The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: They were silenced too soon. Here are prominent deaths in the classical music world in 2011. Plus PBS offers a live broadcast tonight of a New Year’s Eve concert of music by Gershwin and Bernstein.

December 31, 2011
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AN ALERT: Just a reminder than the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, all under the baton of Alan Gilbert, will perform an all-American concert of music by George Gershwin (below) and Leonard Bernstein TONIGHT — New Year’s Eve —  from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wisconsin Public Television. The live broadcast is part of PBS’ award-winning “Live From Lincoln Center” series that is produced by UW-Madison alumnus John Goberman. The program features the Piano Concerto in F and “Rhapsody in Blue” by Gershwin plus Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide” and the Symphonic Dances From “West Side Story.” For more information, visit:

By Jacob Stockinger

The end of the year is always a time of mixed emotions.

We toast Cheers to a Happy New Year. Yet all the whole we are looking over our shoulder and behind us at what losses the past year brought us.

This past year did not strike me as a sad one for the number of deaths of prominent figures in the world of classical music so much as for the unexpectedness of so many of the deaths, which came to people who, by today’s standards, were too young to leave us and their profession or art.

The much heralded tenor Salvatore Licitra (below), who was frequently hailed as the successor to superstar Luciano Pavarotti but who died in a motorbike accident, is a prime example.

One senses that so many of these figures had much more to say and to add to their legacies, whether as performers or composers.

Here is a West Coast site with a photo gallery:,0,4127772.photogallery

And here is another slide show from the East Coast. Be sure to read the Comments:

And here is a list of mixed genres from NPR:

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