November 20, 2000

Concert Held in Memory of Edward Murray

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Sounds of violins, trombones, and soprano voices filled the Music Auditorium in Barnes Hall yesterday as University and local groups performed in memory of the former Cornell Symphony Orchestra (CSO) conductor, Prof. Edward Murray, music.

The CSO had also dedicated their earlier October concert to Murray’s memory.

Ian Schaefer ’01 said, “[the concert] is really good. I was in the symphony orchestra when he conducted, hence the reason that I am here. [The pieces performed are] a good combination of things he liked.” Approximately 300 hundred people sat in the auditorium to hear pieces of music that Murray enjoyed.

Several of the works performed included Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Three equali” and Cole Porter’s “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye.” The Cornell Trombone Choir, Cayuga Vocal Ensemble, and Ithaca Opera Association contributed their talents to the concert.

“I think that the music was really selected from experiences with him, conversations, interaction with faculty [about his] likes and dislikes,” said Loralyn Light, event manager for the music department. “I expect it [the concert] to be fresh and poignant.”

The concert was sponsored by the Department of Music.

Prof. Judith Kellock, music, sang two of Murray’s favorite songs called “Einerlei” and “Allerseelen.”

“He was very, very wonderful,” Kellock said.

“I knew him very well. We worked together and made four CDs along the way. It was great,” said Music Lecturer David R. Borden, director of the Digital Music Program and Murray’s two-piano jazz partner. He played Murray’s arrangement of “All the Things You Are” by Jerome Kern along with other pieces yesterday night.

Murray died on October 18 from pancreatic cancer. He was 62 years old.

Murray taught at Cornell for 25 years. Some of the classes he taught were Tonal Theory I and II along with Materials of Twentieth-Century Music. His interest in music encompassed genres such as classical and jazz. He also enjoyed studying European architecture.

He served as musical director of the Ithaca Opera Association for approximately 20 years and performed with the Syracuse Society for New Music. Murray conducted the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and Chorale at the Mozart Bicentennial Celebration in 1992 at the Lincoln Center.

“He was a renaissance man,” said Prof. Mark Scatterday, conductor of the Cornell Trombone Choir and chair of the music department.

Archived article by Kelly Samuels