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Conductor Franz-Paul Decker (1923-2014)

Maestro Franz-Paul Decker was a conductor of international reputation who was appointed the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s first Conductor Laureate in 1995. This unique honour recognised his 40-year association as Guest Conductor, Principal Conductor, and Chief Conductor of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and his significant influence on orchestral performance in New Zealand. Franz-Paul Decker had a “love affair” with the NZSO since he first conducted it in 1966, when he was “very positively surprised [by its] highly professional musicians. Decker was born in Cologne, Germany, where he studied at the Hochschule für Musik with Philip Jarnach and Eugen Papst. He made his conducting début at the age of 22 at the Cologne Opera, and four years later was appointed to the Staatsoper Wiesbaden and subsequently to the positions of conductor of the Wiesbaden Symphony Orchestra and Generalmusikdirecktor in Bochum. In 1948, Decker was introduced to the composer Richard Strauss at a card game of whist. Strauss casually mentioned that he had just finished orchestrating four songs he had recently composed (the Four Last Songs). wikipedia

Julius Rudel, Longtime Impresario and Conductor of City Opera, Dies at 93

Julius Rudel, the Austrian-born conductor who raised the New York City Opera to a venturous golden age with highbrow music for the masses and a repertory that, like him, bridged the Old and New Worlds, died on Thursday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93. NYTimes Obit
Julius Rudel (6 March 1921 – 26 June 2014) was an American opera and orchestra conductor. He was born in Vienna and was a student at the city's Academy of Music, but emigrated to the United States at the age of 17 in 1938 after the country was annexed by Germany. He studied conducting at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. After completing his music studies, he joined the New York City Opera. Wikipedia

Johnny Mann dies at 85; Grammy-winning conductor and arranger


The Johnny Mann Singers performed on his syndicated "Stand Up and Cheer," which ran from 1971 to 1974. As the titled suggested, it was upbeat and included patriotic segments during the era of protests against the Vietnam War. Mann's group was a staple of recordings and TV shows in the 1950s and '60s, he died Wednesday 18 JUN 2014, at his home in Anderson, S.C. He was 85. Mann had been treated for heart problems in recent years. Johnny Mann (August 30, 1928 – June 18, 2014) was an American arranger, composer, conductor, entertainer, and recording artist. Wikipedia

Horace Silver, 85, Master of Earthy Jazz, Is Dead

Mr. Silver, a pianist, composer and bandleader, wrote and performed music that was both sophisticated and accessible. Horace Silver was born Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silva, September 2, 1928 and died June 18, 2014. An American jazz pianist and composer. Silver known for his distinctively humorous and funky playing style and for his pioneering compositional contributions to hard bop. He was influenced by a wide range of musical styles, notably gospel music, African music, and Latin American music and sometimes ventured into the soul jazz genre. Wikipedia

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, 80, Dies

Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos (born Rafael Frühbeck; 15 September 1933, Burgos, Spain – 11 June 2014, Pamplona, Spain was a Spanish conductor and composer. As a youth, he studied violin, piano, and composition at the conservatories of Bilbao and Madrid. He first took up conducting while on military service in the Spanish Army. He graduated summa cum laude from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich in conducting and won the Richard Strauss Prize. He subsequently took the professional surname Frühbeck de Burgos as his artist name, which includes the name of his city of birth.Wikipedia | NYTimes Obit

David Nadien, Philharmonic Concertmaster, Is Dead at 88

David Nadien, a violinist whose appointment as concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic raised eyebrows because of his thriving career as a studio musician, died on May 28 2014 in Manhattan. He was 88. NYTimes Obit