Composer ‘Blue’ Gene Tyranny Dead At 75

Born Joseph Gantic, raised as Robert Sheff, and having acquired the name he was known by during a brief period as a member of Iggy Pop’s band, he performed Charles Ives and John Cage while still in high school, worked with Robert Ashley and Laurie Anderson, and made a career composing and performing music that, as Steve Smith puts it, “deftly balanced conceptual rigor with breezy pop sounds.” – The New York Times

Broadway Star Rebecca Luker Dead Of ALS At 59

An operatically trained soprano whose clear and youthful voice was a natural for such roles as Maria in The Sound of Music and Christine in The Phantom of the Opera (which she understudied and which became her first lead role on Broadway), she was a three-time Tony nominee, for work in Show Boat, The Music Man, and Mary Poppins. Her last Broadway appearance was as Alison’s mother in Fun Home in 2016, and she worked until late last year before announcing her ALS diagnosis this past February. – Playbill

Fanny Waterman, Co-Founder Of Leeds International Piano Competition, Dead At 100

“Somewhat embarrassingly, it was one of her own pupils, Michael Roll, who won the first competition, … but, despite the controversy, the event gradually grew from what she herself described as a ‘cottage industry’ into one of the most important of its type in the world.” She remained chairman and artistic director of “the Leeds” until just five years ago. – The Guardian

The Complicated Career Of Louis Armstrong

Meeting culture in the middle meant Armstrong could change things from within. The list of firsts he oversaw is staggering. Knockin’ a Jug, which featured black and white musicians, was one of the US’s first integrated recordings. That same year, he cut the first integrated vocal duet, Rockin’ Chair, with white singer Hoagy Carmichael. Black and Blue, a 1929 B-side on Okeh Records’ “popular music” listings (a label that had previously marketed him for “race records”), has been called American music’s first bona fideprotest song against racial inequality. – The Guardian

Dorothy Gill Barnes, Sculptor In Wood And Tree Bark, Dead Of COVID At 93

“From strips of mulberry tree bark, she produced an intricate vase. To make a stout bowl, she folded hunks of poplar bark. She once wove a basket on a loom with lichen. She also created sculptures from wood, like a hollowed-out oak tree she encased with apple suckers and a work featuring branches of cherry and paulownia linked together like a necklace with glass and wire.” – The New York Times