In Memoriam: 1999


Yehudi Menuhin
Lord Menuhin

"Now I know there is a God in heaven!"
--Albert Einstein addressing Yehudi Menuhin, age 13,
after seeing the child violin prodigy perform in 1929

"With him, a light has gone out, the light of genius and also the light of the heart."

--Jacques Chirac, President of France

"Each human being has the eternal duty of turning what is hard and brutal into a tender and subtle offering, what is crude into an object of refinement, what is ugly into a thing of beauty, confrontation into collaboration, ignorance into knowledge, hereby rediscovering the child's dream of a creative reality incessantly renewed by death, the servant of life, and by life the servant of love."

--Lord Menuhin

"His utopian dreams ... began early. He writes that as a child he believed 'that peace might be visited upon the Earth if I could only play the Bach Chaconne well-enough in the Sistine Chapel.' It was with a childish high mind he began making music, and he never lost those high ideals, which could be endearing, inspiring and irritating. Menuhin tested humanity and himself. During World War II, he played before thousands of soldiers, looking deeply into the eyes of men he knew were about to die and attempting, like a mystical rabbi, to give them a final ecstasy to take into battle. At the other extreme, he played for concentration camp survivors at Belsen, trying to stir the ecstasy that had been drained from them."

--Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

Robert Shaw

"Robert Shaw is without doubt the leading choral conductor in the United States. He is a practicing and acknowledged master of an art that he teaches with passion and commitment."
--Isaac Stern

"Four decades ago, the great--and not easily pleased--Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was conducting Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with his NBC Symphony Orchestra. After hearing the chorus, which had been prepared by Robert Shaw, perform the glorious choral movement that ends the symphony, Toscanini turned to his players and said, 'In Robert Shaw I have at last found the maestro I have been looking for.'"

--from the Kennedy Center Honors

"Throughout his career, Mr. Shaw received abundant recognition for his work. His honors include degrees and citations from 40 U.S. colleges and universities, England's Gramophone Award, a Gold Record for the first RCA classical recording to sell more than a million copies, four ASCAP Awards for service to contemporary music, the first Guggenheim Fellowship ever awarded to a conductor, the Alice M. Ditson Award for service to contemporary music, the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America, and the Gold Baton Award of the American Symphony Orchestra League for distinguished service to music and the arts."

--from Robert Shaw Obituary, Atlanta Symphony


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