Published by AMSGNY President
on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 8:53 PM.
Juilliard would like to extend an invitation to members of the AMS Greater New York Chapter to our special event on Tuesday, October 1, 5:00 pm, featuring a lecture by Dr. Nicolas Bell (Curator, Music Manuscripts, British Library) titled “Beethoven’s Choral Symphony and the Philharmonic Society of London.” The lecture is presented in conjunction with a historic joint exhibit of Juilliard’s manuscript of Beethoven’s 9th symphony alongside the RPS copy. Both scores will also be on exhibit at the Morgan Library from October 8 through December 1, 2013. Call (212) 769-7409 to reserve tickets.
Published by AMSGNY President
on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 9:36 AM.
The fall meeting of the AMSGNY will take place on Saturday, October 26th, at the Metropolitan Opera Guild in Lincoln Center. The theme is Shakespeare and Music. Proposals on this theme (250 word maximum) may be sent to DrJSDailey at aol.com
and jonathan.waxman at gmail.com
by August 15th. Put "AMSGNY Fall 2013" in the subject line.
Published by AMSGNY President
on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 12:17 AM.
This is the text of the tribute given at the April 27th meeting by Chapter President Jeff Dailey:
The Greater New York Chapter of the American
Musicological Society mourns the loss of one of its long time members, Ronald
Cross, who died this past February 22nd, several days after his 84th
birthday. In remembering Ron, let us
examine his accomplishments as a scholar, as a teacher, and as a performer.
A native of Forth Worth, Texas, Ronald Cross came
to New York in the 1950s to study in the musicology program at NYU. His primary mentor there was Gustave Reese,
but he also studied with Curt Sachs and Dragan Plamenac. American musicology was in a growth spurt
then, focusing heavily on early music, and Ron started out in the field
assisting Reese with research for the book Music
in the Renaissance. He ultimately
concentrated on the life and works of Mattheus Pipelare. Reese devoted one paragraph to this
contemporary of Josquin; Ron expanded that into a dissertation, several
articles, and the three-volume opera
omnia published by the American Institute of Musicology, which has never
been superseded. He also wrote the New
Grove entry on Pipelare, and gave an update on his research most recently in
2010, when he read a paper at this chapter’s spring meeting. He based his work on his travels throughout
Europe as a Fulbright Fellow from 1955 to 1957, when he studied in Venice, Siena,
Florence, and Vienna, examining first-hand the sources of Pipelare’s music.
Nor was he attracted solely to Renaissance
music. He had wide ranging interests in
musics of all times and places. A great
lover of Bach, he liked to explore the number symbolism the Baroque master’s
works. In recent years, he expanded his
horizons into American music and opera.
In addition to being a member of the AMS, he also held membership in the
Society for Ethnomusicology, and loved to listen to and study non-Western
musics of different cultures.
As a teacher, Ron was an inspiration to
generations of students. He started
teaching in 1958 at Notre Dame College –
a school that is now the Staten Island campus of St. John’s University. Ten years later he moved down the road to
Wagner College, where -- first as associate professor, then professor, then
holder of the college’s first endowed professorship -- he remained until his death. He taught a wide range of courses over the
years –music history and theory, appreciation, rudiments – and started the
Collegium Musicum there, providing opportunities for the performance of early
music for twenty years. When Wagner
embraced a new interdisciplinary curriculum, Ron eagerly joined in,
team-teaching courses with colleagues from other departments. He was also an early exponent of online
learning, and had a tremendous facility for instructional technology. He had the wonderful ability to make the
complexities of music interesting to the uninitiated, and interspersed theory
and analysis with amusing anecdotes about composers, as well as his personal
experiences as a performer.
Ron was an amazing performer. Early in his career, he earned an associate
rating from the American Guild of Organists, and performed as organist at St.
Paul’s – St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on Staten Island for over forty years. The parishioners there got to hear his
virtuosic performances on a weekly basis, which others got to hear only
infrequently, although he did give occasional recitals at other churches. Between 1986 and 1991, the Staten Island
Council on the Arts awarded him six grants to give harpsichord recitals, the
programs of which ranged from Renaissance and baroque masters to modern works (he
also received grants from Meet the Composer), with the occasional addition of novelty
pieces by composers such as Leroy Anderson and John Philip Sousa. It often seemed like he did not realize how
good he was at the keyboard. Sometimes,
he would look at a very complicated piece of music, say “Oh, that’s easy,” and
then sit down and play it perfectly.
Conversely, he would look at an equally challenging piece, say “Oh,
that’s hard,” and then again sit down and play it perfectly.
Although primarily a keyboard player, he also had
a great love of stringed instruments. He
played the viola da gamba, and, through his efforts, arranged for the New York
Consort of Viols to give annual summer workshops at Wagner College for some
years. As director of the Collegium
Musicum at Wagner, he also performed on other early instruments. As a conductor, he directed works ranging
from plainsong to Stravinsky, and also composed music for choirs and the organ.
But apart from his technical and scholarly
abilities, Ron was an advocate of seeing music as a way of understanding people
and civilization. He was a great lover
of nature and animals, and encouraged the preservation of both the environment
and human culture. He will be sorely