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September 2009 Archives

Leon Kirchner Obituary

Albany TROY906

Leon Kirchner, Composer and Teacher, Dies at 90

By Anthony Tommasini
New York Times

September 17, 2009

Leon Kirchner, the eminent American composer who was also a pianist, a conductor and an influential teacher, died on Thursday at his home on Central Park West in Manhattan. He was 90. The cause was congestive heart failure, said his daughter, Lisa Kirchner.

Mr. Kirchner’s early music was strongly influenced by Bartók and Stravinsky. But a formative experience studying at the University of California, Los Angeles, with Arnold Schoenberg, the towering Austrian composer and pioneer of the 12-tone technique, set Mr. Kirchner on a lifelong creative path. Although he came to identify completely with the aesthetic of Schoenberg, Berg and Webern, he was an instinctive composer who never adopted the rigorous procedures of 12-tone composition.

Read more about this at the New York Times website:

Passing of a Cinncinati Icon

Erich Kunzel - Courtesy of Wolf Trap

Erich Kunzel Dies at 74

By Janelle Gelfand

An era has ended. Erich Kunzel, 74, Cincinnati's music man for more than 44 years, has died.

Orchestra members learned today that Kunzel died this morning at a hospital in Bar Harbor, Maine, near his home on Swan's Island. Information about memorial services was not immediately available. The Pops maestro is survived by his wife of 44 years, Brunhilde. The couple's homes are in Newport, Ky.; Naples, Fla.; and Swan's Island.

"The world has lost a musical giant and we have lost a dear friend," said Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra President Trey Devey in a statement released today by the orchestra. "Erich Kunzel built the Cincinnati Pops into one of the best known orchestras in the world and is not only beloved in Cincinnati, but around the globe. Today we honor his tremendous legacy and offer our deepest sympathies to Brunhilde and their entire family."

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my friend and colleague Erich Kunzel," said Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Music Director Paavo Järvi in the same statement. "He was a remarkable spirit and a tremendous musician. His many years of music making with the Cincinnati Pops brought joy to literally millions, and I join with our community in Cincinnati as well as his fans around the world in mourning the loss of this great musical icon."

Read more about this at the Cinncinati Enquirer website: