Nicholas Maw, great British-born composer of 'Sophie's Choice' and valued Peabody faculty member, dies at 73
Just heard the sad news that Nicholas Maw has died at 73.
The BBC reports that the British-born composer and valued faculty member of the Peabody Conservatory died of heart failure in Washington, D.C., where he had long made his home.
Mr. Maw's extensive list of compositions includes the enormous orchestral work Odyssey in 1987; the score, which runs continuously for more than an hour and a half, is a pinnacle of post-modernism, with a strong grounding in tonality and extraordinary freedom of expression. His ambitous opera, Sophie's Choice, did not satisfy all the critics, especially in England, where it was premiered at the Royal opera House in 2002, but it proved to be a powerful piece of music theater capable of deeply affecting the public and performers alike. (Marin Alsop conducted the US premiere of Sophie's Choice in the Washington National Opera's production in 2006.)
Mr. Maw was a brilliant thinker with a charming personality, a creative artist of remarkable integrity, insight and, I believe, courage.
BALTIMORE SUN STAFF PHOTO FROM 2002