Anonymous yet personal, this Blog chronicles
the daily events and musings of Jim.
It provides an easy way for his friends and family to check in on him,
and serves as a online repository for his random
thoughts, kaleidoscopic flashbacks, and writings on an array of diverse topics.
“Deconstructing Jim” is simply here to
entertain you, but not intended for college credit.

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Chapel Hill, NC, United States

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Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 Composer Death Toll

Scanning the Boston Globe this first morning of 2010, I perused the front page article "Recalling the Many We Lost: A lasting impact on history and culture" by Joseph P. Kahn. While sipping my coffee I looked at the small-print list of "other notable deaths" of 2009 on page A12 - which is broken out by category.

After checking to see if my name was on the list, I then studied the 34 names under the music category. To my surprise, not a single "concert music" composer was on the list. Good news, I guess, if you are a composer.

As it turned out, under closer scrutiny the main body of the article did mention the passing of a "quartet of versatile and prolific composers" in 2009. Namely George Perle, Leon Kirchner, Lukas Foss, and George Russell.

For the record, I've blogged about all four of them in Deconstructing-Jim over the past year.

I'd like to add to the official composer death toll list a few additional names of people who left the planet during the past calender year. French film composer Maurice-Alexis Jarre, Russian film composer Isaac (or Isaak) Schwartz, Boston's own Joe Maneri, Nicholas Maw, and Svatopluk Havelka. (I blogged about Joe Maneri).

Other notable deaths I'd like to add to the list include pop-oriented composers Vic Mizzy (composer of the famous Addams Family TV show theme) and Angela Morley. Morley - whose birth name was Wally Stott - was born in England but moved to and lived in Arizona in her later years. She was music director for the "Goon Show" and wrote scores for TV dramas such as "Dallas." Later she made numerous arrangements for the Boston Pops.

May they all R.I.P.