Sir André Previn
1929–2019 | In Memoriam

Sir André Previn | In Memoriam
Honoring a life of music.

Caramoor joins the chorus of those celebrating the life of Sir André Previn who passed away this morning. He served as Artistic Advisor at Caramoor from 1991–1996. We are grateful for the artistic impact Sir André Previn had at Caramoor over those six years.

At Caramoor, Previn found the perfect forum for all his talents and, above all, an outlet for his passion for chamber music. Previn’s philosophy that the ideal music is the collaborative dialogue of chamber music was well suited to the intimacy of Caramoor and to the small scale of the resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s, with whom he shared a close relationship. Previn’s generosity toward young musicians had been a driving force behind the inauguration of Caramoor’s Rising Stars program which closely mentors talented young artists through a week’s residency of intensive chamber music rehearsal, coaching and performance. To date, this program, now named Evnin Rising Stars, has mentored 126 fine young artists, which include Alisa Weilerstein, Jonathan Biss, Edward Arron, Frank Huang, Joseph Lin, and many more.

Previn, who was known for his boundary-defying views of music, first debuted at Caramoor with a six-concert series which saw him on the conducting podium and performing alongside other chamber musicians, only to return later that year with a jazz trio. Additionally, several of his celebrated compositions — the song cycle Honey and Rue (on texts by Toni Morrison) and a cello work entitled Sonata for Yo-Yo — were performed at Caramoor with the soloists for whom they were composed, Kathleen Battle and Yo-Yo Ma, respectively.


André Previn RS©Roberta Hershenson

With 1992 Rising Star, cellist Sophie Shao.
Photo by Roberta Hershenson

André Previn OSL ©Steve Sherman

Rehearsing with Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Photo by Steve Sherman

 
Hear Sir André Previn perform piano alongside musicians from 1992’s inaugural Rising Stars class.


Caramoor’s family remembers Sir André Previn.

 
“André Previn had the magical combination of an unassuming nature and deep curiosity. It allowed him to explore every musical genre and style. His audiences were the beneficiaries. He was generous with young players, knowing that rehearsal and performance with distinguished artists was sure to lift them to new understandings of themselves. The Caramoor Rising Stars program is a testament to his commitment to the next generation. He was the anchor of our 50th anniversary celebration, bringing together the host of artists whose Caramoor performances established the Festival’s artistic standard and reputation. He was a friend, and I will miss him.”

Howard
Howard Herring, Executive Director (1986–2001)

“We are grateful for the artistic impact Sir André Previn had at Caramoor over his 6 years as Artistic Advisor. Most importantly, Andre started Caramoor’s Rising Stars Program in 1992, which has boosted the careers of so many artists over the past 27 years.”
Jeffrey P. Haydon, Chief Executive Officer

 
Main image: Sir André Previn on the grounds of Caramoor. Photo by Steve Sherman.

 

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  1. Kevin Howat  / 

    Previn’s commitment to diverse music is exemplified in one of my favorite, though obscure, recordings, on which he accompanies Robert Tear (t) and Benjamin Luxon (b) in set of art songs one imagines hearing in a Victorian salon.
    https://open.spotify.com/album/3KUMDAXkvXdmhFkNmygJkD

    So great to learn of his Caramoor legacy!