Andrew Imbrie: 1921–2007

Stockhausen's death garnered all the attention, but I'd be remiss if I didn't note the passing of Andrew Imbrie on December 5.

Joshua Kosman's fine appreciation appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. Robert P.Commanday's appears here. Allan Kozinn's NYT obituary is here.

I first heard Imbrie's music because of New World Records, that noble defender of American music in all its forms. Imbrie's clarity and contrapuntal majesty attracted me, particularly in his songs and his transcendent string quartets.

Yet, according to many, his greatest quality was his ability to teach composition—a quality that, my composer friends assure me, is rare in composers who teach. That means his greatest legacy may well be yet to come.

If you haven't heard Imbrie's music, I suggest you give it a listen. Discs are available from New World and ArkivMusic.