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Nicholas Maw, November 5, 1935 – May 19, 2009

Nicholas Maw, the British-born composer who was probably best-known for the violin concerto he wrote for Joshua Bell, the lengthy orchestral work Odyssey and the opera, Sophie’s Choice, died yesterday in Washington at the age of 73.

Interesting take from Telegraph critic Michael White

More to come

Tom Myron has a lovely photo and tribute here.

Comments

Comment from zeno
Time: May 20, 2009, 11:15 am

The premiere of his ‘Sophie’s Choice’ at the Kennedy Center aside, until quite recently Mr Maw was a fairly constant presence on the Washington, D.C. contemporary classical music scene — attending performances of his own works and many premieres of works by European composers performed by the National Symphony, as well as other premieres at the Library of Congress and such venues as the Freer Gallery and the Phillips Collection. (I also recall him attending the world premiere, by the NSO, of Philip Glass’s ‘Toltec’ Symphony, a few years back.)

My deep sympathy to his family and especially to his companion Maija, an artist, who accompanied him to many, many local contemporary classical concerts (as well as to Maija’s daughter).

[I first encountered Mr Maw at a local ‘psychoanalysis and creativity’ seminar in the last deep recession of the early 1980s, in which he was discussing his extended work from the mid-1970s, Life Studies: 8 studies for 15 solo strings. It was also only quite recently that I heard about the serious illness — tuberculosis — that he experienced as a young adult artist.]

Comment from Tom Myron
Time: May 20, 2009, 12:00 pm

“Failure”? “Exile”? Michael White’s observations are a great example of why Nick preferred to live here.

Comment from Christian
Time: May 20, 2009, 12:37 pm

Maw’s music was seldom my cup of Earl Grey, but he was a fine composer and, from what I heard, a good teacher.

Michael White’s ‘obituary’ is unseemly. Who knows whether Maw’s music will stand the tests of time? It may be revived with great enthusiasm by future generations.

Also, White might consider copy-editing — “feint” for “faint!”