Monday, December 12, 2005

in memoriam Donald Martino (1931-2005)

Don Martino was a great composer of intricate, dense and emotionally gripping music. I met him when I was a grad student. He was coming to UChicago for some concerts and to meet with composition students, a visiting artist; he was teaching at Harvard at the time. The music department requested that I show him around, drive him where he needed to go, take him back to the airport, etc. In the time I spent with him I found him to be utterly without pretense--unlike so many distinguished artists--and generous with his time. He was an affable and very funny man. He was on a cruise with his wife when he died. He was still composing, even on the cruise. So I hope he died a happy man; I suspect he did.

1 comment:

Tristin said...

It's heartening to meet people who surprise you.

It sounds like he left this plane a happy man: on a cruise, doing what he loves, with the person he loves...I'd say not too shabby!

The hardest part are the people he leaves behind. But what a wonderful lingering gift: his music...