American cellist Lynn Harrell has passed away – aged 76.
“We have lost a wonderful father, husband, mensch …” Lynn’s wife Helen Nightengale has today said.
“All four of Lynn’s children, his sister, friends and I mourn him along with those who were lucky enough to know his music, his wit and his humanity … you were an end of an era, Dear Lynn, and will be missed more than you will ever know. We love you to the moon and back. Rest in Peace, dear one, you have earned it,” she has said.
“Goodbye Lynn Harrell my dearest friend and colleague … your gorgeous and unique way of making your cello sing like a human voice and your immense generosity … we will all miss you dearly, rest in peace,” French cellist Gautier Capucon has today said.
“Lynn was one of my oldest colleagues and friends, we have known and highly respected each other for almost 47 years … he was a phenomenal cellist with facilities and a sound like no one else – and a real gentle giant as a human being … he will be greatly missed by anyone who had the privilege and pleasure to enjoy his larger than life personality,” cellist Mischa Maisky has today told The Violin Channel.
“Today the world of music lost one of its most distinguished stars … Lynn was a great artist, teacher, humanitarian, and a dear friend to me and our whole family as well as countless others … ” conductor Gerard Schwarz has today told The Violin Channel.
“One of the greatest joys of my life was knowing him as a dear friend and an extraordinary musician … his love of life and family was so lovely to see and his joy in making music contagious … I will miss him terribly and send much love to Helen and all of his children,” he has said.
Violinist Nigel Kennedy shared with The Violin Channel, “It was during my extended sabbatical from classical music that, out of the blue, I received a letter expressing regret at my withdrawal from the classical world and generous admiration for the way I play. The letter was from Lynn Harrell, the greatest cellist of his generation and maybe for the last hundred years. This generous outreach was typical of Lynn and lead to us recording and touring duo repertoire for cello & violin around the world.
During our work together he displayed the incredible joy of music and of life. Always growing as an artist what was even more important was the generosity, humility, honesty and openness epitomised by Lynn the man.
Thank you Lynn, for wonderful music & memories.”
A protege of Leonard Rose and Orlando Cole, Lynn will be remembered as one of the eminent cellists of the 20th Century – performing and recording regularly with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors.
He had served teaching positions on faculty at the Royal Academy of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music and The Juilliard School.
No cause of death has been announced at this stage, but there has to date been no indication it was COVID-19 coronavirus related.
Our condolences are with Lynn’s family, friends, colleagues and students.