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Conductor Michael Graubart has Died, Aged 93

Graubart taught at Morley College and the Royal Northern College of Music, where he led contemporary music ensembles


The conductor, composer, and academic Michael Graubart has passed away at the age of 93. Born in Vienna to an Austrian-Jewish family in 1930, Graubart was exiled after the Anschluss, and went to the United Kingdom as a refugee in 1938.

Graubart studied composition with Mátyás Seiber, flute with Geoffrey Gilbert, and conducting with Lawrence Leonard. He spent a significant portion of his career leading the music department at Morley College, London, from 1969 to 1991. During this time, he focused on contemporary music, conducting the premiere performances of works including Elisabeth Lutyens’s opera Isis and Osiris.

In 1991, he took up an appointment at the Royal Northern College of Music. Here, he directed the college's contemporary music group, Akanthos. During this time, Graubart also developed his reputation as an academic, publishing articles and reviews in musical journals including Composer, Encounter, Tempo and The Musical Times.

He also became known as an editor of early music, producing new editions of operas by composers such as Monteverdi and Pergolesi.

As a composer, Graubart incorporated serialist techniques, as well as occasionally writing electronic music. His best-known works include the orchestral piece Aria (1973), and an unnamed string quartet (2000), which has been performed by the Arditti Quartet.

Our condolences to Mr. Graubart's family, friends, students, and colleagues.

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