John Duffy, Composer, Dies at 89

 John Duffy, the founder and longtime director of Meet the Composer, an organization created to promote contemporary music and place composers in residence with American orchestras, died on Dec. 22, 2015 at his home in Norfolk, Va. He was 89. NYTimes obit | Schott music... John Duffy was one of the last of a breed of American visionary artist-impresarios...; these veritable forces of nature who built from the ground-up, who dared to do the impossible, and in so doing, would forever change the landscape of American contemporary performing arts. - Fred Ho John Duffy has composed more than 300 works for symphony orchestra, theater, television and film. His music has earned many awards including two Emmys, an ASCAP award for special recognition in film and television music, a New York State Governor’s Art Award and the (New York City) Mayor’s Award of Honor for Arts and Culture. ----see more at Schott Music link

Snuff Garrett, Record Producer Who Made a String of Hits, Dies at 77

Thomas Lesslie "Snuff" Garrett (July 5, 1938 – December 16, 2015) was an American record producer whose most famous work was during the 1960s and 1970s. 

His nickname is a derivation of Levi Garrett, a brand of snuff. WIKIPEDIA Snuff Garrett, a former Texas disc jockey who was forsaken by his own music teachers but became a millionaire by the time he was 30 producing records for Bobby Vee, Del Shannon, Gary Lewis & the Playboys and other artists, died on Dec. 16 in Tucson. He was 77. NYTimes Obit

Kurt Masur Dies at 88; Conductor Transformed New York Philharmonic

Kurt Masur (18 July 1927 – 19 December 2015)
  NYTimes obit Kurt Masur, the music director emeritus of the New York Philharmonic, who was credited with transforming the orchestra from a sullen, lackluster ensemble into one of luminous renown, died on Saturday December 19, 2015, in Greenwich, Conn. He was 88. Masur was born in Brieg, Lower Silesia, Germany (now Brzeg in Poland) and studied piano, composition and conducting in Leipzig, Saxony. Masur was married three times. His first marriage ended in divorce. He and his second wife, Irmgard, had a daughter, Carolin. Irmgard Masur died in 1972 in a car accident in which Masur was severely injured. His marriage to his third wife, the former Tomoko Sakurai, produced a son, Ken-David, a classical singer and conductor WIKIPEDIA VIDEO:

Heinz Fricke (February 11, 1927 – December 7, 2015)

Heinz Fricke, the East German conductor who had an unlikely late-career renaissance as the beloved music director of the Washington National Opera and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, died Dec. 7 near Berlin. He was 88. WASHINGTON POST Obit

 Heinz Fricke was a German conductor. From 1961 to 1992 he held the position of Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. He also worked at the Den Norske Opera. In 2010 Fricke announced his retirement after 18 years with the Washington National Opera and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra (he was appointed to both in 1993). He was the honorary Music Director Emeritus of the WNO and the KCOHO.

 VIDEO: Heinz Fricke 


John Eaton, Composer and Electronic Innovator, Dies at 80

 John Eaton, an avant-garde composer of operas both grandiose and chamber-size and an early proponent of synthesizer music, died on Dec. 2 in Manhattan. He was 80. NYTimes Obit

John Charles Eaton (March 30, 1935 – December 2, 2015) was an American composer (Anon. n.d.(a); Morgan 2001), recipient of the Prix de Rome, Guggenheim Fellow (Morgan 2001), MacArthur Fellow and professor emeritus of composition at the University of Chicago (Anon. 2008). WIKIPEDIA

VIDEO: The Greeks: Ancient and Modern, part I by John Eaton, composer; Marcy Richardson, soprano; with two pianos tuned quarter tone apart. 

Mattiwilda Dobbs, Soprano and Principal at Met, Dies at 90

Mattiwilda Dobbs, a coloratura soprano who was the third African-American to appear as a principal singer with the Metropolitan Opera, died on Tuesday, 8 Dec 2015, at her home in Atlanta. She was 90. Mattiwilda Dobbs (July 11, 1925 – December 8, 2015) was an African-American coloratura soprano and one of the first black singers to enjoy a major international career in opera. Possessing a small but buoyant voice, Dobbs was admired for her refined vocal technique and lively interpretations. NYTimes Obit | Wikipedia

 VIDEO: Rare and unknown voices - MATTIWILDA DOBBS