THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

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dulcinea
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THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

Post by dulcinea » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:10 pm

:( I just finished watching LA BAMBA, and when I saw Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and Big Bopper take flight on the plane where they would die, I realized that the skies have not been very friendly towards musicians. Hank Williams, Ricky Nelson, John Denver, Carlos Gardel, ...: how many musical performers have died in aircraft crashes?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

piston
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Post by piston » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:20 pm

William Kapell surely counts among the greatest airplane related losses in the world of classical music. It occurred as he was returning from a tour in Australia:
He spent his last summer in Australia, where he played 37 concerts in 14 weeks, appearing in Sydney, Melbourne, and regional cities such as Bendigo, Shepparton, Albury, Horsham and Geelong. It was in Geelong that Kapell played his last performance on October 22 shortly before setting off on his doomed return flight to the United States. The plane hit Kings Mountain, south of San Francisco, on the morning of October 29, 1953; all of the crew and passengers were killed instantly.

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:25 pm

This belongs in the Pub as it has nothing to do with classical music, but my impressionistic answer is that the dumb jackasses didn't have enough sense to book safe flights. Sorry.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

dulcinea
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Post by dulcinea » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:57 pm

jbuck919 wrote:This belongs in the Pub as it has nothing to do with classical music,
Gardel is THE classic singer of tango; every singer of tango since his death in 1935 has been influenced by him.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

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Post by Ralph » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:08 pm

Guido Cantelli, Toscanini's appointed heir, died when his plane crashed on takeoff from Paris's Orly Airport. He was on his way, against his wish, to conduct the New York Philharmonic which had threatened him with a lawsuit if he breached his contract. Toscanini was never told of his death and for the last year or two of his life was fed false messages from the deceased conductor.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:12 pm

dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:This belongs in the Pub as it has nothing to do with classical music,
Gardel is THE classic singer of tango; every singer of tango since his death in 1935 has been influenced by him.
I didn't know tango was sung, but in any case, and I hate to break the news to you, tango is only considered classical because of Astor Piazzolla, and even at that it is extremely dubious.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Mar 17, 2007 10:21 pm

Eduardo Mata was killed in a plane crash as well.
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Post by Harold Tucker » Sat Mar 17, 2007 11:05 pm

Hank Williams died in the back seat of an automobile. You may substitute Patsy Cline for him.

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Post by Lance » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:48 am

Then there was soprano Grace Moore, and violinists Ginette Neveu (and her piano-playing brother, Jean Neveu) and Jacques Thibaud. The great tango singer Carlos Gardel (Charles Gardes) died in an air crash. The most prominent ones have previously been mentioned. Tenor David Poleri died in a helicopter crash (in Hawaii), as did Philppa Duke Schyler, the pianist (both in 1967).
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Post by Lance » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:50 am

This could also be a classical music subject since it involves classical musicians as well.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:53 am

Lance wrote:This could also be a classical music subject since it involves classical musicians as well.
Yeah. That's why I didn't move it, although I was tempted by the initial post. The way people have responded to it saved it for the music room.
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Post by MaestroDJS » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:37 am

In addition to plane crashes, Classical Music Lists by Herbert Kupferberg lists several unnatural deaths among composers:

Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888): died when he reached for a copy of the Talmud on a high shelf, and the entire bookcase fell on him and crushed him to death.

Ernest Chausson (1855-1899): lost control of his bicycle on a hill and smashed into a wall.

Enrique Granados (1867-1916): after the world première of his opera Goyescas at the Metropolitan opera in New York, he sailed back to Europe on the S. S. Sussex, and drowned after the ship was sunk by a German submarine.

Jean Marie Leclair (1697-1764): stabbed to death in his own home, by assailants unknown, although his estranged wife might have been responsible.

Jena-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687): while conducting, he struck his foot with a large cane which he used to beat the rhythm, and later died after gangrene and blood poisoning developed.

Alessandro Stradella (1644-1682): murdered. In addition to his activities as a composer, Stradella was also an embezzler, and he had many enemies due to his many affairs with the wives and mistresses of the nobility. After at least one failed assassination attempt, a hired killer eventually caught up with Stradella in Genoa.

Anton von Webern (1883-1945): unaware than a curfew had been declared in post-World-War-II occupied Austria, one evening he stepped outside his daughter's house near Salzburg and was shot to death by a US soldier.

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Post by rasputin » Sun Mar 18, 2007 7:52 am

Albéric Magnard was killed by the germans in his home,during IWW.
They burned the house,with all of his unpublished works.

piston
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Post by piston » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:03 am

rasputin wrote:Albéric Magnard was killed by the germans in his home,during IWW.
They burned the house,with all of his unpublished works.
That's an intriguing story. Apparently, he had his family evacuate the family estate but he stayed behind. When the German cavalry showed up on his property, one version states that he started shooting at them :roll:
In any case, we're sort of drifting away from plane crashes here :D

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Post by dulcinea » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:03 am

Harold Tucker wrote:Hank Williams died in the back seat of an automobile. You may substitute Patsy Cline for him.
:( Thanks for the clarification. I should have remembered it was Patsy Cline, since I had also seen Jessica Lange in SWEET DREAMS.
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

rasputin
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Post by rasputin » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:13 am

Oskar Reiss (Ossy Renardy),a very good violinist,died on a car accident
in NYC. Kreisler almost died from an other car accident in NYC. Car
drivers in NYC hate violinists. :shock: :shock:

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Post by Evelyn Laden » Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:40 am

Why specialize in flight-caused deaths? Morbid as that is, deaths by accident are tragic whatever their cause! Perhaps among the worst such tragedies was the untimely death of Australian pianist Bruce Hungerford. It was caused by a drunken fireman who was driving his large Oldsmobile in the wrong lane, crashing with the little Hunda Civic in which Hungerford, his 90-year-old mother, his newly married niece and her husband were riding home from a lecture Bruce had given on Egypt at Rockefeller University on January 26, 1977. All four occupants of that little Honda Civic were killed. The fireman - as so often and unfairly happens in such cases - got away with a broken leg. Hungerford had just begun to be somewhat better known, had recorded 22 of the Beethoven Sonatas, all of which he intended to record. Identifying the four bodies of Hungerford and his family the next morning at the Medical Examiner's office/mortunary in New York, which Werner Isler and I were asked to do the next morning is one memory I'd prefer to forget. My guess is that far more musicians of all types are likely to have lost their lives due to car accidents than to air crashes. Logical, of course: I don't know the ratio of cars to planes, but lots more of the former.
Have any musicians died in accidents involving ships?

piston
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Post by piston » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:22 pm

I'm sorry about my comment, Evelyn. You're right, a tragedy is a tragedy. We had already touched on the loss of great pianists by car accidents, if you will recall, such as Robert Casadesus in Canada. But this thread is an opportunity to enumerate and to elaborate further.
best regards

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:44 pm

Evelyn Laden wrote: Have any musicians died in accidents involving ships?
Granados
Charles Cameron

Probably the most famous musicians ever to perish at sea:
Wallace H. Hartley
Fred Clarke
P.C. Taylor
G. Krins
Theodore Brailey
Jock Hume
J.W. Woodward
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Gurn Blanston
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Post by Gurn Blanston » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:50 pm

Oh, I thought this was going to be about the death of Antonin Dvorak, given the title... :cry:

8)
Regards,
Gurn

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Post by johnQpublic » Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:41 pm

American composer, Stephen Albert, died in a car crash.
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Post by Donald Isler » Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:51 pm

Actually, it was Jean Casadesus who died in an auto accident, not his father, Robert.
Donald Isler

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:10 pm

Freom the deep recesses of my mind I seem to recall that Gieseking was struck by a car while crossing the road and died shortly thereafter.

Dennis Brain was killed in a car accident as well.
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Post by MaestroDJS » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:33 pm

For a truly tragic case in which the music died but the composer lived on, consider French composer Maurice Ravel. Apparently he had a nervous disorder for most of his life, which sometimes manifested itself in insomnia and hypertension. In 1932 Ravel was involved in an automobile accident which was not fatal, but unfortunately it essentially killed his career as a composer. He suffered a concussion from which he never fully recovered, and which eventually resulted in aphasia, or more correctly, amusia. Aphasia is a loss or impairment of the ability to produce and/or comprehend language, due to brain damage.

For the remaining 5 years of his life, Ravel could still think musically, but could no longer express his ideas in writing or performance, except during intervals of complete lucidity. His music therefore remained silently imprisoned in his aphasic mind. Not only was this a terrible fate for Ravel personally, but it robbed the musical world of any more works from one of the great geniuses of the 20th Century.

As his symptoms worsened, Ravel complained of the "fog cloud narrowing in" and became profoundly depressed because he knew he could never compose again. One day a friend found him leaning idly on his balcony and asked him what he was doing, whereupon Ravel simply replied, "I'm waiting." While attending a concert of his own works shortly before his death in 1937, Ravel tearfully expressed the utter frustration of aphasia: "C'était beau, tout de même. Et puis, j'avais encore tant de musique dans ma tête. Maintenant, c’est fini pour moi." ["It was beautiful, all the same. And yet, I have so much more music in my head. Now, it is finished for me."]
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Post by piston » Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:52 pm

Tragic! He had planned to write a dramatic work on Jeanne d'Arc. The last picture I ever saw of M.R., in a short French biography, is forever embedded in my mind. He certainly did not mask depression in his eyes.

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Post by Sapphire » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:39 pm

Fritz Wunderlich died 1966 age nearly 36. Fell down the stairs at a friend's house and damaged his skull. One of the best tenors ever; for me the best. Voice powerful, smooth and unaffected in any way. Excellent in lieder. His life was reviewed recently on a BBC Radio 3 programme, and the consensus opinion of the experts was that he was extremely good, and up there with the very best of the last Century.

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:56 pm

Saphire wrote:Fritz Wunderlich died 1966 age nearly 36. Fell down the stairs at a friend's house and damaged his skull. One of the best tenors ever; for me the best. Voice powerful, smooth and unaffected in any way. Excellent in lieder.
An accident cruel and freakish in its utter prosaicness. I had just discovered him not two weeks before he died. I thought there'd never be another with such a beautiful instrument. I'm not sure there has been. There was so much left unsung. I'm grateful for the few items we do have.
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Post by Lance » Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:46 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:Freom the deep recesses of my mind I seem to recall that Gieseking was struck by a car while crossing the road and died shortly thereafter.

Dennis Brain was killed in a car accident as well.
Gieseking and his wife were in a bus accident. His wife died as a result and Walter was suddenly left alone.
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Post by Ralph » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:26 pm

rasputin wrote:Albéric Magnard was killed by the germans in his home,during IWW.
They burned the house,with all of his unpublished works.
****

Afte he fired on the Boche!
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Post by Ralph » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:28 pm

My favorite is the arrogant amateur mycologist, Schoebert, who took out his family, doctor and maid along with himself. Definitely the composer who wins the Darwin Award.
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Post by GK » Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:39 pm

Promising Polish composer Mieczyslaw Karlowicz died at age 33 in an avalanche while skiing.

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Post by piston » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:23 pm

Mercure, Pierre. Composer, TV producer, bassoonist, administrator, b Montreal 21 Feb 1927, d in an [traffic] accident near Avallon, France, 29 Jan 1966. Mercure relied on Stravinsky, Honegger, and Milhaud for role models. He also studied at Tanglewood under L. Dallapicola.

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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:54 am

Saphire wrote:Fritz Wunderlich died 1966 age nearly 36. Fell down the stairs at a friend's house and damaged his skull. One of the best tenors ever; for me the best. Voice powerful, smooth and unaffected in any way. Excellent in lieder. His life was reviewed recently on a BBC Radio 3 programme, and the consensus opinion of the experts was that he was extremely good, and up there with the very best of the last Century.
Yes, that's right, Saphire. It was at the home of his friend and colleague, Hermann Prey. They had been drinking.

Jack
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:58 am

Cèsar Franck inadvertently walked in front of a moving streetcar, was hit and died soon afterwards.

Marc Blitzstein, American musical composer, was murdered by three sailors on shore leave. It was assumed he tried to pick them up.

It's all very sad....

Jack
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Post by pizza » Wed Mar 21, 2007 4:59 pm

Alejandro García Caturla was a fine Cuban composer who was also a judge; he was assassinated in court by a convicted felon whom he was about to sentence.

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Post by PJME » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:17 pm

31st October 1939, Charles Tournemire disappears - in the woods ,near Arcachon. Three days later, his body is found in the sea. Untill today it remains unclear if he committed suicide or had an accident

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Post by piston » Wed Mar 21, 2007 5:42 pm

PJME wrote:31st October 1939, Charles Tournemire disappears - in the woods ,near Arcachon. Three days later, his body is found in the sea. Untill today it remains unclear if he committed suicide or had an accident
I did not know that! :shock:

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Post by Heck148 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:04 pm

Wallingford Riegger died from injuries sustained when he tripped over a dog leash, as two dogs were fighting...
he sustained head trauma from which he did not recover.

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Post by Lance » Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:00 pm

Think of that magnificent pianist, Clara Haskil, who fell down a flight of stairs in Brussels, Belgium, either before- or after a concert with violinist Arthur Grumiaux. [I believe it was just before the proposed recital.] She never recovered from the fall either.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Puccini

Post by TopoGigio » Sat Apr 26, 2008 12:45 pm

Puccini Car Crash helped...his final throat operation was horrible,also.

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Re: THE DAY THE MUSIC DIED

Post by nadej_baptiste » Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:03 pm

dulcinea wrote::( I just finished watching LA BAMBA, and when I saw Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and Big Bopper take flight on the plane where they would die, I realized that the skies have not been very friendly towards musicians. Hank Williams, Ricky Nelson, John Denver, Carlos Gardel, ...: how many musical performers have died in aircraft crashes?
Didn't Ginette Neveu also die in a plane crash, along with her brother?
--Kamila

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Post by AntonioA » Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:32 pm

Spanish conductor Ataulfo Argenta died in 1958 by accidental inhalation of carbon monoxide. He made many recordings of Spanish music and zarzuelas, but there is also a nice recording of the Liszt concertos with Julius Katchen.

I will add some non-classical musicians who died in accidents: Otis Reding died in a plane crash in 1967. I would say it was the day soul music died, at least the "Atlantic soul" . Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter accident in 1990. The great jazz trumpeter Cliffod Brown died 1956 in a car accident.
AntonioA

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Valentin Alkan

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:04 pm

Valentin Alkan was reaching for the bible on his bookshelf
when it fell and hit him on the head.... Or so the story goes.

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Re: Valentin Alkan

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:23 pm

Agnes Selby wrote:Valentin Alkan was reaching for the bible on his bookshelf
when it fell and hit him on the head.... Or so the story goes.
I believe it was the Talmud he was reaching for. That story seemed to have been started by spectacular Alkan pianist, Raymond Lewenthal. According to other accounts, the story isn't true. So I'm not sure who we believe after all these years. I think the British pianist, Ronald Smith, also a superb pianist of much of Alkan's music may have covered this in one of his books.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Valentin Alkan

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:08 pm

Lance wrote:
Agnes Selby wrote:Valentin Alkan was reaching for the bible on his bookshelf
when it fell and hit him on the head.... Or so the story goes.
I believe it was the Talmud he was reaching for. That story seemed to have been started by spectacular Alkan pianist, Raymond Lewenthal. According to other accounts, the story isn't true. So I'm not sure who we believe after all these years. I think the British pianist, Ronald Smith, also a superb pianist of much of Alkan's music may have covered this in one of his books.
Dear Lance,

Kathy studied with Ronald Smith as a Churchill Fellow. When I dropped
Kathy off (then 14 yars old) with Ronald Smith and his wife in Hythe,
Kent in the summer of 1979 we spoke about Alkan over dinner.
The McCallums were also there and as you know, Stephanie is today
an exceptional exponent of Alkan's music. It was a spirited evening
as was always the case with Ronald Smith at the head of the table..

In fact, Ronald had doubts about the Talmud story. The McCallums
thought it was very romantic and fitted well with Alkan's character.
He would, they thought, have spent the evening studying the Talmud or
some other heavy tome.

However, I will have to re-read Ronald Smith's book to refresh my memory as I no longer remember what he said in his book on Alkan.

Regards,
Agnes.
--------------

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Post by Lance » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:10 pm

Two people who died in helicopter accidents include

[1] David Polleri, tenor, d. 1967 (Hawaii)
[2] Philippa Duke Schyler, pianist/composer, d. 1967

Conventional air crashes include:

[1] Guido Cantelli, conductor, d. 1956
[2] Carlos Gardel [Charles Gardes], baritone, d. 1935
[3] William Kapell, pianist, d. 1953
[4] Eduardo Mata, conductor, d. 1995
[5] Mesru Mehmedov, conductor, d. 1971
[6] Ginette Neveu, violinist, d. 1949 (as did her pianist brother, Jean)
[7] Jacques Thibaud, violinist, d. 1953 [previously survived an air crash]

Drownings include:

[1] Friedrich Theodor Frölich, composer (suicide-drowning, actually)
[2] Istvan Kertész, conductor (drowned in Israel)

Suicides include these:

[1] Bantcho Banchevsky, singer, d. 1988
[2] Jenny Katarina Grahn, soprano, d. 2001
[3] Jerry Hadley, tenor, d. 2007
[4] Herbert Kegel, conductor, d. 1990
[5] Denis Matthews, pianist, d. 1988
[6] Noel Mewton-Wood, pianist, d. 1953
[7] David Munrow, EM specialist, recorder player, d. 1976

More deaths by vehicular (car) accidents:

[1] Willem van Otterloo, conductor, d. 1978
[2] Emil Bohnke, composer, violist, conductor, d. 1928 (as did his wife)
[3] Jean Casadesus, pianist/teacher, d. 1972
[4] Vivian Fine, composer, d. 2000
[5] Ossy Renardy [Oskar Reiss], violinist, d. 1953
[6] (Thomas) Richard Farrell, pianist d. 1958 [New Zealander]
[7] Bruce Hungerford, pianist d. 1977 [Australian]

Speaking of Richard Farrell, would anyone know his birth date? He was only 31 years old when he was killed in an auto accident.

I'm sure I can put my finger on a few more names.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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