In Memoriam: PlaybillArts Looks Back at the Greats Who Died in 2005 | Playbill

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Classic Arts Features In Memoriam: PlaybillArts Looks Back at the Greats Who Died in 2005 Soprano Victoria de los Angeles, beloved for her portrayal of Carmen, died in 2005, as did the powerful diva Ghena Dimitrova. David Diamond and George Rochberg, two 20th-century composers who maintained an ear for melody, also died.
Instrumentalists who died last year include violinist Isidore Cohen, a member of the Juilliard String Quartet and Beaux Arts Trio, and pianist Gy‹rg Sand‹r, a friend and prot_g_ of Bart‹k.

The jazz world lost Percy Heath, the bassist for the elegant Modern Jazz Quartet; Jimmy Smith, the legendary organist credited with popularizing the bluesy organ trio format; and Shirley Horn, a singer and pianist whose sharp, deliberate delivery contained a quivering energy in its silences.

Lost to dance were Fernando Bujones, a star principal with American Ballet Theatre who most recently directed the Orlando Ballet, and Alfred Corvino, an influential teacher at the Juilliard School for more than 40 years.

Conductor Kenneth Schermerhorn, who established the Nashville Symphony as a regional force; Carlo Maria Giulini, a rigorous maestro who led the Los Angeles Philharmonic in late 1970s and early '80s; and Hermann Michael, the music director of the Phoenix Symphony until illness forced him to retire in 2004, were among the conductors who passed away.

Marcello Viotti, the music director of the Venice opera house La Fenice, died prematurely, as did pianist Alexei Sultanov, who won the 1989 Van Cliburn Competition before suffering a series of strokes.

Below is a partial list of performing artists who died over the last 12 months.


Bass Boris Shtokolov, a soloist at St. Petersburg's Mariinsky Theater from 1957 through 1989, at 74. (January 6)

Warren Spears, a dancer and choreographer who directed the New Danish Dance Theater in the 1990s, at 50. (January 8)

Soprano Margherita Carosio, one of La Scala's leading sopranos for more than 20 years, at 96 (January 10)

Mezzo-soprano Nell Rankin, who sang with the Metropolitan Opera for two decades, at 81. (January 13)

Soprano Victoria de los Angeles, an opera star whose signature role was Carmen, at 81. (January 15)

Mort Fega, who introduced New Yorkers to modern jazz through his radio show Jazz Unlimited, at 83. (January 21)

Architect Philip Johnson, who built the New York State Theater to George Balanchine's specifications, at 98. (January 25)


Andreas Makris, a violinist who served as composer in residence for the National Symphony Orchestra under music director Mstislav Rostropovich, at 74. (February 3)

Karl Haas, host of the classical radio show Adventures in Good Music, at 91. (February 6)

Lazar Berman, a Russian pianist revered for his technical mastery, at 74. (February 6)

Jimmy Smith, who pioneered the use of the Hammond organ in jazz and popularized the bluesy "soul-jazz" style, at 76. (February 8)

Victor Castelli, a soloist and ballet master at New York City Opera, at 52. (February 8)

Nathalie Krassovska, who danced the title role of Giselle with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, at 86. (February 8)

Sixten Ehrling, who conducted Stockholm's Royal Opera and the Detroit Symphony, at 86. (February 13)

Marcello Viotti, the music director of Venice's La Fenice, at 50. (February 17)

Josef Metternich, a baritone who was the first German to sing a German role at the Metropolitan Opera, at 89. (February 21)

Robert Koff, a violinist and a founder of the Juilliard String Quartet, at 86. (February 22)

Dorothy Dow, a soprano who sang the role of Susan B. Anthony in the world premiere of Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All, at 84. (February 26)


Sergiu Comissiona, a conductor who helped raise the Baltimore Symphony to national prominence, at 76. (March 5)

Theodor Uppman, the baritone who created the title role in Benjamin Britten's opera Billy Budd, at 85. (March 17)

Bobby Short, the cabaret singer and pianist who became a New York institution at the Caf_ Carlyle, at 80. (March 21)

Gary Bertini, the founder of the Israeli Chamber Orchestra, at 77. (March 18)

Stanley Sadie, editor of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, at 74. (March 21)

Grant Johannesen, a pianist known for performances of Faur_ and the former director of the Cleveland Institute of Music, at 83. (March 27)

Moura Lympany, a colorful British pianist whose career spanned more than 65 years, at 88. (March 28)


Laurette Goldberg, a harpsichordist and early-music authority who founded San Francisco's Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, at 75. (April 3)

Norbert Brainin, the first violinist of the Amadeus Quartet, at 82. (April 10)

Kenneth Schermerhorn, a conductor who raised the profiles of the Milwaukee Symphony and Nashville Symphony, at 75. (April 19)

Robert Farnon, known for his light-orchestral compositions, at age 87. (April 25)

Percy Heath, the longtime bass player for the Modern Jazz Quartet, at 81. (April 29)

Niels-Henning êÄrsted Pederson, a Danish bassist who played with pianist Oscar Peterson, at 58. (April 19)

Jimmy Woode, who played bass in the Duke Ellington before moving to Europe, at 78. (April 23)

Gordon Shaw, a physicist who researched the effects of classical music on the brain, at 72. The phenomenon he reported, which was frequently misreported, came to be known as the "Mozart effect." (April 26)


Raisa Struchkkova, one of the Bolshoi Ballet's leading ballerinas when the company made its debut performances in America, at 79. (May 2)

Elsa Hilger, a Philadelphia Orchestra cellist who was the first woman non-harpist to join a major orchestra, at 101. (May 17)

Ruth Laredo, a pianist known for her recordings of Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, at 67. (May 25)

George Rochberg, a composer who rebelled against the modernist orthodoxy of his generation, at 86. (May 29)


Pamela May, a dancer with the Royal Ballet and a friend of Margot Fonteyn, at 88 . (June 6)

Siegfried Palm, the former general director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and a cellist in several German orchestras. (Age and date of death unknown.)

Ghena Dimitrova, a powerful soprano who performed at La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the Paris Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and other houses around the world, at 64. (June 11)

David Diamond, a leading 20th-century composer with an ear for melody, at 89. (June 14)

Carlo Maria Giulini, a rigorous conductor who led the Los Angeles Philharmonic, at 91 (June 15)

Ross Stretton, the former artistic director of the Australian Ballet, at 53. (June 16)

Billy Bauer, a jazz guitarist who played with Lennie Tristano, Benny Goodman, and Charlie Parker, at 89. (June 17)

Gordon "Chris" Griffin, a trumpeter who played at Benny Goodman's famed Carnegie Hall concert in 1938, at 89. (June 18)

Isidore Cohen, a violinist with the Juilliard String Quartet and Beaux Arts Trio, at 82. (June 23)

Grete Sultan, a pianist who played Bach's Goldberg Variations at a time when the work was rarely heard, at 99. (June 26)

Alexei Sultanov, a pianist who won the gold medal at the 1989 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, at 35. His career was cut short by a series of strokes. (June 30)


Thomas Kakuska, the violist of the Alban Berg String Quartet, at 64. (July 4)

John Stubblefield, a tenor saxophonist who played with Charles Mingus and led his own groups, at 60. (July 4)

Piero Cappuccilli, called the "prince of baritones" in Italy, at 75. (July 12)

Glynn Ross, the founding general director of the Seattle Opera, at 90. (July 21)

Al McKibbon, a bassist who played with trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis and pianist George Shearing, at 86. (July 29)

Helen Phillips, a soprano and the first black singer known to perform with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus, at 86. (July 27).

Leonard Ingrams, the founder and chief executive of England's Garsington Opera, a summertime company that performed on his estate, at 63. (July 27)

Arthur Zankel, the vice chairman of Carnegie Hall and a patron who helped to build the subterranean Zankel Hall there, at 73. (July 29)

Donald White, a cellist and the first black musician in the Cleveland Orchestra, at 80. (July 31)

Lucky Thompson, a tenor saxophonist who bridged the swing and bebop eras, at 81. (July 30)


Alfredo Corvino, a dancer and ballet master at the Metropolitan Opera and a longtime member of the Juilliard School's faculty, at 89. (August 2)

Caj Selling, a dancer with the Royal Swedish Ballet, Royal Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Australian Ballet who moved to Israel to teach. (August 12; age unavailable)

Joyce Wein, who collaborated with her husband George Wein in creating and running music festivals around the world, at 76. (August 15)

Gordon Boelzner, former music director of New York City Ballet, at 68. (August 17)

Robert Moog, who invented the electronic synthesizer, at 71. (August 21)

Lyndon Woodside, the music director of the Oratorio Society of New York, at 70. (August 23)


Hermann Michael, the music director of the Phoenix Symphony from 1997 to 2004, at 68. (September 1)

Arnold Weinstein, the poet and playwright who collaborated with William Bolcom on the operas McTeague, A View From the Bridge, and A Wedding, at 78. (September 4)

Randall Behr, a conductor for the Los Angeles Opera and American Ballet Theatre, at 53. (September 8)

Al Casey, a jazz guitarist who played with pianist Fats Waller, at 89. (September 11)

Jack Lesberg, a bassist who played with Louis Armstrong after surviving the Cocoanut Grove fire, at 85. (September 17)

Jerome Hynes, chief executive of Ireland's Wexford Festival Opera, at 45. (September 18)

William Vacchiano, principal trumpeter of the New York Philharmonic from 1942 to 1973, at 93. (September 19)

Steve Marcus, a saxophonist who recorded some of the first albums fusing rock and jazz, at 66. (September 25)


Jerome Roth, an oboist with the New York Philharmonic and a founding member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, at 87. (October 12)

Shirley Horn, a beloved jazz pianist and singer who sang ballads at a glacially slow pace, at 71. (October 20)


Skitch Henderson, founder of the New York Pops and the orchestra's music director for more than two decades, at 87. (November 2)

Kristian Fredrikson, one of Australia's leading set and costume designers for ballet, opera, and theater, at 65. (November 10)

Fernando Bujones, a star principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre who became artistic director of Orlando at 50. (November 10)

James King, a tenor who appeared regularly at the world's top opera houses in the 1960s and '70s, at 80. (November 20)

Deon van der Walt, a tenor and the first South African opera singer to find international success, at 47. (November 29)


Donald Martino, a Pulitzer Prize-winning modernist composer, at 74. (December 8)

Homer Mensch, a bassist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and other orchestras, at 91 (December 9)

Pianist Gy‹rgy Sêndor, a pianist who studied with Bart‹k and was an authority on his music, at 93. (December 9)

Scott Reiss, a recorder player and a founding member of the early-music group the Folger Consort, at 54. (December 14)

Clinton Carpenter, an insurance adjuster who completed Mahler's Tenth Symphony, at 84. (December 21)

Charles Engell France, who helped Mikhail Baryshnikov run the American Ballet Theatre in the 1980s, at 59. (December 25)

Joseph McClellan, the music critic of the Washington Post for more than 30 years, at 76. (December 26)

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