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Music Teacher Shinichi Suzuki Dies at 99

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shinichi Suzuki, the founder of the "Suzuki Method" of teaching music to infants and young children, died Monday (January 26, 1998) of heart failure at his home in central Japan, his family said. He was 99.

Born in 1898, Suzuki, the son of a violin manufacturer, achieved world renown for his ideas on teaching music, which he summed up in mottoes such as: "A talent is not something given naturally, it is something you foster," and "Every child can foster his talent."

He spread his music education method through his Talent Education Institute, which he established in his hometown of Matsumoto in 1948, two years after setting up his first music institute there.

The institute now has branches all over the world with more than 300,000 students.

Roger Drinkall, Cellist
May 10, 1937 - December 15, 1997

Noted cellist, chamber musician and philanthropist Roger Lee Drinkall passed away December 15, 1997 following a three year battle with leukemia. He left this world as he desired--performing until three days before his passing. He and his wife, Dian Baker-Baker, known internationally as the Drinkall-Baker Duo, had just returned from a multi-week tour of Asia.

After graduating from the Curtis Institute at 19, Roger performed as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist on the world's major concert stages for three decades. Throughout his life, Roger was known for his philanthropy. As a recitalist in the early 1970s, Roger was the only musician willing to perform in Calcutta and Delhi during India's bitter conflict with Pakistan. After the concert, Drinkall recalled, a Catholic nun came backstage, telling him she was "so proud of you." Then, she jokingly remarked that he was "the first musician who hasn't had a cold for the last six months." The little nun was Mother Teresa. Similarly, all proceeds from a 1976 Latin and South American tour were donated to the relief effort of the tragic Guatemalan earthquake of that year. Throughout his career, he gave well over 1000 concerts in more than 35 countries.

Roger met Dian Baker when she became a last minute substitute accompanist. He proposed after their second rehearsal, and their 1986 marriage followed. Since then, the Drinkall-Baker Duo has concertized throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin & South America. In the last six years, the Duo had recorded ten compact discs for Pyramid, Claves, Klavier, Wilson Audiophile and others. Chinese Television had just completed a one hour documentary on the Duo which has already been picked up by PBS-New York and CBC-Vancouver. Air dates will be announced when available.

Roger Drinkall was born May 10, 1937 in Cleveland. After graduating from Curtis under Leonard Rose, he earned a master's degree from the University of Illinois, where he also did doctoral work. He served on the faculty of the University of Tennessee for eight years, Florida State University for thirteen years (where he also chaired the string department), and joined the faculty of Brigham Young University in 1989.

He is survived by his wife, a sister, four sons--James, Mark, Scott and Roger, Jr.,--and one grandson. The family suggests memorials to the BYU String Scholarship Fund.

"Our celebration of music is one way of expressing God's love for us. Music is such a heavenly expression, a language that speaks directly to the heart, transcending cultural and social barriers. It is a pure means of sharing love of beauty." -- Roger Drinkall

Fritz Magg, Cellist

By Joseph McLellan
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, July 22, 1997; Page B02

Cellist Fritz Magg, 83, an Indiana University professor emeritus and one of the most respected cello teachers of his generation, died suddenly of cardiac arrest during the intermission of a concert Sunday night at the University of Maryland. Magg was in the audience for cellist Evelyn Elsing's recital -- the first in a week-long festival that will end Saturday night with the finals of the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition.

He was invited to join the competition's panel of judges after another judge, cellist Paul Katz, withdrew. Katz, a professor at Rice University, had been scheduled to participate in the seven-member panel and was visiting friends in Washington when he was stricken with angina on Friday and hospitalized. He was released after a clogged artery was relieved by angioplasty and is recuperating in a private home in Potomac.

Magg was having an intermission chat with some of his former students when he collapsed. A doctor was found but efforts to revive Magg were unsuccessful. His widow, pianist Kari Miller, summoned from their home in Connecticut, said Magg had "always wanted to go quickly" and that there would be a simple graveside ceremony for his burial, to be followed sometime later by a memorial event.

George Moquin, executive director of the festival and competition, said no attempt will be made to find a replacement for Magg and Katz during the semifinals, which continue through Wednesday. He said Katz is recuperating well and will be able to return for the finals Saturday night.

A native of Vienna, Magg served as principal cellist of several orchestras, including the Vienna Symphony and the Metropolitan Opera, while building a solo career and making many recordings. He joined the Indiana University faculty in 1948, a decade after settling in the United States, and served as chairman of its string department for 32 years. In his semi-retirement, he was a visiting professor at the New England Conservatory in Boon and the University of Hartford's Hartt School of Music.

Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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