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Cornelius Cardew

Source: The Musical Times, Vol. 123, No. 1668 (Feb., 1982), p. 120
Published by: Musical Times Publications Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/962331
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Obituary
Harold Blackburn, the bass, died in London cordance with his Maoist outlook, composed Donald Peart, Emeritus Professor of the
on 27 November; he was 56. He made his only in a conventional language designed to University of Sydney, died in Sydney on 26
debut with the Carl Rosa Company in 1947, have a wide appeal and wrote works with an November; he was 72. He was born in
and the next year joined Sadler's Wells, re-explicitly revolutionary political content. He Wiltshire and educated at Cheltenham Col-
maining with that company (as the English embodied his thoughts on the contemporary lege, Oxford (where he read classics), and the
National Opera) up to the time of his death.scene in his book Stockhausen serves Im- RCM, where he studied with Vaughan Wil-
He was noted for the sharpness of his perialism (1974). Cardew was the focal figure liams and R.O. Morris (composition), as well
characterizations in both comic and serious of the British avant garde of the 1960s and as violin and viola and conducting (under
70s.
roles; his repertory was wide, including many W.H. Reed and Constant Lambert). After war
Italian and French roles, Hunding and Ochs. service he was appointed foundation Profes-
Hershy Kay, the American composer andsor ar-of Music in the University of Sydney, oc-
ranger who orchestrated many Broadway cupying the chair 1948-74; he received the
Cornelius Cardew, the composer, died inmusicals,
a died on 2 December; he was 62.honorary doctorate there in 1979.
road accident on 13 December; he was 43. He His life's work was in Sydney, and the in-
fluence of his original creative mind on the
was a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral and
Walter Lear, the clarinettist and sax- development of music in Australia has been
studied at the RAM, then at Cologne where
ophonist, died on 25 December; he was 87. decisive. He insisted on high scholarly stan-
he served as an assistant to Stockhausen,
dards in his department and a wide view of
His working life spanned 70 years - his first
especially in the composition of Carre'. He
later studied under Petrassi in Rome. In 1967 engagements were at the age of nine. He was music as a university study. He early insti-
associated with many of the principal Londontuted courses in medieval music; he founded a
he became a professor at the RAM. At first he
orchestras, including the BBC SO (over 23 Pro Musica Society, one of whose first perfor-
was a post-Webernist, but after contact with
years), the LSO, the ROH Orchestra and mances was of J.-J. Rousseau's Le devin du
John Cage and David Tudor he turned to in-
RPO (20 years); he was noted as a bass village; and as early as 1953 he instituted and
determinacy and in particular to the use of
clarinet and basset horn player. He played all
encouraged work in ethnomusicology, seeing
suggestive verbal or graphic notations as in
the main saxophone concertos and taught the the advantages of Australia's position in the
the briefly notorious Octet '61, issued as an
Pacific for such studies. Later, his tireless
instrument at Trinity College of Music for 50
MT supplement (Cardew was a trained
years. championship of Australian composers led to
graphic designer, and drew beautifully: for
many first performances and to the great
some years he drew the music examples for
flourishing of Australian music in the 1960s
MT). This phase is typified by Treatise Lotte Lenya, the singer, died in New York
and 70s. At the time of his death he was work-
(1963-7). He became linked with such ex- on 27 November; she was 83. Married to the
perimentalists as Wolff and Feldman, as well composer Kurt Weill, she first became widely ing on a history of solo viol music in England,
a subject that had occupied him for some 50
as John Tilbury. He worked in an experimen- known through her creation of the role of Jen-
tal, improvising group from 1966 called ny in the Brecht - Weill Die Dreigroschenoper years. PP.P
AMM, who used live electronic methods; he in Berlin in 1928. She also created Anna in Regino Sainz de la Maza, the Spanish
generally played the cello or the piano. His Die sieben Todsiinden (1933) and other Weill guitarist for whom Rodrigo's Concierto de
philosophical curiosity led him to Confucius roles in her husband's American period. She Aranjuez was composed, died in Madrid on 26
and The Great Learning, which he set (for un- had a remarkable voice, harsh and searing November; he was 85.
trained performers) in 1968-70; some of it rather than beautiful, and used it powerfully,
was written for his Scratch Orchestra (see his with irony and passion, to drive home the Gabriel Verschraegen, the Belgian organist
and composer, organist of St Baaf's
article in MT, cx (1969), 617), which often im- message of the words; she also took part in
provised and used aleatory methods. In the ballet, theatre and films, but will chiefly Cathedral,
be Ghent, and director of the conser-
early 1970s, however, Cardew turned awayremembered as a great diseuse of exceptional vatory there, died on 13 November; he was
from the extremes of avant gardism and, in ac- dramatic insight. 62.

The Schiitz Choir of London, under Roger Norr- Music and Paintings is the name of a series of five La Scala plans for 1982 include Anna Bolena,
ington, celebrate their 20th anniversary on 6 concerts at the Tate Gallery (22 Feb - 26 April); L 'italiana in Algeri, Otello, Les troyens and Le nozze di
February with the same programme as their d6but music from Debussy to Stockhausen has been chosen Figaro.
recital in 1962 (Schfitz's Deutsches Magnificat, Die to complement art from Renoir to Rauschenberg and
Musical Instruments Fair, Frankfurt, 13- 17 Feb:
sieben Worte, Musicalische Exequien). will be played by the Koenig Ensemble under Jan
Latham-Koenig. Abbeygate are offering an inclusive package of travel,
The Friends of the Guildhall School of Music accommodation and admission to the fair. Details

and Drama are presenting a gala evening at Sadler's from Abbeygate's Trade Fairs Department, The
Wells Theatre on 7 February to raise funds for addi- Parade, Oadby, Leicester.
Opera 80 plans for 1982 include a new production
tional practice rooms, good instruments to loan and The Michael James Music Trust will be
of Die Fledermaus and a revival of the Marriage of
bursaries; artists will include Evans, Bainbridge, Figaro in their tour of Exeter, Stafford, Carn Brea, inaugurated with a concert at St Michael's, Cornhill,
Cahill, Luxon, Palmer, Glickman, Gruenberg,
Weymouth, Street, Weston-super-Mare, Reading, on 18 Feb, at 6, with Sir George Thalben-Ball,
Takeno and Pleeth.
Ipswich, Lincoln, Bridgnorth, Aylesbury, Ulverston, Jonathan Rennert, singers and instrumentalists; the
Preston, Ashington, Darlington, Scunthorpe and trust commemorates Michael James, who died last
Verdi's 'Oberto' is to be given its British stage
premiere by University College Opera at the Colle- Bury St Edmunds. year at the age of 30 (he studied at the RCM,
giate Theatre, London, at 7.30 p.m. on 17, 19 and 20 Durham and Cambridge, taught at Canford, was
February. assistant organist at Wimborne Minster and at the
The London Bach Orchestra toured in western time of his death had been appointed to a similar post
Music Today at the Round House includes concerts Europe last month under Robert Cornford, with a
at Rochester Cathedral). Further information from
by Singcircle (7 Feb), the Mike Westbrook Orchestra British Council guarantee of ?10,000; they resume
the Administrative Trustee, 45 East Street,
(14 Feb) and the Fires of London (7 March). their South Bank monthly series on 5 March. Wimborne, Dorset.

120

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