Nicholas Maw, British Composer, Dies at 73

By Allan Kozinn
New York Times

Nicholas Maw, a British composer best known for a sumptuous Violin Concerto he composed for Joshua Bell and a powerfully emotional opera based on William Styron's 1979 novel "Sophie's Choice," died on Tuesday at his home in Washington. He was 73.

Norman Ryan, the New York representative for Faber Music, Mr. Maw's publisher, said the cause of death was heart failure, with complications of diabetes and dementia.

Mr. Maw composed "Sophie's Choice" over six years, mostly at his home in Lot, France, after watching the film version on video. He said he was moved by the story, told through the eyes of a young aspiring writer from the South, about a Polish Catholic survivor of Auschwitz and her brilliant but troubled Jewish lover in postwar Brooklyn. The opera had its premiere at Covent Garden in London in 2002.

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