Volume CVIII, No. 7/8July, 2008

Stan AntinDrums

Stanley AronsonSaxophone

Henry BrantHarmonica/Composer

Stephen DremukSaxophone

Jimmy GiuffreSaxophone

Peter HowardPiano

Herman F. JobelmannBass

Robert LehrfeldOboe

Charles LiboveViolin

Utah PhillipsFolksinger

Martin RavottoAccordion

William StoneViolin

Wayne Wright – Guitar

Henry Brant

The world-famous composer Henry Brant, 94, who joined Local 802 in 1934 listing harmonica as his instrument, died on April 26. He was best known for his “spatial music,” in which the placement of performers on the stage and at carefully specified places around a concert hall is a crucial element. 

For example, in a performance of Mr. Brant’s “Ice Field” (2001), for which he won a Pulitzer, the strings, two pianos, two harps and timpani were on stage. Oboes and bassoons were in an organ loft. The brass and a jazz drummer were in the first-tier seats, and piccolos and clarinets were at one end of the second tier with pitched percussion at the other end and other percussion instruments to the side of the audience on the main floor. 

Mr. Brant studied at the McGill Conservatorium in Montreal. In 1929 he moved to New York to study at the Institute of Musical Art (which became Juilliard) and at the Juilliard Graduate School. He studied privately with George Antheil and Wallingford Riegger. 

He taught composition at Columbia, Juilliard and Bennington College.

Mr. Brant moved to Santa Barbara in 1981. Last year he completed “Textures and Timbres,” a textbook on orchestration that he began in the 1940’s. 

He is survived by his wife Kathy Wilkowski, daughter Piri Kaethe Friedman, sons Joquin Linus Brant and Linus Coraggio, and brother Bertram Brant.

Edited from the New York Times.

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Charles Libove

Charles Libove, 82, a violinist and an 802 member since 1942, died on May 22.

Mr. Libove, who served in the Navy during World War II, studied at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and also at Juilliard. His teachers included Lea Luboshutz, Ivan Galamian and Demetrius Dounis.

Mr. Libove played in the Paganini Quartet and the Marlboro Trio, and was first violinist of the Naumberg Award-winning Beaux-Arts String Quartet. In 1957, he was invited to the first Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. In 1958, he was the only American to play at the Enesco Violin Competition in Bucharest, where he won first prize.

Mr. Libove and his wife, the pianist Nina Lugovoy, toured together. Together with cellist Alan Shulman, they founded the Philharmonia Trio in 1962. 

They recorded the 1965 Henry Cowell Trio and the Alexander Semmler Trio (Op. 40) for Composers Recordings, Inc.

From 1965 to 2006, Mr. Libove and his wife appeared at the Maverick festival near Woodstock. They performed with the Philharmonia Trio, as duo recital partners, and with friends.

Mr. Libove was also in demand as a studio musician in New York and performed with Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. He was concertmaster of the Columbia Symphony Orchestra’s Glenn Gould recordings. He performed as concertmaster on many Broadway shows.

He was director of strings at NYU and taught at several SUNY campuses as well as the American University in Washington, D.C. and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

Mr. Libove is survived by his wife, Nina Lugovoy.

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Utah Phillips

Utah Phillips, 73, a storyteller, folksinger, guitarist and activist, and a member of AFM Local 1000, died on May 23.

Born Bruce Duncan Phillips, he was the son of labor organizers. He demonstrated a lifelong concern with the living conditions of working people.

Phillips served as an Army private during the Korean War, an experience he would later refer to as the turning point of his life. Deeply affected by the devastation and misery he witnessed, upon his return to the United States he began drifting. Destitute and drinking, Phillips got off a freight train in Salt Lake City and wound up at the Joe Hill House, a homeless shelter operated by the anarchist Ammon Hennacy, a member of the Catholic Worker movement and associate of Dorothy Day.

Phillips credited Hennacy and others with having provided a philosophical framework around which he later constructed songs and stories he intended as a template his audiences could employ to understand their own political and working lives. 

Phillips’ performing partners included Rosalie Sorrels, Kate Wolf, John McCutcheon and Ani DiFranco. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Folk Alliance in 1997. During his final illness, Local 802 made a donation to help Phillips.

He is survived by his son Duncan and daughter in law Bobette; son Brendan; daughter Morrigan Belle; stepson Nicholas Tomb; stepson and daughter in law Ian Durfee and Mary Creasey; brothers David Phillips, Ed Phillips and Stuart Cohen; sister Deborah Cohen; and a grandchild, Brendan.

Donations should be made to

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Wayne Wright 

Wayne Wright, 75, a guitarist and banjo player, died on May 9. He had been a Local 802 member since 1962. 

Mr. Wright was born in Cincinnati but grew up in Detroit. He moved with his wife JoAnn to New York City in 1960, so he could get work as a musician. Mr. Wright became the kind of rhythm guitarist that other artists searched out, bringing his special gift to support a host of players, such as Judy Garland, Peggy Lee, Les Paul, Tony Bennett, the Ruby Braff/George Barnes Quartet and Marty Grosz.

As talented a musician as Mr. Wright was, his dedication to his friends and family is even more memorable. Mr. Wright always shared what he knew, helping people find the right harmony in music and in life. 

Local 802 can thank Mr. Wright’s love for the computer, since he took it upon himself to set up all its members’ records in what was then a very new spreadsheet program called VisiCalc. In doing this, he created the formulas to remove any guesswork for payments.

Though he struggled with emphysema in his last few years, Mr. Wright never lost his sense of humor. His wife, knowing how much he loved the tuxedo he wore on stage, asked him if it would be something he would want to be buried in. His response was, “Surprise me!”

Mr. Wright is survived by his wife JoAnn, children Nancy and Scott, and granddaughter Jenny.

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