Renata Tebaldi, Illinois Jacquet, Alicia Markova Among Greats Who Died in 2004

Classic Arts News   Renata Tebaldi, Illinois Jacquet, Alicia Markova Among Greats Who Died in 2004
Two of opera's most beloved soloists, baritone Robert Merrill and soprano Renata Tebaldi, died in 2004, as did two of the last surviving giants of the swing era, tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet and clarinetist and bandleader Artie Shaw.

The ballet world lost the great Alicia Markova, who danced with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes before founding the English National Ballet. Two leading classical music figures died prematurely: Robert Harth, the energetic director of Carnegie Hall, and St. Louis Symphony conductor Hans Vonk, who had been stricken with a rare neurological disorder.

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


Billy May, jazz trumpeter and arranger for Glenn Miller, at 87. (January 22)

Milt Bernhart, trombonist with Stan Kenton's big band and other groups, at 77. (January 22)

Malachi Favors, longtime bassist of the avant-garde Art Ensemble of Chicago, at 76. (January 30)

Robert Harth, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall since 2001, at 47. He had previously run the Aspen Music Festival and School. (January 30)


Peter Gellhorn, conductor at Covent Garden and Glyndebourne, at 91. (February 13)

Don Cornell, big band singer, at 84. (February 23)

Dorothy Cole, mezzo-soprano, at 71. She sang supporting roles with many prominent companies, specializing in Wagner. (February 29)

Nelly Boshkova, mezzo-soprano who sang with the Vienna State Opera, at 54. (Date of death not available.)


Eva Likova, operatic soprano, at 84. She performed with the New York City Opera and in some of the earliest television broadcasts of opera. (March 15)

Erick Friedman, violinist and educator, at 64. (March 30)


Argeo Quadri, opera conductor, at 93. (April 14)

John DiJanni, former principal violinist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, at 94. (April 20)

Claude "Fiddler'' Williams, jazz violinist with the Count Basie Orchestra and other Kansas City bands, at 96. (April 25)

Boris Pergamenschikov, cellist, at 55. He was a favorite at European chamber music festivals. (April 30)


Barney Kessel, jazz guitarist who played with Billie Holliday, Charlie Parker, and Art Tatum, at 80. (May 6)

Elvin Jones, jazz drummer with John Coltrane and in his own groups, at 76. (May 18)


Nicolai Ghiaurov, operatic bass, at 74. (June 2)

Steve Lacy, soprano saxophonist who specialized in free jazz and the music of Thelonious Monk, at 69. He is said to have inspired John Coltrane to take up the soprano saxophone. (June 4)

Ray Charles, legendary vocalist and keyboard player, at 73. Best known for his rhythm and blues and pop hits, Charles was also an accomplished jazz pianist and organist who recorded with Betty Carter, Milt Jackson, and the Count Basie Orchestra. (June 10)


Bella Lewitzky, major figure in modern dance in California, at 88. Asked to name Communists by the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951, she said, " I am a dancer, not a singer." (July 16)

Carlos Kleiber, conductor, at 74. Kleiber was legendary both for his perfectionism and his reclusiveness. (July 13)

Illinois Jacquet, tenor saxophonist, at 74. The hard-blowing Jacquet burst into prominence in 1942 with a solo on Lionel Hampton's "Flying Home." (July 22)


G_rard Souzay, French baritone, at 85. He released more that 750 recordings and won the French Grand Prix du Disque three times. (August 17)

Elmer Bernstein, film composer, at 82. He scored Birdman of Alcatraz, My Left Foot, and Far From Heaven, and won an Oscar for Thoroughly Modern Millie. (August 18)

Hans Vonk, former music director of the St. Louis Symphony, at 63. The conductor had suffered from a rare neurological disorder which forced him to retire abruptly from the St. Louis podium in 2002. (August 29)


William A. Van Blarcom Jr., president of the Delaware Symphony, at 56. (September 3)

Ellis Marsalis Sr., patriarch of a leading jazz family, at 96. His son, Ellis Marsalis Jr., is a pianist; his grandchildren include trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and saxophonist Branford Marsalis. (September 19)

Jack Mulroney, president of the Opera Company of Philadelphia, at 68. He helped steer the company through difficult financial times. (September 24)

Walter Scheuer, who produced the Oscar-winning documentary From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, at 82. (September 20)


Robert Merrill, a leading Metropolitan Opera baritone for 30 years and a familiar presence on radio and television, at 87. A baseball fan, he often sang the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium. (October 23)

Lillian Kallir, pianist, at 73. She often played Mozart works in duets with her husband, pianist Claude Frank. (October 25)


Robin Kenyatta, saxophonist who played with several major figures in the free-jazz movement, at 77. (November 2)

Basil Thompson, artistic director of the Milwaukee Ballet, at 67. He had previously served as the ballet master of the Joffrey Ballet. (November 2)

Joe Bushkin, pianist who played in the big bands of Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Eddie Condon, at 87. While in the Dorsey band, he co-wrote the song "Oh, Look at Me Now," which became a hit for the band's vocalist, Frank Sinatra. (November 3)

Zachary Solov, chief choreographer of the Metropolitan Opera from 1951 to 1958, at 81. (November 6)

Cy Coleman, composer of Broadway musicals and jazz pianist, at 75. (November 18)

Maude Lloyd, dancer and critic, at 96. She was one of the founding members of Marie Rambert's Ballet Club. (November 27)


Alicia Markova, legendary ballerina and founder of the English National Ballet, at 94. (December 2)

Frederick Fennell, founder of the Eastman Wind Ensemble, at 90. He is credited with changing the way wind instruments are taught. (December 7)

Sidonie Goossens, principal harpist of the BBC Symphony for 50 years, at 105. She was the last surviving sibling of a famous musical family. (December 15)

Renata Tebaldi, one of the leading operatic sopranos of the 20th century, at 82. She sang at the Met for two decades. (December 19)

Artie Shaw, clarinetist and bandleader whose hits included Begin the Beguine, at 94. (December 30)

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