×

Riverside Memorial Chapel

180 West 76Th Street, New York, NY

OBITUARY

Mario Davidovsky

Passed away on August 23, 2019

Mario Davidovsky passed away on August 23, 2019.

Services

  • Graveside Service Sunday, August 25, 2019

Memories

Mario Davidovsky

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
menachem zur

September 2, 2019

I entered Columbia University in 1973 to study composition with Mario. We became colleagues and friends very soon after that and we stayed in close touch ever since. His wisdom, humanity and warmth have accompanied me daily. Mario was the ultimate Jew; while being not observant he deeply cared about Jewish history and Jewish spiritual values that guided his life, his judgment, his humor and ideals. In that too, he served as a model to me.
His musical advice stayed with me and was projected and passed on to generations of students of mine both in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the world. He will always remain my spiritual father.
Prof. Menachem Zur, Jerusalem, Israel.

Alcides Lanza

September 1, 2019

I met Mario in Buenos Aires when we were both in our twenties. We used to go fo coffees in fashionable street Florida, and dream of going to NYC to continue studies in composition and electronic music. He went first and then advised me on what to do next. He mentioned Ussachevsky and the Columbia Princeton studios. I did exactly that. We remained friends for life. Ciao, Mario!
Alcides lanza
Director Emeritus EMS
Mc Gill University
Montreal, Canada

Laura Greenberg

August 28, 2019

In the early 1970's I was an aimless avant-garde composer in the "downtown" scene until I heard a piece of Mario's music at a concert. I looked up his number in the phone book and made a call that changed my musical life. He spent an hour on the phone with me, a complete stranger, and invited me to see him at his office at City College. He became my composition teacher there and ushered me on to the Composer's Conference in Vermont and eventually Columbia for the doctorate. In my first lesson with him, he said "Laura, I want you to drop all the baggage and hold one tune in the center of the palm of your hand." He made it sound so simple.
As a teacher, he had the uncanny ability to look at my scores and say "Here is where you are listening and hearing what you write. But this note, that is where you have lost your concentration and started to just put something down on the paper." And he was always right!!! How did you do that magic, Mario?
With much gratitude,
Laura Greenberg

Stephen Jablonsky

August 26, 2019

Mario was a delightful colleague. His mind was always bristling with ideas and opinions. He spoke rapidly and with great enthusiasm. He was beloved by all because he was unpretentious and very authentic. He was a highly accomplished composer who enjoyed sharing his ideas about music with everyone he met. His Spanish accent added a delightful flavor to his mellifluous utterances. When talking about contentious issues of the day his language could be quite salty.

I have one very funny memory of him from 1974. I met Mario in the hall one day and he said to me “Steve, I was supposed to write a fanfare for the Proshansky event at the Graduate Center but I have been so busy I completely forgot. You are a trumpet player. Can you throw something together for the day after tomorrow?” So I did. His name was on the program instead of mine but that is OK because I enjoyed the challenge and was glad to help him out of a jam.

I am certain that remembering Mario puts a smile on everyone’s face. I know we were all sad when he left us in 1980 to head the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center but it was a major promotion for him that was well deserved. He brought the world of electronic music to our department and laid the foundation for what was to become our outstanding Sonic Arts Center.

Arthur Gottschalk

August 26, 2019

Mario was a gentle giant, a man of magnificent accomplishments yet rooted, humble, and generous. Those of us fortunate enough to know him and have him as a friend (and, in my case, as a mentor as well) are also aware of his prodigious sense of humor, shared with a keen intellect. But the word that always comes to my mind when I think of Mario, which has been and remains often, is Integrity. He was always true to his music, his expression, and his tastes. He never waivered nor gave in to fashion, trend, or political correctness. He found a unique and personal language that allowed him to successfully communicate his feelings about culture, religion, and the future of humanity, and created a wonderful collection of musical settings of his ideas. His contributions to our field are vast, and may yet take some time to fully realize. He was a great friend - I miss him dearly.

Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez

August 26, 2019

Mario was one of the greatest minds alive. Hearing him in conversation was endlessly illuminating—and highly entertaining ("Carlos, the problem with new music is that performers have become really good, and composers really bad!")
But what I loved most about Mario's words was the fact that, no matter what the topic would be (music, philosophy, politics), he'd never lose his connection with the human experience. Mario's mental pyrotechnics were never academic. A discussion on, say, Spinoza, invariably ended with a corollary about a dearly remembered character from the "ranchito" where he grew up, back in Médanos. He will rest in peace, and we will continue to cherish his music.

Greg Robin

August 25, 2019

I was Mario’s grad assistant at the University of Alabama in 2007. I was blessed to get to study with him and to frequently dine with he and Elaine. He was a gentle and amazing soul. Prayers to his children. The composition world list one of the last greats.

Andrew Beer

August 24, 2019

Just met Mario once, when Don Palma arranged for me to go play Mario's "Concertino" for him at his Upper West Side apartment in 2006. He was incredibly warm - although we'd just met and he didn't know anything about me, he provided food and drink, hilarious, self-effacing stories from his youth, and even offered to let me stay the night if I was too tired to head back to Boston that evening. He had musical genius, and also overwhelming kindness and humility. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have met this incredible man.

Allison Dean

August 24, 2019

I became aware of Mario Davidovsky and his music as a composition student in Boston in the 1990s. I had the chance to study briefly with him when I attended the Wellesley Composer's Conference in 1999. I loved his music, which inspired my own, although I left the music field almost two decades ago. I am grateful for his beautiful work. He always was, and remains, one of my favorite composers. Condolences to the family.

Pablo Furman

August 23, 2019

I met Mario in 1992 at a new music festival and I quickly found a friend. Having similar backgrounds, immigrants from Argentina of immigrant families, I felt a special connection. Although he was not my composition teacher, over the years he became a mentor and gave me much appreciated advice and encouragement. Our conversations about music, history, family, Argentina, even about religion, were relevant, full of humor, and sometimes mixed with a subtle touch of melancholy. Mario was very kind to me and I am immensely grateful to have been left with many wonderful memories. I will miss him.